Walk to school,
Home from school,
Help with homework,
Make the dinner,
Run their baths,
Mop the floor,
Wake up Mother,
Bring her bottle,
Avoid eye contact,
Make no sound.
Jo Withers is author of the middle-grade science-fiction adventure 5 Simple Steps to Saving Planet Earth. Her recent shorter fiction can be found in Spelk, Molotov Cocktail, Ellipsis Zine and Flashback Fiction.
We heard muffled crying before we spotted him, hidden in a gap between houses. He was lying on the ground, swaddled head-to-toe in a blanket. He cried steadily, without stopping, like an all-day rain. He cried freely, without shame—the way one cries when alone.
Gray cocoon, trembling with life.
Mary Lane Potter is the author of the novel A Woman of Salt (Counterpoint Press, a 2001 Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers selection) and Strangers and Sojourners: Stories from the Lowcountry (Counterpoint Press), as well as books and essays on feminist and liberation theologies. Her creative nonfiction essays, short stories, and flash fictions have appeared in Beloit Fiction Journal, North American Review, Tampa Review, Flash Fiction Magazine, SUFI Journal, Spiritus, and others. She’s been awarded writing residencies at MacDowell, Hedgebrook, and Caldera, as well as a Washington State Arts Commission/Artist Trust Fellowship. Potter lives in Seattle and teaches writing at Hugo House, the Collegeville Institute for Ecumenical and Cultural Studies, and The Loft Literary Center (online). Visit her author website.
The tragic play unfolded in reverse. From the kitchen window mother saw the ragged hole in the ice on the frozen pond. Footprints in the snow backtracked to the door. The little red boots were gone, and toys lay abandoned on the floor. The television droned on, speaking to emptiness.
B.C. Nance is a native of Nashville, Tennessee where he works as a historical archaeologist. In his spare time he writes fiction and poetry and has published several of his short stories.
The tiny hand was lost within its father’s. Each gripped tightly, softly to the other. Within that touch, free from language or misinterpretation, resided the very essence of love.
The small hand slowly went limp; the larger paused, then released. One now free; the other chained eternally to that moment.
Adam Mitchell is a teacher, mostly, and a learner always. Current published work can be accessed in his dreams.
There is nothing as beautiful as a sleeping baby.
Sarah’s eyelids were fast shut and I fancied I even saw them flutter slightly as if she were lost in a dream.
And when the nurse took that tiny red body away, I wondered if I would ever feel whole again.
Mark Farley is a little bit older than he ever expected to be.