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.
Looking toward the ringed gas giant
the man in the moon asks
whether 82 moons (29 unconfirmed!)
would keep him company—
or simply keep him awake?
The ever present question
runs through his mind; his nightly habit.
In silence, he forever contemplates
the great looped wanderer.
Sarah Caroline Bell is a writer based in Seoul. She imagines the universe as a sentient organism.
Tell me a story with a happy ending.
That genderless AI voice bounced through the sterile capsule, the low gravity seeming to slow the pronunciation.
“I can’t, Sam.”
Did God create the virus?
Through the port window of the capsule, the lights on Earth faded.
Rob Spielman’s short stories and poetry have previously been published in The Blue Earth Review, Allergory, Pif Magazine, and other journals. He has an MFA from Concordia University and currently makes a living as a writing consultant while living in Minneapolis with his wife and two children.
She combs the soft shoulders of highways for lost garments fossilized in the sun-baked gravel.
By moonlight, she sews her scarecrow children and poses them on the slouching swing set in her yard. She tells herself it’s only kitsch, like bathtub Jesus, but catches herself watching from the kitchen window.
C.F. Carter is a Canadian publisher and writer. His microfiction has been published in Microfiction Monday Magazine and Postcard Shorts.
Old Harold buys a fish tank on his birthday. Fills it with guppies and mollies, hardy breeds. Throws in the odd fish flake. Changes the water on Saturdays. It’s good to be needed.
The fish swim and swirl, dive and stare.
Tiddles is mesmerised. Now he has his own TV.
Geraldine McCarthy doesn’t own any pets. You can find her on Facebook.
The house was quiet, dimly lit with the holiday lights. Jean sighed, shaking her head. “The kids are busy this time of year, but they’ll be here tomorrow. They need me for those generation pictures. So don’t worry yourself, Tom. I won’t be alone.”
She touched the urn. “Miss you.”
Trisha Ridinger McKee resides in a Mayberry-like town in Pennsylvania, with her weary husband and hippie daughter. She may or may not be inspired by living next to a cemetery. And she may or may not have traumatized her daughter with a few ridiculously intense bedtime stories through the years.
I never had company until I got sick. Then people started showing up. Wondering how I was doing. How I was feeling. They were so sorry. On and on.
I had been alone for years. I liked it. I didn’t mind.
Why couldn’t they see me before I got sick?
Jody loves the mystery of the human mind and what makes a person tick. Sometimes she wishes that she didn’t know.
I once watched a momma bird feed her babies. She returned again and again with a worm for their waiting beaks.
As the babies got bigger, their number decreased: four, three, two, one.
And when the nest was empty, the robin sat holding the worm, no longer valuable or necessary.
Sue Silva is a freelance writer who lives in Ontario, Canada.
On Saturdays I dusted off the week’s work from my overalls, scraped together my quarter’s worth of change, and raced to the theater. In that dusty room, my laugh and smile awaited me.
As the projection light dissipated, I clenched my eyes shut, unable to watch my friends dissolve away.
Jason wanted to write something. He wanted his imagination to be involved. Inspiration was elusive and hard for him to wield and mold into something meaningful. Some silence and peace of mind were all he needed for this. Jason finds it strange that his writing reflects more emotion than he ever feels in life.
Gonna lay away my fishin’ pole today. Life’s a dream and death an awakenin’, they say.
Well she’s gone and it’s too hot and I’m awake, alone here in these mosquitoes and weeds. This’s a quiet spot, but quiet don’t meet my needs.
Gonna lay away my fishin’ pole today.
Christian Linville is a native Oklahoman living in the western desert. His other work has appeared in Corium Magazine.