She trembles as they’re ordered to evacuate, their home about to conflagrate. Silent, Sam stuffs his car with his clothes, books, and computers. Heartbroken, she packs her vehicle with teapot, blankets, and comforting pillow. Neither of them takes the wedding album, which incinerates, and becomes, like their relationship, a memory.
Sudha Balagopal’s short fiction appears in numerous publications including Wigleaf, Fictive Dream, Cabinet of Heed, Jellyfish Review and New World Writing. She is the author of a novel, A New Dawn. See more at sudhabalagopal.com.
Is it finally over? Whatever this was?
Not dating, not friendship… It’s giving me pause.
I am angry. Hurt. But not that upset.
I wonder, was it love? And will I forget?
Not that long ago, I seem to recall,
Still had that nice flutter feeling,
Do you? At all?
Michelle is an award-winning author and poet. She is a contributor in the most recent Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Spirit of Canada, and a quarter finalist in the 2017 ScreenCraft Short Screenplay contest. Her writing has appeared in The Globe and Mail, (one of Canada’s National newspapers) and a number of local magazines and newspapers including The Briar Crier, Total Sports, Voice of the Farmer, Arts Talk and Focus 50 Plus. Her short story “Lightning Strikers” (also featured on Commuter Lit) was made into a series in the Focus 50 + Newspaper because fans asked for more! This year, Michelle won the Ontario Writers Conference Story Starter Contest in two categories. You can find her online at commuterlit.com, fiftywordstories.com, femininecollective.com, michelledinnick.com and @MichelleDinnick.
Being us is coming home, slipping into PJs, and pressing soft, weary limbs together under grandma-made quilts and old sheets. It’s absence of words while my nose is tucked inside your neck. Then it’s singing “Hallelujah!” with our eyes because we’re home, together, in the tender place of being known.
Alyssa Minaker lives in Africa with her husband.
I am not adventurous with food. Simple meals without spices or sauces suit me. The new cook at the cafeteria gives me a wink and a knowing smile. Others complain the cabbage is boiled to death and the stew is tasteless.
On our passionless dates we share pizza without toppings.
Stuart is a retired teacher from Christchurch, New Zealand. He likes to fire up his taste buds with devilishly spicy foods.
This table, the wine, bread and cheese—that’s nonfiction; calling it “dinner” is, perhaps, a fiction.
Your silence, my tears, these trembling hands: nonfiction. Our last meal together: fiction.
Your attraction to someone else—OK, we’ll call that nonfiction. But the idea you no longer love me… must be fiction.
Nathan Alling Long lives in Philadelphia and can be found at blogs.stockton.edu/longn. His collection of fifty flash fictions, The Origin of Doubt, was published by Press 53 in March 2018.
I sent you home with leftovers,
delicious homemade soup
spooned into a nice glass bowl
with a BPA-free lid.
I didn’t expect to never see you or it again.
I should have used a take-out container
from a less memorable meal.
You are quite forgettable.
It’s the bowl I miss.
Robin Lubatkin sings with the very young, the very old, and everyone in between.
We clung to each other in the dryer. Spinning socks became whirling dervishes in a passionate dance.
Unceremoniously thrown onto the hard surface. I was the only one left. Widowed now, and no one else can be my mate.
I’ve resorted to cuddling up to a lint ball.
Making people laugh, especially while they’re swallowing big spoonfuls of soup, is one of Diane Malk’s goals. She is a writer from Colorado who shudders at the sight of snow every winter and is certain she lived in the tropics in a previous life. Diane has been published in Mad Swirl, Hackwriters, and Scarlet Leaf Review. She is working on her first book and always has a craft project in the works.
Sunlight glistened off his forearms as he pierced the shovel through the dry ground. His face looked down, but his mind raced backward.
He opened the small box and peered in. The closed eyes of the only friend that truly understood him didn’t meet his gaze.
They never would again.
Ryan Ernecoff enjoys spending his downtime alone, typing on his computer.
Her toes were covered with sand, like little appetizers. The nails painted blue; ever the rebel, she.
A wave hushed in, foaming. “I’m leaving you,” she said calmly. “I’m tired of all your crap.”
Another wave slid up the beach, washed the sand off her feet, washed her guilt away.
Gregory Von Dare is a writer and dramatist specializing in crime and speculative fiction, often with a humorous or ironic twist. He attended Chicago City College and the University of Illinois. While living in Los Angeles, he worked for Universal Studios, Disney, and Sony Pictures as a talent manager and developer. He studied writing with Edgar winner John Morgan Wilson. Recently, his short stories were featured on the Soft Cartel and Horror Tree websites. Greg is an Affiliate Member of Mystery Writers of America. He lives outside Chicago where certain people will never find him.
He asked for me by name, they said, this man with twitching eyes and an impatient stance.
Closing the distance, he seems to shrink. He nods as I introduce myself, his lips forming words that sink my heart. He hands me a nondescript envelope containing your desire to leave me.
Lancelot is a creative writer at heart who fears rejection, and therefore keeps his stories locked away in his mind.