“When she was little, my daughter and I used to cook dinner every day. Her favorite part was dessert because I would let her help out the most. Anyway, though, I feel like I know you,” she said, looking at me.
Smiling, I said: Tell me more about it, mom.
Ricardo is a 19-year-old student from Puerto Rico. He plans to write and write until he’s mastered it. A task for a lifetime.
My grandfather was odd, shell-shocked. I loved sitting on his knee, sniffing and staring as he managed to chew mints and puff a pipe in the same breath. He never spoke of the “Great War” but I wear a Poppy in honour because it is easier than remembering my son.
Dedicated to education and being a father, E. F. S. Byrne has finally found more time to devote to his writing and is currently working on everything from very short flash stories to full-length novels. Samples and links to over thirty published stories can be read at efsbyrne.wordpress.com or follow him on Twitter at @efsbyrne
At dusk she roams the neighborhood, peering into windows glowing with evening activity. Careful to avoid the families during daylight, she tries to catch glimpses of the people and feel the warmth of their homes. She sees only cartoons, the news, and football games on their large, colorful flat-screen TVs.
Carol Anne Harvey enjoys the challenge of writing a story in 50 words, but also likes telling an audience the longer version.
One afternoon together, after 412 days apart. If only we could stretch these hours to days, weeks even, maybe then we’d relax enough to find the right words to talk about my war at home, his war away.
Instead we part, saying a stilted goodbye, before he boards the train.
Laura Besley writes short fiction in the precious moments that her children are asleep. Her debut flash fiction collection, The Almost Mothers, will be published in 2020 by Dahlia Books. She tweets at @laurabesley.
At the hospital, I find mum. She looks concerned, like I’m not dressed warm enough. I hold her hand, thank her for all she was and kiss her cold frown. On the wall there’s a whiteboard with her name scrawled on it and a section titled Patient’s Needs. It’s blank.
Giles Montgomery writes ads for a living and fiction for joy. Find him on Twitter at @gilesmon.
When the kids were small, presents overwhelmed the space under the tree. The numbers dwindled as, one by one, they grew older and moved away. For another decade, the trees Caitlin and I decorated harboured only a few.
It’s all over now. This year, I didn’t even have a tree.
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 fought the urge to wreck the place.
Tears streamed down my face, blurring the decorations I’d put up for Daddy. Presents taunted me from under the tree.
It’s late January now. There will be no welcome home from the hospital, no belated Christmas celebrations… Those gifts won’t be opened.
Alyce Clark was so awed and inspired by the stories of others, she decided to write them for herself.
The stockings were hung with melancholy.
There had been three stockings in the decorations box. Mr. and Mrs. Jones hung up two. They dropped the third into the trash, almost sickened.
Mrs. Jones turned on the radio. Elvis Presley was crooning, “I’ll have a blue, blue, blue Christmas… without you.”
Tylor James is a twenty-five year old writer living in New Richmond, WI. He writes dark fiction and has had stories, poems, and essays published in such anthology books as ACCURSED: A Horror Anthology, Emerging American Horror Writers: Midwest Region, Emerging Wisconsin Writers: An Anthology of Non-Fiction, and Willow River Writers Anthology. Tylor is prolific, having written forty-five short stories and one novel in the year 2019 alone.
I crept under the front porch, swiped cobwebs, crawled over broken bricks and debris, sat cross-legged, bent, chewing on my braids. Jabbed at tears on my hot cheeks with grimy hands, ignoring the scurrying and slithering around me.
Above me, Mom and Dad were showing off my new baby brother.
MaryJane Nordgren is a retired family practice physician living in the foothills of the Oregon Coastal Range. Founder of Writers in the Grove, MJ enjoys laughing with and learning from fellow authors every Monday morning. Her novel NANDRIA’S WAR will be coming out soon.
My father-in-law-to-be mowed our yard with his tractor, transforming the tangle into a park.
My son sobbed, He killed my favorite blackberry bush.
“But there are more,” I argued. “Look, they’re all over.” He wouldn’t face where I pointed.
I wish I’d said, “It’s painful to lose what you love.”
Lois Rosen’s poetry books are Pigeons (Traprock Books 2004) and Nice and Loud (Tebot Bach 2015). She has taught ESL in Oregon, New York, Ecuador, Colombia, Japan, and Costa Rica. Lois founded the Peregrine Poets of Salem, Oregon, and leads the Trillium Writers and the Institute for Continued Learning Writing Group at Willamette University. She won Willamette Writers’ 2016 Kay Snow First Prize in Fiction.