Each morning Jenny places a glass of chilled water on a small table beside a large reclining chair. She never sits in his chair but sometimes, when passing, tenderly touches it. Sometimes she takes a sip of water from his glass. In the silence shared, she often thinks of him.
John Young is an old chap, grappling with themes of limits, longings, and finitude. He likes spooky stuff, and lives in St. Andrews, Scotland, an ancient town with an ancient university, home of golf, and home also – allegedly – of many ghosts. (He has not met any yet.)
Two Adirondack chairs with flecks of white peeling paint, side by side, slightly cockeyed under the hedgerow’s green shadow. They hold no bodies today, just a little morning rain and thoughts of what could have been. It’s a quiet meditation, a memorial of sorts, to the fleeting perfection of pairs.
Thad DeVassie’s work has appeared in numerous journals including New York Quarterly, Poetry East, West Branch, Barely South, Unbroken, PANK, Lunate and Spelk. His chapbook, THIS SIDE OF UTOPIA, is forthcoming from Cervena Barva Press. A lifelong Ohioan, he writes from the outskirts of Columbus.
“We get birds passing through,” my cousin said. “Some do sing.”
Standing in the vast wheat field he’d inherited, our eyes on the treeless plain, I said, “Mom told me grandma heard birds here, singing, ‘See how pretty I am.'”
We left mom’s ashes where those song birds still sing.
Janine writes from Portland, Oregon. This month she is thinking of her mom, and all of the aunts whose ashes have come home, back to the farm.
In the years after Luke left, Daisy’s recollections of their relationship fragmented. Like dandelion seeds caught in the breeze, superfluous memories were whisked away, leaving her just a lone stem to examine. His essence. Had he been the person she thought she knew?
She wondered how she’d been so blind.
David Lowis is a fledgling writer from Surrey, England.
The ends of the umbrella flap irregularly in the wind like an injured bird. Stones jab my ribs and spine as the Atlantic splashes between my thighs. Mom’s been gone two years, yet I am here, on her favorite beach, surrounded by people who will never mean anything to me.
Alyssa Minaker lives in North Africa with her husband.
When I saw him the other day, I felt the strangest urge to strike up a conversation. Most peculiar, seeing as we’ve hardly been close. But the moment passed and I saw it wasn’t him, remembered it couldn’t be so.
A curiosity indeed that we’re always friendlier towards the dead.
Gretchen wants to make being out of place her comfort zone, so she’s going to keep on sharing her thoughts.
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.
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.
“Do you see it?” asks my father, pointing up at the night sky. “The little one under the Big Dipper. That star appeared right after your mother died.”
I smell alcohol on his breath. This is not the time to discuss physics or astronomy.
“I see it,” I tell him.
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.
When I was 62,
I ordered a pizza to go.
“Ready in fifteen minutes,” the teenaged server mumbled.
Returning to pay, I remembered I forgot
To request the reduced price for elders.
“Is it too late to ask for the senior discount?”
“I already gave it to you,” he said.
Miriam Stein is a social worker, writer, and the author of Make Your Voice Matter With Lawmakers: No Experience Necessary. See more at makeyourvoicematter.com.