“I’m afraid I’m leaving you,” you said at dinner.
Slightly drunk on wine, I smiled. Later, I kissed you goodnight. My dreams were troubled.
In the morning you were gone. Sunlight failed to warm or wake you, so I rose and walked to the kitchen. A stranger in our house.
Jeremy lives in Ontario, Canada, with his wife and two young children. He loves to write, but seldom does. He has amassed a significant pile of books as “must reads” by his bedside that get picked at page by page, but have not been finished. Jeremy loves his children, and looks forward to finishing those books, whenever Paw Patrol is not a thing anymore.
The fish were late this year. Stanley sat with the collected fishermen and ate the egg sandwich he’d made at home.
Home was dusty. It was never dusty before Evelyn’s death. So he came to the river and waited.
The other men drifted away. “It’s over,” they said.
Over a lifetime, Ursula Hoult has done many things – a little bit of a lot of things, to put it another way. As you read, you may wonder “did she make that bit up”? And the answer is quite likely: “Yes, because it suited the story.” She is currently focused on flashfiction writing. See more at ursulahoult.com.
I never thought the absence of your troublesome door-scraping could make me cry inconsolably. I didn’t think the cavernous silence replacing your joyous yips would cut me deeply. I can’t believe I can live my life while my heart beats breathless and shallow, mourning you, my darling boy.
Monica Perez Nevarez is a sustainability consultant in climate-challenged Puerto Rico, a doting mother to her four-legged children, and inconsolable when they leave.
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Andrew C. Nosti is a recent graduate of Gettysburg College, having studied English with a writing concentration and history. He has been published in Gettysburg College’s The Mercury and the Emerging Writers of Pennsylvania series.
Cruelly, the mirror mocks me, shows me what I’ve wanted for so long.
A sideways glance reveals my swollen stomach,
Neatly rounded, bloated from the drugs,
Curving out as though I’m six months pregnant.
Empty, stitched and sore when all I dreamt of was a child.
Realistically, that’s impossible now.
Jo Withers writes micros, flash, and shorts from her home in South Australia. Recent fiction can be found in Milk Candy Review, Ellipsis Zine and Lunate.
“When she was little, my daughter and I used to cook dinner every day. Her favorite part was dessert because I would let her help out the most. Anyway, though, I feel like I know you,” she said, looking at me.
Smiling, I said: Tell me more about it, mom.
Ricardo is a 19-year-old student from Puerto Rico. He plans to write and write until he’s mastered it. A task for a lifetime.
She’d sit looking at the perennials starting to bud. Spring was in the air, with the promise of warmer days ahead.
She loved new life springing forth from her planting efforts.
Today the backfilling was done quietly, without hope of life being renewed, as we said goodbye at her graveside.
Connell writes a bit.
The bird that pecked holes below the bedroom window was back, drawn by the vibrations from the space heater. Ed rolled to face what had been Emily’s side. The cat, who purred as soon as you made eye contact, stared back. Wide-awake, they listened to the drumming of the bird.
Jon Fain has published frequently in literary, commercial, and online publications. More of his fiction can be found in the vaults of Menda City Review, Word Riot, DiddleDog, Verbsap, and Winning Writers.
I fought the urge to wreck the place.
Tears streamed down my face, blurring the decorations I’d put up for Daddy. Presents taunted me from under the tree.
It’s late January now. There will be no welcome home from the hospital, no belated Christmas celebrations… Those gifts won’t be opened.
Alyce Clark was so awed and inspired by the stories of others, she decided to write them for herself.
The stockings were hung with melancholy.
There had been three stockings in the decorations box. Mr. and Mrs. Jones hung up two. They dropped the third into the trash, almost sickened.
Mrs. Jones turned on the radio. Elvis Presley was crooning, “I’ll have a blue, blue, blue Christmas… without you.”
Tylor James is a twenty-five year old writer living in New Richmond, WI. He writes dark fiction and has had stories, poems, and essays published in such anthology books as ACCURSED: A Horror Anthology, Emerging American Horror Writers: Midwest Region, Emerging Wisconsin Writers: An Anthology of Non-Fiction, and Willow River Writers Anthology. Tylor is prolific, having written forty-five short stories and one novel in the year 2019 alone.