Nell waits, anxious for sunset. Charred towers silhouette against orange sky. Rusted leaves line her runway.
Burning equinox rays make the castle briefly whole; she prays this time she’ll make it through the door.
Her fiancé waits inside. They’re both still twenty-six years old, though it’s been a hundred years.
Cathy is a UK-based writer who has loved words for as long as she can remember. You’ll find her scribbling in a notebook. You can read more of her work at cacharlton.com or on Twitter at @cathyannewrites.
In the event of:
1. Flood – Assemble food and first aid kit. Be ready to evacuate.
2. Fire – Leave immediately. Once out, call emergency services.
3. Earthquake – Stay indoors. Prepare for cracks to appear in foundations. Do not involve passers-by. Subsidence is inevitable.
4. Marriage – Follow procedure in step 3.
Jo Withers writes micros, flash, and poetry from her home in South Australia. Recent work has appeared in Molotov Cocktail, Ellipsis Zine, Flashback Fiction, Spelk, 24 Unread Messages, and Mythic Picnic.
The owners complained they no longer had the time—with marriage, kids, and life in general—and could no longer afford to operate a business with such slim margins, but when the time came to officially close its doors, none of them could bear to let the old bookstore go.
Ran Walker is the author of seventeen books, the most recent of which is Portable Black Magic: Tales of the Afro Strange. He teaches creative writing at Hampton University in Virginia.
Jason stared at the Queensland Heeler in the shelter’s kennel.
“This one’s blind,” the volunteer told his parents. “The rancher said he could only keep dogs that could work.”
“Yes, I want this dog,” Jason signed to his parents. “I can be her eyes, and she can be my ears.”
Jenise Cook lives with her husband and their herding dog in the north-central highlands of Arizona where it snows. Jenise enjoys visitors to @jenisecook on Twitter and JeniseCook.com, where you can find a list of her published works.
Watching two swans glide across the farmer’s pond, Claire reflects on her life and how things didn’t work out the way she’d imagined.
She read that swans mate for life, and wonders why they hadn’t shared that secret with the young couple who once pledged undying love along this shore.
Candace Kubinec posts her stories at storydribbles.wordpress.com and her poetry at rhymeswithbug.com.
Penelope begs me to call her Mother.
I know what I did. I still love you.
Penelope moves through the house. Seems off, like a newspaper left out.
I needed space.
I believed she loved me. Missed her graceful gait, jokes, tender goodnights.
I utter that word.
Mir-Yashar is a graduate of Colorado State’s MFA program in fiction. A recipient of two Honorable Mentions from Glimmer Train, he has also had work nominated for The Best Small Fictions. Mir-Yashar’s work has been published or is forthcoming in journals such Scarlet Leaf Review, Ariel Chart, 50 Word Stories, and The Write City Magazine.
On what I didn’t know would be our last vacation, I wanted drinking and dancing; you, museums and cathedrals.
I craved fun and abandon, a pretense there was still joy between us.
But you embraced the passage of time, beheld the mold and the rot, unflinching, preparing to let go.
Maura Yzmore is a writer and science professor based in the American Midwest. See more on her website and follow her on Twitter at @MauraYzmore
As an adventurous toddler, I was a little unsteady. Dad held my hand, guided me, protected me from falling.
Fifty years later, he’s a little unsteady. I hold his hand, guide him, protect him from falling.
He smiles at me, a grown woman to others, but always his little girl.
Lisa Chambers is a Texas girl who always enjoys a good story.
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.
When last I saw them, they were down by the river. They were holding hands. No surprise there; she’d always been possessive.
On this occasion, she seemed especially reluctant to let go. She professed to love his mind and body, while her rival’s interest was strictly physical…
The crocodile prevailed.
John H. Dromey has a 10-word story, “Paranormal Household Survey,” on the Potato Soup Journal website.