She dabs vanilla on her wrists, thick, dark and pungent, like her memory of the night before he went to war. His child plays in the garden where they will stroll. He’ll see his son, for the first and only time, his firstborn, bearing another man’s name.
Casualty of war.
Sharon Calkin is a family history writer and poet. She lives in Pasadena, CA.
For months the space next to me had been empty. Yet tonight, it was occupied by a stranger. My husband glared at him.
“How could you do this to me?” he whispered.
“Til death do us part,” I replied.
My husband glowered. His ghostly figure slowly disappeared into the darkness.
Patricia Santillan likes climbing up chairs because she is too short to reach the top cupboard. Because self-love is important to her, she loves hugging herself. Her most recent publications can be found in Leaves of Ink and Fairy Talez.
He hadn’t thought of her today. (Much.)
Then, his friend’s boy with his innocent question, “What’s your favourite colour?” (Couldn’t know the pain it caused.)
“Yellow,” he replied. (But what he really meant was: saffron sparks. Those lemon lights of stranded stardust that campfires used to summon in her eyes.)
Jo Withers is in a strangely sentimental mood. It won’t last.
Two rockers in the corners. One’s been empty for years.
Pictures line the walls, smiling faces from younger days. The kitchen echos memories. Remember when? Can you still smell those biscuits?
Clocks tick like my heart beats. Tick, tick, tick.
He’s moving out, but a part of me will stay.
Amanda is a writer and dreamer by day and a mother of four by night (when will they sleep?).
“It’s good to see you.”
“I hoped we could talk.”
Wished we didn’t have to.
“It’s been too long.”
Not long enough.
Leaning against the air-hockey table, shoes white against the slushy stain, she replies:
“It’s been two days, Tyler. And I only came to get my backpack.”
Kerry teaches English with the comfortable assuredness that he is almost often not wrong about it.
She told me that the cruelest part of it all, after it was over and she was finally allowed to leave the hospital and come home again, was that they had taken the crib away without even telling her.
They pretended like it had never been there to begin with.
Dave Novak works in a fairly serious office that sends him to strange and mysterious places throughout New Jersey. Whenever he feels like being more or less serious, he writes. You can check out his works and thoughts at dumbstupidfakestories.wordpress.com
Well heck I finally deleted you
from my phone,
from my conscious mind
and then you had the nerve to show up in a dream,
all friendly and conciliatory.
I leaned against your shoulder, into the feel of you.
Sure, we can be friends
Sweet (did you whisper back?)
Robin Lubatkin does circle time with the very young and what she calls “songhealing” with the very old.
Others have forgotten, but I’ll always remember the good times – the tire swing, the treehouse.
I rub my hand over initials carved in its bark. They mark the spot of our first kiss, and the wedding that followed years later.
It pains me to remember, but my axe shows indifference.
Pontius Paiva got 99 problems, but a birch ain’t one. You can root through his collection of short stories and other written works at pontiuspaiva.com
She listened to her phone message.
The familiar voice, “Please listen. I am so sorry. It won’t happen again. Just one more chance. You mean everything to me. It was thoughtless and stupid. I humiliated you.”
She reached for the phone to call him. Hesitated.
Instead, she deleted the message.
Rosanne Trost, RN MPH, is a retired registered nurse. She lives in Houston, Texas. She spent most of her career in oncology nursing research. Since retirement, she has realized her passion for creative writing.
I think about his freckles sometimes.
One under his eye, two on his cheek, and twenty-six on the bridge of his nose. I get hung up on the three on his lips. They were my freckles. I claimed them every day.
They’re still there. But they have a new owner.
Carly Huss lives with her boyfriend and dog in Lewisville, Texas.