He lies in the bubbly bath water, face protruding enough to comfortably breathe.
I gently pour water over the soapy hair on his forehead, the bit that didn’t quite make the dive.
He doesn’t flinch.
He smiles at me and I at him.
Today, my baby is a six-year-old fish.
Deirdre is a stay-at-home mom to three young children. She has a degree in English and a Masters in Counselling Psychology.
“Computer, retrieve memory AF-278451.”
The tablet fills with dream-like images of the first time they met, her curls, smile that lit up the room. The wine spilled deliberately to mark her as his own.
That night became every night, became 20 years. A galaxy of silence since death took her.
Jim Doss lives in Sykesville, Maryland, and earns his living as a software engineer. He has previously published two books of poems: Learning to Talk Again and What Remains. In partnership with Werner Schmitt, he also published a book of German translations entitled The Last Gold of Expired Stars: The Complete Poems of Georg Trakl 1908 – 1914. In his spare time, he is an editor for the Loch Raven Review.
A middle-aged man and woman sit in movie theater seats with broken hinges. Distortions of an animated film flicker in the reflection of their eyes, accompanied by the laughter of children ringing in their ears.
The woman clutches a tattered teddy bear to her chest. The man squeezes her hand.
Taylor Stuckey is an English major at Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania. She started dabbling in writing short fiction less than a year ago, and hasn’t stopped since. This is her first published sotry.
The stars twinkle. I remember when you pointed at the one you wanted to go.
My tablet beeps. A message from “somewhere in Virgo,” you say. Sent fifteen years ago.
I wonder if I should I bother replying. It’ll take longer than fifteen years to…
Clutching the tablet, I type.
Joey doesn’t even have a tablet but he can be messaged at joeytoey.com.
I couldn’t flush my dead goldfish. Instead, I left him in the bowl in the kitchen and I cry as I mix a tuna salad for lunch. My dishtowels smell like low tide. I keep his plastic toy squid on my bedside table and I dream of a heaven, underwater.
Carolyn Mainardi, a graduate of Boston University, lives and writes all around New England. Her short fiction appears in Danse Macabre and is forthcoming in Burn Magazine.