Some aches, like some days, were worse than others. He swallowed a pill to make himself sunny, but within hours the clouds were back. He practiced his breathing.
Meanwhile, real clouds, gray and big as mountains, bumped against the window. Some kind of wild bird was cawing in the trees.
Bob Thurber is the author of “Paperboy: A Dysfunctional Novel” and two collections of stories. A celebrated master of Flash and Micro Fiction, his work has appeared in 60 anthologies, received dozens of awards, and been used in schools and colleges throughout the world. He resides in Massachusetts where, though legally blind, he continues to write every day. Visit his website at BobThurber.net.
It protects me while I sleep.
From the eight-legged reptile under my bed.
From the violent poltergeist in my kitchen.
From the woman in white with midnight hair down to her feet, who waits among the banana trees in my garden.
It protects me, the strange being in my wardrobe.
AJ Joseph occasionally writes at Words from Sonobe.
Ever since the accident, there are hardly any dinner plates in the dishwasher. Mostly coffee mugs and teaspoons. Our dinette is covered in unopened mail: fundraisers, magazine subscriptions, and mail-order catalogs, all addressed to you.
I envy the cat patiently loitering in windows. She still believes you are coming back.
Andrée Gendron wrote this story. See more at andreedianegendron.com.
Raymond shifted uncomfortably in his armchair as Suzanne raged at him.
“I don’t know why I bother here. I asked you to do one thing, and you forgot. You’re pathetic!”
She left the room, slamming the door.
Raymond shifted uncomfortably in his armchair and switched his hearing aid back on.
David McTigue lives in Liverpool UK, and enjoys reading, crosswords, music, concert going, cooking, and of course writing. Several of his short stories, poems, and crosswords have been published in various magazines and anthologies.
Exposed to light, the misunderstood memories skitter away like startled insects. Slowly, I clear more rocks from the landscape of my childhood.
When I find the courage to pull weeds, I might replace them with roses: Their beauty comes with thorns. Or perhaps cacti, which can survive neglect, even abuse.
Kim Favors worked as a newspaper journalist. She grows her literary garden on California’s Central Coast.
It’s Eric’s first time on two wheels. Mary watches him through the kitchen window as he pedals faster and faster, becoming a blur.
The walls start to close in again and she reaches into a drawer for her little bottle of pills. One day, she hopes, she won’t need them.
Daniel has always loved the stabilising influence of words.
I love “people-watching” on rainy afternoons.
Some of them walk with a run, their collars up, heads in shoulders, hands in pockets, then they scatter into doorways and bus shelters.
Some look up into the falling drops with outstretched hands.
Some open their umbrellas and just get on with life.
Over the last few years, Michael has completed a YA psychological thriller and a couple of children’s (animal and toy protagonists) chapter books. He is currently working on a 1930s-themed sci-fi. Michael is living with heart failure, but confesses: “I love writing!”
He thought he heard Marion in the house, her rusty rattle-breath.
He checked her recliner (re-plumping cushions), the tidy side of their bed (still indented), the bathroom floor (heaven forbid).
Finally he rang through to Ward 6, pressed her discordant song to his ear. Danced it from room to room.
Linda Irish wrote this story.
We gathered in small, always changing groups.
Strangers, family, and friends.
Uncounted words filled the room with copies of the same conversation.
Regrets mingled with the pebbles of ordinary life, to gave rise to our victory cry. Hand-in-hand, we proclaimed, “Life still goes on.”
Thus we denied death his victory.
John Fowler served twenty years in the US Air Force before retiring
and starting a second career in the IT field. He is also a Lay Pastor
serving a small church near his home in Texas. His hobbies include
reading, golfing, writing, and now oil painting.
Grief, heavy like sticky syrup poured over pancakes, filled the room.
It coated the mourners, making it hard to move. Hard to speak. Hard to breathe.
I hardly knew him, but stopped to offer my condolences.
To hug and be hugged, as we remembered the days of this stranger’s life.
John Fowler served twenty years in the US Air Force before retiring and starting a second career in the IT field. He is also a Lay Pastor serving a small church near his home in Texas. His hobbies include reading, golfing, writing, and now oil painting.