Sailor’s arms beneath tobacco-scented cardigans. Milky eyes like moonlit skies, staring as though I was the finest thing on Earth.
But when he wore the hat, for memorials or military functions, he became a ghost.
I wondered what that hat had seen, to make him quiver like a frightened child.
Jo Withers writes micros, flash, and poetry from her home in South Australia. Recent work has featured or is forthcoming in Molotov Cocktail, Ellipsis Zine, Spelk, Bath Flash Anthology, and Milk Candy Review.
We didn’t live there anymore. Hadn’t for a decade.
And yet, as flames licked at the windows and devoured the roof, as smoke belched into the twilight sky, I stood on the hose-wet lawn suffocating, asphyxiating on the fumes of my childhood while firefighters tried—failed—to stop its burning.
Angela Teagardner has been selling books for twenty years – not her own though, not yet. A bookseller for pay and a writer for passion, she’s been writing stories and poetry since middle school. She currently lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband, daughter, and two extremely cranky cats.
“Grandy, will you tell me about Hawaii?”
A pause, and then he brushes his bottom lip thoughtfully with the edge of a thumb, the blue anchor on his forearm gone soft and blurry with time. In his eyes, I catch a glimpse of metal and fire.
“Not much to say.”
Erin Gilmore is a writer and editor living in Los Angeles.
We’d ride uphill past the tavern in Poppy’s ancient Cadillac. I pictured a tuxedo-clad Ricky Ricardo crooning love songs to Lucy, twirling on the dance floor, backed up by a big band. I’d wave to the hollow-eyed scratching junkies slouched against the wall. They’d wave back, baffled by the attention.
Sara Jacobelli lives in New Orleans where she works in a public library and teaches writing workshops. Her flash fiction, flash nonfiction, and short stories have been published in various places, including the New York Times Metropolitan Diary.
It’s a night just like a hundred others. The candle gutters gently as the Storykeeper takes a deep breath.
A hush of soft voices steals through the room, each ghost asking for their turn. She focuses on a high, young voice, and lets his story sweep her away.
Maria likes how she can squeeze microfiction into her hectic life. She’s amused to note that writing 50-word stories is making her drabbles seem too long.
Armed with her vintage Leica camera, she is convinced she can stop the passage of time, moments forever captured on film like flies in amber.
But despite her efforts, the clock persists.
Nest now emptied, she seeks solace in eighteen years of yellowed photographs.
Johannah Lipscher Simon is a professional ideator who writes and speaks on the power of living a creative life. See more at thewritingtype.com.
Like heron, like hare, his home is the edgelands.
He comes to forget things, while charting the flight
Of graceful birds across sunken skies.
Every variety of nothing sits here.
Freights rattle by, a marching band.
Scars ache with the malice of neglected lovers,
Who are seeking to be remembered.
Heather Barrett lives in the UK and has a passion for horror and life writing.
I kissed you on the mouth, lips desperate and soft. You married a white guy, had two kids.
I stole a man’s dog, ran away to Alaska.
The man followed but the dog died.
Evenings I walk the beach, wind bleeding my lips.
I haven’t thought of you in years.
Cinthia Ritchie is an Alaska writer, ultra-runner, and three-time Pushcart Prize nominee. Find her work at New York Times Magazine, Evening Street Review, Sport Literate, Rattle, Best American Sports Writing, Mary, Into the Void, Clementine Unbound, Deaf Poets Society, Forgotten Women anthology, Nasty Women anthology, Gyroscope Review, Bosque Literary Journal and others. She’s a 2013 Best American Essay notable mention, and her first novel, “Dolls Behaving Badly,” was published by Hachette Book Group.
Forty years of life swell between us since graduation day.
Yet here we are, time melted away in sunny blue Homecoming skies.
Pure spirit lurking in football memories
and tangible attraction amidst the Rah and Rah.
Back home, to the future, soft remnants remain, glowing…
Please don’t go.
Judi MacKenzie is a writer who recently attended a reunion.
In our third hour,
Father left us
to the nurses
while Mother slept.
At home, he played
then fixed it
to the stairwell –
wood on wood,
lacquer on varnish,
Now Mother aligns
the tuning pegs,
wipes away dust,
but every string
is brittle and
Mark Farley was raised in Zimbabwe where he survived two dog maulings, a swarm of killer bees, and being run over by a horse.