Your heart gave out. Still can’t fully explain it, but my heart stopped working, too. Yours no longer beats; mine can love no other. One of us breathing; one of us not… And yet somehow, the results are the same: two hearts died that day. I remain single, yet taken.
Alyce Clark was so awed and inspired by the stories of others, she decided to write them for herself.
Grandpa picks her up from ballet, lets her sit in the front seat. He has brought three tangerines wrapped in a paper towel (two for her). They eat them in the car. Later, she will forget to remove the peels from the cupholder; even now, his car smells like tangerines.
Julia Jorgensen is a junior at Stanford University studying Symbolic Systems and Creative Writing. She loves short stories, theater, and tangerines; she has definitely eaten at least eight in one sitting before.
He admired her longingly from across the room. Just the two of them. Summoning his nerve, heart pounding, he approached.
His beloved wife… Hair freshly styled, makeup applied just so, hands neatly folded. Those blue eyes that once saw only him, now surveying Heaven’s expanse.
“You’re home, Angel. Rest well.”
Lisa Chambers is a Texas girl who enjoys writing.
Nick feels shame buying TV dinners. Stroganoff. Salisbury steak.
Others buy steaks, corn. Things that connote family. Families who move about, laughing, sharing secrets, brushing past Nick.
He picks up a steak, marvels at its robustness. Drops in the cart.
Nick imagines a wife smiling across a table.
Yash Seyedbagheri is a graduate of Colorado State University’s MFA program in fiction. His work has been published or is forthcoming in Literally Stories, 101 Words, (mac)ro (mic), and Ariel Chart.
Poseidon drew the short straw.
Hera sighed. “Yes, they’re irredeemable. But I’ll miss those goofballs. Their bridges, computers, MAS*H… Genius.”
The trident swung. The floodwaters flowed. The underworld gained eight billion souls.
Hephaestus prepared the drafting table. “Okay. Humans 2.0.”
Aphrodite nudged Ares aside. “This time, I’ll lead the design.”
Jen Mierisch draws inspiration from science fiction, ghost stories, and the wacky idiosyncrasies of human nature. She lives, works, and writes just outside Chicago, Illinois.
February 9th, her birthday: deep in Winter’s bitter swell. Sledging with friends, then home to Mum’s hot chocolate and hugs.
Now grandchildren tiptoe to her door with homemade cake, footsteps wary over unforgiving frost. She pulls them indoors, warms small hands in hers.
Over seventy birthdays, she’s never felt cold.
Jo Withers writes short fiction from her home in South Australia where February is anything but cold.
He asked if it was her card, knowing it wasn’t. He’d fumbled the shuffle, and now his hands were shaking even more than before.
But when he met her eyes, she was smirking. “I liked the little spin move at the end.”
An eternity passed. He found himself smirking back.
Anoop Bhat is an aspiring roboticist and a causal parkour artist. One day he hopes to see a robot doing parkour alongside him.
I kiss my daughter; she twists away. “No,” she says.
“Don’t you hate that?” Margie sighs. “We do enough. We deserve kisses.”
I remember uncomfortable playground embraces. Unwanted subway pawing. Nights reluctantly spent.
“No,” I say. The word is whiskey. Dark, strong, medicinal. I smile and watch the girls play.
Ashley Scott lives with her family in the Pacific Northwest. She loves writing that packs a lot into a little. You can find her short stories and flash fiction in online literary publications, including On the Premises.
Her hands were a blur
of harsh bitten nails
smudges of ink
and the assurance that comes
On her arm there were
scabs and paint
and one ancient hair tie,
She was a mess,
and I loved her before my eyes ever
made it past her elbows.
Maria doesn’t believe in love at first sight, but her muse keeps trying to change her mind. She’s delighted to announce that her poem “Swept Away” was recently featured in The Coe Review.
“Rugged male seeks companionship. Loves outdoors, sharing dinners, cuddling. Eager to please. Not afraid of commitment.”
Sam and Beth were a perfect match. Eight glorious years together.
At the pet cemetery, she clutched his leash, holding it close to her broken heart.
Some happily ever afters end much too soon.
Lisa Chambers is a Texas girl who believes in happily ever after.