They stopped listening when the truck hit us. From the back seat I’d been explaining Three- and Five-Act Structure.
The side door crumpled and I realised my mistake: this was Act Five of my story, not Act Two.
Maybe the Midpoint of the lorry driver’s arc, Point of No Return.
Tom O’Brien is an Irishman living in London. He’s been published in numerous places across the web and has short stories printed in Blood & Bourbon, Blink-Ink, and DEFY! Anthologies. His novella Straw Gods will be published by Reflex Press in 2020. He’s on Twitter at @tomwrote and his website is tomobrien.co.uk.
Sleeping outside, away from the din of the city, they had a window into the glitter of a million worlds, and all it took to blast their minds free of Earth-bound problems was to stare into galaxies just hanging there, waiting for the next trillion years to come and go.
Linda Saldaña is an escaped tech writer now addressing the meaning of life 50 words at a time – or maybe a little more. Recent work can be found in Poydras Review and Every Day Fiction.
In the morning she takes fresh bearings,
assessing the terrain, gauging the distance.
Night rain has left a low-lying mist distorting the landscape.
Maybe there exists, just beyond the farthest hill,
something else, something more to view
than lowland haze hiding steep rocky hills.
The wind blows right through her.
For C., of course.
Bob Thurber is the author of “Paperboy: A Dysfunctional Novel” and two collections of stories. A celebrated master of Flash and Micro Fiction, his work has appeared in 60 anthologies, received dozens of awards, and been used in schools and colleges throughout the world. He resides in Massachusetts where, though legally blind, he continues to write every day. Visit his website at BobThurber.net.
The child therapist gave me a box of Crayola markers, told me to match the colors to my emotions.
“This is stupid.”
He said, “I know.”
I grabbed the black marker and discarded the rest.
He sighed. “Your mother is going to die.”
Without looking up, I said, “I know.”
Avra Margariti is a queer Social Work undergrad from Greece. She enjoys storytelling in all its forms and writes about diverse identities and experiences. Her work has appeared in Wolfpack Press, The Writing District, Dime Show Review, and Page & Spine.
They argued more and more. She said it was a temporary thing; he wasn’t so sure.
Pooh sticks off the bridge would determine their future.
From the other side of the bridge, only one stick appeared. She said they were now one; he said they needed to go separate ways.
Stuart is a retired teacher living in Christchurch New Zealand. He has never let Pooh sticks determine his life choices. Perhaps he should have.
I’m sitting on the floor, looking up at a woman. She’s walking round the house picking things up then putting them back down somewhere else. She looks at me with a huge smile then goes all squeaky and high-pitched, starts telling me how cute I am.
This happens every day.
Zoe, age 16, wrote this story.
“Play it, Sam.”
I play it, sing it, my black fingers aching to caress your white face.
Do I have any chance with you, Ilsa? I could at least profess to you. See what happens.
Rick swoops in. My boss.
“Sam, I thought I told you never to play—”
David is a professor at Seton Hill University in Greensburg, PA, and a student in Seton Hill’s MFA in Writing Popular Fiction Program.
The typhoon decimated the village.
Huts were razed to ground level; palm trees had snapped like matchsticks. Rotting corpses and flooding were giving rise to disease and more death. Post-disaster survival was paramount here.
Across the globe, a starlet with handbag Chihuahua was complaining about her caviar and lobster bisque.
Melanie Cranenburgh wrote this story.
Behind her eyes, two serpents swam, one in each eye. Her eyes closed, and their bodies bulged. Wriggling veins under the skin, light’s speed bumps. The serpents had their own eyes, eyes with which they ate. Ate images. Light, dark, good, bad. The serpents in her eyes made her blind.
Matt Weatherbee is a college student.
For the finale of the show, the emcee swings a live chicken around by its head till the neck breaks. It calms the audience, which considers this the essence of free-range. The chicken gets dizzy but feels grateful for the applause. Its last tiny thought: “I’ve never felt so alive.”
Cara Lopez Lee is the author of the memoir They Only Eat Their Husbands (Conundrum Press, 2014). Her stories have appeared in The Los Angeles Times, Denver Post, Rivet Journal, Connotation Press, and Pangyrus. She’s an editor, ghostwriter, and writing coach who has collaborated on more than twenty books. She has been a faculty member at Denver’s Lighthouse Writers Workshop, a writer for HGTV and Food Network, and a TV journalist. She lives in the beachside town of Ventura, California.