The biographer asked, “When did you realize that you were mad, Mrs. Hudson?”
Sally Hudson’s manacled feet prevented her from moving. She looked up at the small barred window above her head. “They told me,” she responded.
“Who were ‘they’?”
“The kids in school. Mad as a hatter,” they said.
Jean Blasiar is a published author (Charles River Press), playwright (Off The Wall Plays), short story writer and theatrical producer. One of Jean’s plays was optioned by 20th Century Fox for a pilot.
While filling the pockets of her overcoat with heavy stones, she idly mulls over her long-held belief that removing a writer’s demons can also take away those angels that create wondrous prose. “Well, it doesn’t matter now,” she thinks, wading deeper into the River Ouse. “The angels have abandoned me.”
Henry F. Tonn has had his fiction and nonfiction published by some of the finest literary journals in America but his novel, “Ascent to Madness,” a historical novel about Zelda Fitzgerald, had been rejected by over two hundred literary agents. He blogs sporadically at henrytonn.com.
Cherry’s father is in the garage by the workbench when she gets home. She’s made it a habit of at least saying hello to him after school.
Cherry’s dad suffers from depression. A cockroach infestation makes it worse. He can’t take it anymore.
Her father pulls the trigger, sprays insecticide.
Denny E. Marshall had had art, poetry, and fiction published, including a recent publication at Postcard Shorts. See more at dennymarshall.com.
Piles of mail and past due bills scattered all about
Empty boxes, notebooks, and bottles of pills all sprawled throughout
All part of her identity to claim and control
The constant source of structure she will never let go.
Worn and torn, it represents both her burdens and her strengths.
Debra was inspired to write this due to the many people who are diagnosed with Paranoia who walk around with a bag full of their belongings. Many people ridicule these people. It’s part of the stigma that others judge based on what they see, instead of the deeper reason for this need.
Despite his disintegrating mind, Frank knew the doctors were peddling a form of quicksand.
Earlier, he found a hidden note from his dear uncle; hastily scribbled whilst succumbing to similar sedation.
Frankie – you’ll see when they’re through,
They’ll make a monkey out of you.
He smiled wryly for the psychiatrist.
Eldar cannot recall where or why he wrote this short story.
My mother leans into my father and points at the elderly man at the far end of the nursing home dining room. My father sports a baseball cap; the old man wears a fedora.
Over the clatter, and behind the shield of her other hand, mother asks, “Is that you?”
Gail Louise Siegel’s work has appeared in many journals and anthologies from Ascent to Wigleaf. She is from Chicago.
He was a handsome young man. In the counseling session he spoke of politics, love, plans for college.
I marveled at his many strengths.
Tentatively, he then announced that he’d written the Beatles’ songs.
He wept in painful awareness of the impossibility of false memories, the cruelty of his illness.
Many years ago, as a mental health professional, Alison worked with this young man. His anguish is still fresh in her mind, yet his resiliency prevailed. Alison hopes that this small story will make you stop and reconsider your assumptions about those who have a mental health diagnosis.
The dude called me away from the roof’s edge.
“Come back to life,” he said. “Journey back.”
Through eyes with tears, I said, “I didn’t ask to be born crazy.”
“To hell with bipolar disorder, Jonah,” the dude said. “We’re going to kill this damned whale together!”
I stepped back.
Jonathon Brooks lives, works, plays, and daydreams his days away in Carbondale, Illinois. He’s in love with stories and he truly hopes you enjoyed this short trip into his imagination.
I watched from the doorway as she tossed around in our bed.
Her hair was tousled, and cheeks stained with tears.
I learned long ago that when she lost herself, I inevitably would lose her, too. But I wasn’t prepared for this losing battle with the demons inside her head.
Brittany Young wrote this story.
An animated Lion raises one eyebrow while staring through him.
Does he run? Does he glare back?
Reality is always contorted for his abused, fragile mind. Even the Lion is dubious of his capacity.
Against the odds, he makes a dash to safety.
Maybe soon he will open his eyes.
Connor is a recent graduate of James Madison University. He feels he has always had a writer stuck inside him, and that it may be time to let him out.