The scream rips from my mouth, taking dark shape, all hairy legs and teeth and talons. It lands on the bed, gutting the mattress. It assaults the walls, clawing chunks of drywall away. Then it shatters the window, escaping.
I stand in the wreckage, horrified.
I long to escape, too.
Kristin Fast likes the shape words make in her mouth, and enjoys corralling them on the page.
Frank hated the idea, but a mother in his support group said it had been helpful.
So he set it up in Jessica’s old room and attempted to steel himself.
When they discovered Frank’s emaciated body, his frozen smile was still fixed on the flickering hologram of his daughter dancing.
Ran Walker is the award-winning author of seventeen books. He teaches at Hampton University in Virginia.
Art’s avuncular fingers plunged deep into my girlish flesh,
planted seeds of rage that grew into Sequoias that stretched upward
to scratch his deeds into the very sky
beckoning Mom’s eyes,
demanding that she countenance his crimes.
Then, having at last seen, she might beg me for absolution.
C. Christine Fair is an associate professor within the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. She has published poetry in the Dime Show Review and The Bark and has pieces forthcoming in Clementine Unbound and Badlands Literary Journal. She also published a short story in New Reader Magazine. Her scholarly website is christinefair.net; her blog is shortbustoparadise.wordpress.com. She tweets at cchristinefair where, for some reason, she has some 42,600 followers.
“I’m sorry. Your tests with the latest medication proved unsuccessful. The prognosis is six months.”
John grasped his wife’s hand and squeezed it gently.
They travelled to the airport in silence, but desperate to talk.
Understanding airline staff upgraded them.
“Your lucky day!” cracked a joker as they left Economy.
John B. Sinclair is a much-travelled Scot who has now returned to Scotland, where he enjoys freelance writing on a variety of subjects.
Grief is sneaky,
It is bedside arguments,
Squabbles over small things,
Tussles over funeral hymns,
Who visited most? stayed longest?
Constantly ignited until the pan boils dry.
Fills the room like oxygen,
Compressing every surface.
It does not let go.
Jo Withers writes poetry, flash and shorts from her home in South Australia. Recent work has appeared in Molotov Cocktail, Reflex Fiction, Spelk and Ellipsis Zine.
I smoke cigarettes with my mother as she tells me she is going to leave my father.
The smoke filters through the window and fades away between constellations.
The only way we know how to feel good is through destruction.
So I light another replacement for my father and inhale.
Katherine DeGilio is a part-time writer and full-time redhead from Virginia. When she was a child, her goal in life was to be Kissing Kate Barlow from Holes. Since the wild west has diminished, she has decided instead to be an author. She assumes those professions share equal kill counts. You can find her latest work in Soliloquies Anthology, Litro Literary Magazine, and November Falls by Zimbell House Publishing. She loves connecting with her readers and encourages them to reach out to her on Twitter at @katiedegilio.
Why does the fly not die? When I put all my strength into each blow? When the rolled up Sunday newspaper smashes against the coffee table, sending my macchiato into a light brown rivulet of failure spilling over pictures of her, splayed out for my bereavement?
It’s been a month.
Derrick R. Lafayette has had several short stories published in such publications as Suspense Magazine, Lycan Valley Press (Anthology), Red Fez, Aphelion, Red Fez, and more.
I sit on the curb, shaken to the core. Its 2 AM.
I hear sirens from the police cars in the distance.
My mother cries inside the house. I look down at my hands to see the blood still wet, dripping onto my jeans. He is gone now, mother.
Paige McDonald wrote this story.
Exposed to light, the misunderstood memories skitter away like startled insects. Slowly, I clear more rocks from the landscape of my childhood.
When I find the courage to pull weeds, I might replace them with roses: Their beauty comes with thorns. Or perhaps cacti, which can survive neglect, even abuse.
Kim Favors worked as a newspaper journalist. She grows her literary garden on California’s Central Coast.
Fiona had secrets. Unlike some, she kept them hidden. She didn’t whisper about them in private. In fact, she didn’t speak of them at all.
She simply went through life, protecting the guilty in order to spare the innocent.
Life was easier that way. Everyone was happy.
Well, almost everyone.
Susan Gale Wickes lives in Indiana. She takes comfort in reading and writing 50-Word Stories.