I smash Mother’s clay flowerpot with a basketball. It splits into multiple pieces.
Dad sifts through the pieces.
“Some things can’t be replaced,” he murmurs.
I wish he’d hate me. Or hit me. Yell.
I glue piece after piece. Fill the pot with the lilacs Mother had planned.
Yash Seyedbagheri is a graduate of Colorado State University’s MFA program in fiction. A native of Idaho, Yash’s work is forthcoming or has been published in WestWard Quarterly, CaféLit, and Ariel Chart, among others.
“I think the cutie has her mother’s eyes,” remarked one passerby while the new family was out eating breakfast.
The couple knowingly smiled at one another: their child was adopted. It had only been six months, but despite not necessarily having their likeness, she already resembled them more and more.
Jonathan H. Smith lives and works in Phoenix, Arizona.
His tortoiseshell glasses lie on a table by his armchair, where his coffee used to steam. He’d put them on to narrate The Twits, demystify long division and, later, to share the cryptic crossword. Alone here now, I tame the unwieldy broadsheet and ink-shape solutions, just as Grandpa shaped me.
Michelle Christophorou’s short fiction has won and been placed in competitions, including the latest Strands International Flash Fiction Competition, and the Retreat West Fire-themed flash competition, for which she received a ‘Best of the Net’ nomination 2019. In another life, Michelle practised law in the City of London. Follow her at @MAChristophorou.
Grieve and mourn here and now,
while their deaths tick ever closer,
though still some years away.
Take a week or two.
Use vacation time or sick leave.
Do this right and you may begin
to love them both a little better
while it matters most.
George J. Searles teaches English and Latin at Mohawk Valley Community College. Widely published, he is a former Carnegie Foundation New York State “Professor of the Year.”
I wait for Mom and Dad to return from the hospital.
Please wake up.
The rock skips one, two, three times across the calm lake surface before sinking into the deep. It’s all in the wrist action. I tried to teach you, like I tried to teach you to swim.
Jayne Martin is a Pushcart, Best Small Fictions, and Best Microfictions nominee, and a recipient of Vestal Review’s VERA award. Her debut collection of microfiction, “Tender Cuts,” from Vine Leaves Press, is available now. Visit jaynemartin-writer.com or find her on Twitter at @Jayne_Martin or Facebook at Jayne Martin-Author.
I love blankets. I love their softness, their variety—their moods ranging from pastels to prints. I love my camo comforter most, big enough to cocoon me completely, my body hidden, protected from the cold, the open air, my parents’ voices swelling in the den… Nothing can reach me here.
Natalie Schriefer received her MFA from Southern Connecticut State University. She works as a freelance writer and editor. See more at natalieschriefer.com.
It was 1918. Grandpa loved his 9 grandchildren, but the Flu was deadly, so whenever a grandchild approached, he held up his hand, and shouted, “Hey!”
His grandkids still loved him, but they never hugged.
They started calling him “Heypappy”, and that’s how it was for his remaining 25 years.
Harry Demarest wrote this true story about his great grandfather, Franklin Conklin.
I let the tears fall. Years in that house… So many memories. Pictures that hung on the wall my entire life. Gone. Emptied out; packed up; now just boxes. Granddad’s gone. Grandma’s in a nursing home. Just an address now.
Still this place holds me, locked deep within my soul.
Alyce Clark is adjusting to sheltering in place, practicing social distancing when shopping for essentials… and truly missing her grandmother.
I give him a teddy bear and tell him it will keep him company, someone to talk to, while I work.
He returns him minutes later, saying the bear won’t stop talking about scratching his bum on trees and digging for bugs.
Such is life in quarantine with my husband.
Sharon Gerger loves to write and play more than she likes to work.
Ensconced in a wheelchair, my mother holds up her feet and wiggles them, showing off new pale beige moccasins, fur-lined, soft and roomy for her swollen feet. “My sister got them for me,” she tells a nursing home attendant, gleeful. But really it was me, her daughter, become unimaginably old.
Jacqueline Doyle’s flash chapbook The Missing Girl is available from Black Lawrence Press. Find her online at jacquelinedoyle.com and on Twitter at @doylejacq.