Sailor’s arms beneath tobacco-scented cardigans. Milky eyes like moonlit skies, staring as though I was the finest thing on Earth.
But when he wore the hat, for memorials or military functions, he became a ghost.
I wondered what that hat had seen, to make him quiver like a frightened child.
Jo Withers writes micros, flash, and poetry from her home in South Australia. Recent work has featured or is forthcoming in Molotov Cocktail, Ellipsis Zine, Spelk, Bath Flash Anthology, and Milk Candy Review.
In the event of:
1. Flood – Assemble food and first aid kit. Be ready to evacuate.
2. Fire – Leave immediately. Once out, call emergency services.
3. Earthquake – Stay indoors. Prepare for cracks to appear in foundations. Do not involve passers-by. Subsidence is inevitable.
4. Marriage – Follow procedure in step 3.
Jo Withers writes micros, flash, and poetry from her home in South Australia. Recent work has appeared in Molotov Cocktail, Ellipsis Zine, Flashback Fiction, Spelk, 24 Unread Messages, and Mythic Picnic.
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.
I chat to callers about holiday homes, kitchen renovations, solar panels.
Later, I call twenty-four-hour hotlines, but can’t find options I need:
1 for housebound,
2 for lonely,
3 for desperate.
Tomorrow, I’ll break the fridge. Mechanic will be here in an hour, answer in grunts. Highlight of my week.
Jo Withers writes micros, shorts and poetry from her home in South Australia. Recent work can be found in Molotov Cocktail, Spelk and 24 Unread Messages.
Grief is sneaky,
It is bedside arguments,
Squabbles over small things,
Tussles over funeral hymns,
Who visited most? stayed longest?
Constantly ignited until the pan boils dry.
Fills the room like oxygen,
Compressing every surface.
It does not let go.
Jo Withers writes poetry, flash and shorts from her home in South Australia. Recent work has appeared in Molotov Cocktail, Reflex Fiction, Spelk and Ellipsis Zine.
Fibonacci was fascinated by spirals. Mathematical patterns in flower petals, repetitive details in seashells – Nature’s inescapable, infinite cycles.
As I hear you arguing with your father, drink-fuelled tempers curdling love to spite, I wonder: are we all like this? Caught in eternal circles, passing around the point where we began.
Jo Withers writes micros, flash and poetry from her home in South Australia. She is also author of the children’s science-fiction adventure 5 Simple Steps to Saving Planet Earth.
Moments wasted in anger:
55 hours arguing over finances,
6 months “discussing” our exes,
8 weeks agreeing to disagree,
18 frosty Sunday breakfasts after you came in late,
3 weeks not speaking over small things,
1 year, 7 months detesting your illness.
Moments missing you:
24 hours, 7 days, always.
Jo Withers needs to remember to make every moment matter. She spends them writing shorts, poetry, and flash fiction from her home in South Australia. She is also author of the middle-grade adventure 5 Simple Steps to Saving Planet Earth. You can follow Jo on Twitter.
“Hey Google, close the blinds.”
“Hey Google, dim the lights.”
“Hey Google, start my favourite slow classics playlist.”
“Hey Google, send out all the last messages to friends and family from my draft box.”
“Hey Google, administer the anaesthetic and switch off the power to my ventilator.”
“Hey Google, Goodbye.”
Jo Withers worries that technology is getting out of hand and avoids it wherever possible. She is author of the middle-grade science-fiction novel “5 Simple Steps to Saving Planet Earth.”
Sadly, War Veteran Terry Smith (no fixed abode) died last Friday.
Terry was a treasured personality, singing for a dollar outside the Town Hall as he begged for “Bread and Broth.”
Locals will be pleased to hear $20,000 has been allocated from council funds for a statue in his honour.
Jo Withers writes poetry, flash and the occasional novel from her home in South Australia.
At first, she felt free. She’d bask in the summer evening radiance, watching the kaleidoscope of stars filling the night sky with their regular patterns. Like lights from faraway friends, watching over her.
But in winter, the pavement was cold. Clouds blocked out the stars. Friends seemed very far away.
Jo Withers hopes that everyone has friends nearby. You can follow Jo on Twitter.