Her look was summery; the weather was not. She stood shivering in her flower-speckled sundress, staring upward as the heavens opened, and torrents descended. Colourful ribbons in her hair were soon plastered against her scalp.
The forecast promised hot and sunny, but during the pandemic, nothing unfolded as it should.
Alan Kemister is the pen name of a retired scientist experimenting with more fictitious writing. He’s currently working on a climate change novel. Get the gory details at alankemisterauthor.wordpress.com
I would only take my mask off for her.
The fresh air is incredible, at odds with my recycled sickness. She reaches for my hand; I withdraw like I’ve been conditioned to. I give in. Her face is warm and flushed, perfect, just how I remember. Mine is unevenly unshaven.
Jonathan H. Smith (@JHSmithMD) is a physician and author living in Arizona.
I reach the end of my street and here comes Mr. No-Mask, huffing and puffing like a freight train. I back up, let him pass. One block later, Ms. Cell Phone comes walking and talking, oblivious.
I just go home and read today’s forecast: ninety percent chance of “no walk”.
Paul Bluestein is a physician (no longer practicing) and a blues musician (still practicing). He used to go for walks on the beach where he could think about he past, wonder about the future and lose his sunglasses.
Brittney is young, healthy, so she’s not worried. She and her friends gather in each other’s apartments, sharing beer and restlessness, missing Real Life.
Then Brittney’s neighbor—the retired kindergarten teacher she buys groceries for—tests positive.
Finally the headline sinks in: Brittney and all her friends could be carriers.
Jennifer L Freed mostly writes poems, which have appeared in various journals and anthologies. Her website is jfreed.weebly.com
As the previous night’s fires mixed with the morning fog, Alex put on his face mask and went out to retrieve his morning newspaper from the driveway.
His street was quiet, peaceful, untouched.
Inside his home, his wife and son slept upstairs, oblivious to the fire still raging within him.
Ran Walker is the author of twenty books. He teaches creative writing at Hampton University and lives with his wife and daughter in Virginia.
Who knows how many days left?
Why organize the underwear drawer
or enter dank closets?
Maybe To Do means:
sit next to the cat,
find a book,
listen to traffic’s absence
fill the vase…
If I’m not here tomorrow,
whether I’ve got color-coordinated blouses
hanging in empty spaces.
Laurie Kuntz is an award-winning poet and film producer. She taught creative writing and poetry in Japan, Thailand and the Philippines. Many of her poetic themes are a result of her working with Southeast Asian refugees for over a decade after the Vietnam War years. She has published one poetry collection (Somewhere in the Telling, Mellen Press) and two chapbooks (Simple Gestures, Texas Review Press and Women at the Onsen, Blue Light Press), as well as an ESL reader (The New Arrival, Books 1 & 2, Prentice Hall Publishers). Her poetry has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and her chapbook, Simple Gestures, won the Texas Review Poetry Chapbook Contest. She was editor in chief of Blue Muse Magazine and a guest editor of Hunger Mountain Magazine. She has produced documentaries on the repeal of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Law, and currently is producing a documentary on the peace process and reintegration of guerrilla soldiers in Colombia. She is the executive producer of an Emmy winning short narrative film, Posthumous. Recently retired, she lives in an endless summer state of mind. See more on her website.
As his eyes adjust to the sunlight he gets up, cracks a quail’s egg, drinks it raw.
Whirling leaves give him a chill. He sees his wife at the kitchen window kneading bread. Romantic!
The newspapers read: “Bengal men self-quarantine up in trees due to the absence of spare rooms.”
Anindita Sarkar is pursuing an MPhil degree in Comparative Literature from Jadavpur University. She is from Kolkata, India, and is a UGC Junior Research Fellow. Her works have recently appeared in Indolent Books, Snakeskin Poetry, Scars Publication, Ariel Chart Magazine, and Flash Fiction Friday.
Lots of soap. Scrub. Sing a happy song for twenty seconds. Rinse. The officials say if I wash my hands real good, I’ll help stop the virus’ spread.
But I don’t know any happy songs, and washing my hands may get rid of germs but it won’t cleanse my sins.
Marc Littman’s short stories have been published in magazines ranging from Fictive Dream and Cafe Lit to The Saturday Evening Post. He also writes novels and plays. He lives in Los Angeles.
Call from Health Department: voice claimed Eliza was exposed to COVID-19, should quarantine.
Eliza shivered, hung up. This was Anthony’s fault. They’d met behind the Nitty Gritty wearing masks, thought it’d be OK.
Her husband appeared. “Who’s calling you?”
“Lady looking for a jerk I never heard of,” said Eliza.
Shoshauna Shy finds the pandemic provides a lot of writing material. Read more about what she does at PoetryJumpsOfftheShelf.com.
Once, we called people coming to the hills visitors.
Virus spreads. They’re invaders. Carriers.
Rolling beige RVs and trucks resemble tanks.
We defend the market. Wrap ourselves in the royal we. Sterilize, stock toilet paper. We don’t see frightened families, young couples wearing naked impulse and fear.
Invasions are easier.
Yash Seyedbagheri is a graduate of Colorado State University’s MFA program in fiction. Yash’s work is forthcoming or has been published in WestWard Quarterly, Café Lit, and Ariel Chart, among others.