Every morning, on the 8:04, I look for her face. Sometimes I see individual stars, but never the entire constellation.
This is her train.
The train that took her face and scattered her stars into the darkness around it.
All I want is to see her face one more time.
Laura Besley writes short fiction in the precious moments that her children are asleep. Her fiction has appeared online, in print and in various anthologies. She tweets at @laurabesley.
I sit back and wipe the sweat from my face. The impatiens look good in the newly turned earth.
I try not to look at the heavy granite stone beside me.
Planting flowers for you in the spring used to be my greatest pleasure, until it became your last request.
G. Allen Wilbanks is a member of the Horror Writers Association (HWA) and has published over 60 short stories in Deep Magic, Daily Science Fiction, The Talisman, and other venues. He has published two short story collections and the novel “When Darkness Comes.” For more information, visit gallenwilbanks.com.
Why does the fly not die? When I put all my strength into each blow? When the rolled up Sunday newspaper smashes against the coffee table, sending my macchiato into a light brown rivulet of failure spilling over pictures of her, splayed out for my bereavement?
It’s been a month.
Derrick R. Lafayette has had several short stories published in such publications as Suspense Magazine, Lycan Valley Press (Anthology), Red Fez, Aphelion, Red Fez, and more.
I step in something cold, slimy on the kitchen tile.
Gelatin-encased golden suns. Crushed shells.
Gwen is slumped in the corner, rage melted.
I grease up a pan, ignite the burner, scoop up the ruined eggs with a spatula, and toss them into the spitting oil.
Then help her stand.
Tim Boiteau writes and lives near Detroit with his wife and son.
Hundreds of tiny bulrush baskets, aglow with tallow and bearing various gifts for Yemoja, the river goddess, bob towards the saturn sun halo of red and black velvety rings.
But later that night, all night, the darkness weeps for the three families echoing those tiny, thin cries beyond the reeds.
Folake lives and works in Nigeria and hopes to earn the title of “fiction writer” one day.
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.
The smoke pushed towards our home. When orange glow appeared behind the hills, we filled the car with our favourite things.
I packed the photo albums, hesitated, then added the camera. We’d need it, I vowed. The fire could have the house, not our joy.
The happy snaps would continue.
G.B. Burgess wrote this while watching a bush fire inch ever closer to her home.
Mother watched the fire on TV. She took down my father’s flag case, crying and incoherent, and then, in her confusion and fear, she dropped the case. The glass shattered, and the case slid under the tv, under Notre Dame as it burned, the fire reflected in her empty eyes.
Elizabeth Moura lives in a converted distillery and works with elders. She has had poetry, flash fiction, or photographs published in The Heron’s Nest, Chrysanthemum, Atlas Poetica, Presence, Shamrock, Flash, Paragraph Planet, Flash Fiction Magazine, O:JA&L, and Occulum.
Towel on the sand, she sits in a cross-legged position. She closes her eyes and focuses on the way the wind blows her hair softly across her face. Inhaling slowly, she holds her breath deep inside, musing that this may be the very last time she breathes the ocean breeze.
Samantha Baltz loves to share her stories and loves to hear the stories of others.
On Grandma’s swaying porch, feet planted firmly on the top step, I feel her smile, hear her laugh, see her wrinkled eyes. Screen door swings on rusty hinges and I smell her famous peach cobbler.
“Well, come on,” mother says and I walk in, past the reverend with the urn.
A-Jae is a storytelling wordsmith who writes literary fiction and creative nonfiction, both the truth and otherwise. She is currently working on her first novel and an MFA at SF State. Find out more about her at ajaewoodberry.com.