“Daddy, can you hear the ocean?”
I put the conch to my ear.
A gift sent from her new home, miles from this dusty dirt pit her mother couldn’t wait to escape.
The video cuts out. Again. Bad connection.
I keep the shell pressed to my ear until night falls.
Jane Brown is a web programmer and short fiction writer who lives by the beach in Australia.
She didn’t need her smile after her husband died, so she gave it to her daughter, who was pregnant. Years later, she looked up to see someone walk through her door. It was her old friend the smile, now with short legs and rosy cheeks.
“Have some cookies,” she said.
C.M.F. Wright writes sentences that occasionally turn into stories. Her short stories have appeared in 50-Word Stories, Syntax & Salt Magazine and the VSS365 Anthology.
Thinking of you is like sipping my second cup of coffee of the day: not a yearning rush, just savoring the dreamy warmth and bittersweetness. My eyes will still moisten suddenly, fogged in the aroma of the past, when my fingers run across your old ring laced with green patina.
Lorna Ye writes flash fiction and poetry. She enjoys listening to soft jazz and trying new recipes.
Mom shuffles to the car, back stooped, frustrating tremors slowing her progress.
Walker, bed rail, shower seat, suitcase, and a box rattling with pills are packed for her visit.
She struggles to fasten her seatbelt, so I help.
“Thanks… Getting old isn’t for wimps, you know.”
I smile, feeling blessed.
Tawnia is an elementary teacher in Ontario who started writing a few years ago. You can find her on Twitter @TawniaCourage.
A bright morning
The blue skies and waves
Toes in the sand
I sip coffee
As two children
Search the shore
“Hey dad look”
They call out all the marvels they explore
Dad oblivious with cellphone to ear
Smiles and nods
From a casual stranger
Sometimes life’s moments get lost.
The crack of bat on ball rings in Danny’s ears. He sprints toward first base but doesn’t watch the ball soar over the fence. His teammates yell; evidence enough for him.
As he rounds third base, he glances at the space in the bleachers where his father used to sit.
Stephen Pisani is an MFA candidate in fiction at Adelphi University. He spends his spare time working at a golf course, where he watches people chase a little ball around a big patch of grass.
It was a weekly family competition. My siblings interlocked and huddled over the table like a championship rugby scrum. Instead of a ball, a plate of Mom’s fried chicken was slipped onto the table beneath the players.
Dad blew a whistle. Game on.
Whoever ate the fastest got the most.
James Menges is a writer and photographer. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America.
Someday, I will kiss your cheek and make you smile. I will wrap my arms around you in a warm embrace.
I will sing your favorite song at the top of my voice. I will stay by your side and vow never to leave. Mother, I will promise you this.
Marjan Sierhuis enjoys reading flash fiction.
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.