Jeffrey searched the florist shop for a unique plant for Mom. Once he spotted the leafy hosta, he asked the clerk to wrap it up with a floral birthday card. He opted to deliver it himself.
Jeffrey died in 2017, but his birthday greeting to his mother continues each spring.
Roberta Beach Jacobson lives in Iowa and can be found on Twitter at @beach_haiku.
Another day of wonder with my toddler.
I can only do so many unique voices and only one at a time. That’s why Mr. Elephant and Mr. Rabbit sound alike. She’s not pleased. I take her notes and will be better prepared for tomorrow’s encore.
I should’ve minored in theater.
Christina Marie Diamond is a storyteller residing in Hong Kong with her spouse and daughter. When she’s not being creative, the Brooklyn, NY native and her family are busy traveling around Asia.
I have Dad’s nose, long and hawkish.
I also lose my temper over small noises, criticize people’s musical choices.
I feel shame and power.
I also try not to use the word “I,” Dad’s favorite.
Surely a nose isn’t a harbinger. I also have Mother’s eyes.
I block all mirrors.
Yash Seyedbagheri is a graduate of Colorado State University’s MFA program in fiction. Yash’s work is forthcoming or has been published in WestWard Quarterly, Café Lit, 50 Word Stories, (mac)ro (mic), and Ariel Chart.
“He’s such a beautiful boy,” they all say.
“How could two people who look like you have such a good-looking kid,” they joke.
“He’s going to break a few girls’ hearts,” they suggest.
“You are so lucky,” they add.
Yes we are. Autistic. He’s going to teach us a lot.
Richard Baigent always wanted to be a freelance writer, but isn’t yet.
It wasn’t the diagnosis of strangled bowel, nor the low survival chance to vital surgery that tore at his heart.
It wasn’t the palpable frailty of his hero, his mother, hooked up to machines, though these things were traumatic.
No, it was those five words: Can I come home now?
Absorbing the Donegal hills from distance only now, Perry McDaid’s creativity subsists on nature’s palette and scents. Unfortunately this sometimes involves silage.
“Guess what?” Alice’s eyes sparkled. “I told Dad what I really think of him. No more holding back. And you’re right, I feel so much better.”
“Well done.” Her husband relaxed. “You going back next week?”
“Yeah.” She rubbed her scarred wrist. “My turn to put flowers on his grave.”
M.H. Thaung can’t decide between writing tiny stories or speculative fiction novels, so she has a go at both. Find out more at: mhthaung.com.
I’d never shopped for my mother before.
She was strong. She was independent. She loved shopping trips.
The suit was elegant. Shades of gold and brown. I could almost see her in it.
Later that week, I did.
She looked beautiful.
We gathered around her to say our last goodbyes.
Susan Gale Wickes is from Indiana and enjoys reading and writing 50-Word Stories.
“When she was little, my daughter and I used to cook dinner every day. Her favorite part was dessert because I would let her help out the most. Anyway, though, I feel like I know you,” she said, looking at me.
Smiling, I said: Tell me more about it, mom.
Ricardo is a 19-year-old student from Puerto Rico. He plans to write and write until he’s mastered it. A task for a lifetime.
First winter after Mother leaves, sister Nancy and I shovel snow, hands weighed down. Flakes fly, whirling seductresses. We clear faster. Flakes cover clearness. Nature takes. Gives people wanderlust, reveals darkness beneath starched smiles. We try to make everything perfect. Keep clearing. We trip. Keep trying. Keep tripping. Don’t surrender.
Yash Seyedbagheri is a graduate of Colorado State University’s MFA program in fiction. His work is forthcoming or has been published in journals such as 50 Word Stories, Silent Auctions, City. River. Tree., and Ariel Chart.
I kiss my daughter; she twists away. “No,” she says.
“Don’t you hate that?” Margie sighs. “We do enough. We deserve kisses.”
I remember uncomfortable playground embraces. Unwanted subway pawing. Nights reluctantly spent.
“No,” I say. The word is whiskey. Dark, strong, medicinal. I smile and watch the girls play.
Ashley Scott lives with her family in the Pacific Northwest. She loves writing that packs a lot into a little. You can find her short stories and flash fiction in online literary publications, including On the Premises.