“A 50-word story? Impossible.”
“Okay: Honey, I’m pregnant.”
“How about: I’m pregnant, and it’s not yours.”
“Kidding again. How many words, so far?”
“Let’s stop. I’m hungry.”
“How many words now?”
“And ice cream.”
John M. Floyd’s work has appeared in more than 250 different publications, including Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Strand Magazine, The Saturday Evening Post, and the 2015, 2018, and (upcoming) 2020 editions of Best American Mystery Stories. A former Air Force captain and IBM systems engineer, John is also a three-time Derringer Award winner, an Edgar Award nominee, a recipient of the Short Mystery Fiction Society’s lifetime achievement award, and the author of eight books.
We were married within a month.
The first morning I woke with nausea, I felt rotten. The second: jubilation. Mere weeks had passed since we first made love, but I swore I could already feel a bump.
We laughed, kissed, hugged; fell asleep with bodies intertwined. Life was a dream.
Guy forgot to submit this story last month. This is his twentieth 50-word story.
Editor: See part 1 and part 2 of Guy’s ongoing story.
When I showed him the two plusses, his face lit up, and he laughed with an, “Oh, wow.”
He saw my expression and the smile faded, being replaced by guilty eyes to match mine. He sat down next to me on the floor and placed his hand on my stomach.
Michelle Romero is a second-year Master of Arts in English graduate student from Lake Charles, Louisiana. In the fall of 2016, she will be joining the McNeese State University Master of Fine Arts program as a fiction writer.
Elise stares at the stranger of her reflection. She doesn’t want to be married. Or divorced. Elise wants a do-over.
But locked in a bathroom, waiting on fate, there are no second chances.
A pink plus sign, faint yet certain, appears.
“Well?” he asks.
L.L. Madrid lives and writes in Tucson. She resides with her four-year-old daughter, an antisocial cat, and the occasional scorpion. Her work can be found in places like Literary Orphans, The Furious Gazelle, Dali’s Lovechild, and shoe boxes under her bed.
I lie back in the tub. Stare at the ceiling. My thoughts drift like warm water to yesterday.
“We could make it work…”
I run my hand over my belly. We both deserve better, Baby. Your father never needs to know about you.
Laura Pena lives in Houston, Tx. She is an English major and currently works as an elementary school teacher.
Anna raced into her bathroom. She thought about how much trouble she would be in if her assumption was right. Anna knew her parents would make her marry somebody she didn’t love anymore. She paced back and forth.
Tears rushed down her face as she looked at the pink plus.
Savannah Bayan is on Twitter.
“They still hurt, Hon,” he said by way of answering the phone.
Two weeks and still he limped. But they’d agreed: after years of trying, at 43, they surrendered to time. So he’d endured the pain, swelling, and subsequent celibacy.
“I’m pregnant,” she replied. “You’re going to be a father.”
Jon Shank teaches high school English in Pennsylvania. He blogs at intothewake.wordpress.com.
Composure best describes him, she thinks as she watches him dice tomatoes for his signature dish featured in tonight’s dinner service. The little bits of tomato are perfect cubes; never a cut finger. Her chef husband.
“Honey,” she smiles, “I have a bun in the oven.”
Chop, chop, chop, “Ouch!”
Cynthia is an award-winning playwright whose short play “Then…” was produced in New York and Russia. Her other plays include, “The Lighthouse,” and “Impromptu.” Her spec script “Brick by Brick” for the HBO series Deadwood placed 2nd at the Austin Film festival. Her monologues appear in several collections. After living in New York City for fifteen years, she has returned to her hometown in Michigan where she writes short stories and is working on a young adult novel titled “Dirt” and the series The Ridgeback Gang.
James opened the cabin door and let it slam behind him.
“What’s the matter, dear?”
“People need to leave their kids at home when they go on a cruise. Swimming in the pool was impossible!”
“You better learn more patience with children; we’ll have two little ones in six months…”
Aubrey is an idealist with a fondness for writing, and all things culture. She sporadically has vivid dreams about her unpublished books being on the New York Times best sellers list.
Venus came home to chaos.
“What is going on!?”
“Hi, honey!” said her husband, Chris, standing behind a hutch with their daughter on his shoulders. “Tina and I bought a few bunnies!”
“Well, we took two, but by the time we got home there were a bunch more…”
This story is based on a title suggested by @TsukiakariUsagi.