The face was there, but the rosy cheeks and twinkling eyes were absent, absconded along with ready smile and gleeful giggles, lost in memories.
She wore civvies, not the nun’s habit she had hiked up a little to play football with us as children.
The coffin also took her voice.
Perry McDaid is a writer of prose and poetry who has developed a taste for pastels. They’re a tad chalky but provide roughage.
26 years old. That’s when my heart first met hers.
26 minutes in and I was already in love.
26 months later I broke her heart into a billion bits.
26 seconds. That’s how long it took her to leave.
26 years older and I’m still picking up the pieces.
Dylan Martin is a University at Albany alumnus who currently lives in the New York metropolitan area. His passion for fiction tends to gravitate towards the characters involved, and his writing tends to focus on the characters as well. See more at dm-writing.com.
—tornado, Jefferson City, MO, May 22, 2019
Trails of debris, rooftops blown into sand, a photograph of a two-week-old baby.
She said, I just wanted someone from my family to call, to see if we’re OK—
and the tornado’s breath came from her, stuttering sobs as loud as the storm.
Michael H. Brownstein wrote this story.
As Granny evanesced,
she left a whisper,
words which echo
“From magic we come
and to magic we return.
I am reeds bending in the wind,
the brush of soft willows,
birdsong before the dawn.
I am not gone from this world,
but with you
Matthew Coward is a habitual daydreamer, occasional writer and proud night-owl. He writes fantasy inspired flash fiction, short stories and poetry.
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.
Eventually the man who’d been our son-in-law remarried.
Regrettably his new wife didn’t want us in her life.
She connived and ultimately influenced her husband to keep our grandchildren from us.
Despite this extreme cruelty and betrayal, grandma remains no less “grand.”
Defined by her enduring love, she waits patiently.
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.
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.
I smoke cigarettes with my mother as she tells me she is going to leave my father.
The smoke filters through the window and fades away between constellations.
The only way we know how to feel good is through destruction.
So I light another replacement for my father and inhale.
Katherine DeGilio is a part-time writer and full-time redhead from Virginia. When she was a child, her goal in life was to be Kissing Kate Barlow from Holes. Since the wild west has diminished, she has decided instead to be an author. She assumes those professions share equal kill counts. You can find her latest work in Soliloquies Anthology, Litro Literary Magazine, and November Falls by Zimbell House Publishing. She loves connecting with her readers and encourages them to reach out to her on Twitter at @katiedegilio.
She loves me… She loves me not.
I visited her at the cemetery, laid daisies at the base of her headstone. Last time I saw her she was across a meadow wearing a sundress. She was within range.
No need to mind the restraining order now.
She loved me not.
Karin Aurino is currently working on poetry, short fiction, and a first novel, which draws on an early career as a fashion model. She got her start in the talent department at ICM and enjoyed a career as a Longform and Series Television Producer. Her fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Literary Orphans, r.kv.r.y. quarterly, Agnes and True, and Bacopa Literary Review, and has received recognition from Glimmer Train. Aurino lives in Los Angeles with her husband, two children, and their dog, George. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.