He had experienced moments of pure joy mixed with frustration, and he’d sung all the songs of satisfaction. He had discovered that discipline was love in its purest form. He had witnessed breathtaking sunsets and star-filled heavens on a clear night. But he would never learn to whistle a Symphony.
Jim Freeze is seventy-three years old, retired, and widowed. He was happily married for fifty-four years and has two grown sons. He began writing in early 2012 to have something to do. His short stories have been featured in many publications including Brilliant Flash Fiction, Calliope Magazine, The Original Writer, and Literally Stories.
Ever since the accident, there are hardly any dinner plates in the dishwasher. Mostly coffee mugs and teaspoons. Our dinette is covered in unopened mail: fundraisers, magazine subscriptions, and mail-order catalogs, all addressed to you.
I envy the cat patiently loitering in windows. She still believes you are coming back.
Andrée Gendron wrote this story. See more at andreedianegendron.com.
The old man’s smell in her palm
Memory spread the pang of last lovemaking
Dark rain pecked the windows; dark sun shone; the coffee mug held her hands
New Yorkers’ podcast still on; it kept rewinding
Yet she couldn’t stay in this repetition of life
When they were both evaporating.
Azarin Sadegh, a 2011 PEN America Emerging Voices fellow, a LARB contributor, and a former student of the late Les Plesko, is working on a new novel.
On my back, I imagine looking out a window, calculating how much I’ve paid for the ties that bind versus the cost of cutting loose, the price of sleeping in a maternity ward versus a prison, my old bed or yours, in or out of doors, feeling trapped either way.
Moss Ingram is an associate professor at Grand Rapids Community College and co-author of the forthcoming textbook, Contemporary Product Development: A Focus on Innovation (Cognella). His poetry has appeared in Crack the Spine and One Sentence Poems, and his fiction has appeared in The Caribbean Writer.
Gravel bit through Joel’s paper-thin soles. Sweaty tears blurred the image of the child he held and the imposing wall 1000 yards ahead.
A cage or a bullet: odds weighed.
Joel put his father’s rosary upon his only living kin. “Recuérdame, hijo mío; y reza.”
They walked. A thousand yards.
Dr. Adrian L. Cook is a humanities professor at Tarrant County College in Fort Worth, TX. He is also a semi-pro musician, specializing in the electric washboard. He lives with his wife—children’s book author Cristee Cook—their two kiddos, their pancake-colored dog, and lots and lots of books.
My old dog knew how to forget unkind words and raised voices.
He always forgave being left behind, didn’t hold a grudge.
Instead he’d greet me with a wag and a silly dog smile.
After you left us behind, a tender look from his chocolate eyes helped me forget, too.
Candace Kubinec posts her stories at storydribbles.wordpress.com and her poetry at rhymeswithbug.com.
Jane was trapped in a world of low ceilings and high furniture.
At a charity event, she met an avant-garde decorator specializing in purple lighting. She told Jane, “Stand out. Be bold and bright. Shine. No excuses.”
So nowadays Jane lives in a beige cube with powerful splashes of purple.
Roberta Beach Jacobson is a humorist from Iowa / USA. She writes tanshi (short poetry), greeting cards, and flash fiction. See more at RobertaJacobson.com
In the morning she takes fresh bearings,
assessing the terrain, gauging the distance.
Night rain has left a low-lying mist distorting the landscape.
Maybe there exists, just beyond the farthest hill,
something else, something more to view
than lowland haze hiding steep rocky hills.
The wind blows right through her.
For C., of course.
Bob Thurber is the author of “Paperboy: A Dysfunctional Novel” and two collections of stories. A celebrated master of Flash and Micro Fiction, his work has appeared in 60 anthologies, received dozens of awards, and been used in schools and colleges throughout the world. He resides in Massachusetts where, though legally blind, he continues to write every day. Visit his website at BobThurber.net.
Rheumy eyes viewed the long orchard.
His treasured trees would outlive her, but deprived of care, they too would die.
He’d picked his trees, and her, for the fruit each would bear. He’d loathed her barrenness.
His acid tongue was silent now. For the first time in years, she smiled.
Christine Nedahl is a retired teacher from the Rhondda Valley, South Wales, now living with her husband in Arboleas in the Almanzora Valley, Spain. She enjoys writing about anything and everything, but flash fiction and poetry are currently favourites. She has been published in a number of anthologies and is a member of Writers Abroad. See more at christinenedahl.wordpress.com.
Several people saw her running toward the orphanage, her hair a witch’s broom in the night. Later, they told her husband’s family. They didn’t mention, for they hadn’t seen, the tarnished jewellery in her arms. Nor could they feel the memory of an infant’s breath still warm against her chest.
Monica Wang has fiction in GHLL, Electric Literature, The Temz Review, Midway Journal, and Gaze Journal, among other publications. She spent childhood in Taichung, Taiwan, and Vancouver, Canada, and now writes in Germany.