Cruelly, the mirror mocks me, shows me what I’ve wanted for so long.
A sideways glance reveals my swollen stomach,
Neatly rounded, bloated from the drugs,
Curving out as though I’m six months pregnant.
Empty, stitched and sore when all I dreamt of was a child.
Realistically, that’s impossible now.
Jo Withers writes micros, flash, and shorts from her home in South Australia. Recent fiction can be found in Milk Candy Review, Ellipsis Zine and Lunate.
The idea arose when Sophia’s father said her smile was more beautiful than Mona Lisa’s.
After retiring from grade school, she used her savings to go to Paris, where she wandered through the Louvre until she found it.
Staring at Leonardo’s masterpiece, she could only think, “Wow. It’s so small.”
Ran Walker is the author of sixteen books. He serves on the creative writing faculty of Hampton University in Virginia.
After two days, she was infatuated with the bright smile that followed her classmate’s corny jokes.
He conversed with her sister while she watched from afar. She was hit by the realization that he couldn’t tell her apart from her twin.
The next day he moved on to someone else.
Ann Kennedy is a high school student in Chicago, IL.
Belly pushed forward, one hand at my back, the other slowly patting circles over my protruding stomach. I study my reflection from the side and front, imagining something inside. But there’s nothing there. Only the seed of doubt that has taken root and started to grow: there may never be.
Margaret is an amateur writer, but her mother thinks she’s WONDERFUL. She resides in Indianapolis.
A breeze scuttles through the jostling limbs of the coppiced chestnuts, and they clatter like masts in a marina.
In my imagination, when the hill is stripped bare, these trees will be crafted into green-winged ships, thrusting proudly towards the broad horizon.
In reality, I know they’ll become fence posts.
Tamsin keeps finding herself writing about trees – but then, literally, we can’t live without them.
The doors of the church closed behind me as the congregation quieted for the baptismal service. Shivering, a woman stepped into the water. The pastor plunged her under. She came up shouting. I thought, Finally, a church with some Spirit.
Eyes heavenward, she announced, “That water’s cold!”
I sighed deeply.
Eddie D. Moore travels extensively for work, and he spends much of that time listening to audio books. The rest of the time is spent dreaming of stories to write and he spends the weekends writing them. His stories have been published by Jouth Webzine, The Flash Fiction Press, Every Day Fiction, Theme of Absence, Devolution Z, and Fantasia Divinity Magazine. Find more on his blog.
She saw him walk from cubicle to cubicle, and her heart filled with longing for him to drop by.
“Would you like a date?” his sweet voice softly whispered in her ear. She stopped breathing for a moment, until noticing a plastic bag of dried fruit next to her face.
Katya Duft is a translator, interpreter, and language teacher, and enjoys writing short stories, poetry and her blog Tales from the Bus.
Romeo smiled at Agnes and pointed to the wood pile. “See that! I bucked up those two cords in a single day. Just me and my double-bitted axe.”
But Agnes, who had a crush on his brother, just smiled and said, “We got gas heat now, don’t need no wood.”
V. Jane Schneeloch has been either writing or encouraging others to write for most of her life. Retired from teaching English at East Hartford High School, she has led writing workshops for youths, senior citizens, and incarcerated women. Her poems have been appeared in numerous journals. Her most recent collection, Turning Over Leaves, was published by Antrim House in 2015, and her chapbook, Climbing to the Moon: Poems Inspired by the Art of Georgia O’Keeffe, was published in 2009 by Finishing Line Press. Her plays In Hiding and The Test were produced at the Drama Studio. She lives in Springfield, Massachusetts, where she continues to be inspired by her walks in Forest Park. See more at vejane.com.
Dad, how many times have I let you down? The question goes unasked as I stand near you. No need for an answer. I know you’ve forgiven me.
Today, I bury the past. I’ve let you down for the last time.
I thank the funeral director for letting me help.
Crystal Moore doesn’t like to reveal much about herself, which is why she won’t be found working the pole at a strip club. However, she can be found dividing her time between the realm of her imagination and North Carolina’s Coastal Plain region. Her publication credits include humorous greeting card copy, children’s short stories, and flash fiction.
Every day I waited for a smile, a nod, an exchange worth more than a foam cup and some change. Recognition of our inevitable perfection.
Today you looked my way. For the briefest moment, our eyes met over the counter.
And it was… less.
I knew I never liked coffee.
Deepa is a full-time writer in India who occasionally gets to write for herself.