Moments wasted in anger:
55 hours arguing over finances,
6 months “discussing” our exes,
8 weeks agreeing to disagree,
18 frosty Sunday breakfasts after you came in late,
3 weeks not speaking over small things,
1 year, 7 months detesting your illness.
Moments missing you:
24 hours, 7 days, always.
Jo Withers needs to remember to make every moment matter. She spends them writing shorts, poetry, and flash fiction from her home in South Australia. She is also author of the middle-grade adventure 5 Simple Steps to Saving Planet Earth. You can follow Jo on Twitter.
“Whipped!” we used to shout, mocking him, all those times he couldn’t join on bar nights.
When he could, she’d always call him home early.
Those phone calls cracked us up. We made women’s voices, and passionately screamed his name while he shushed us.
“Hanged,” police told us one day.
David Derey wrote this story.
Shortly after Greg woke to discover his vertebrae had permanently fused with his wife’s while they’d slept, he became curious if she had been complaining to her friends about him behind his back.
When she awoke screaming, desperate to pull away from him, he smiled, realizing it didn’t matter anymore.
Ran Walker is burrowing himself beneath a growing pile of words–and enjoying every minute of it.
I woke long before dawn, shards of moonlight breaking through the faded curtains.
The hotel hadn’t changed much.
Now, twenty years later, I could still see him stretched out on the bed, with that mischievous, just-married look in his eyes.
I touched the urn on the nightstand. “Happy anniversary, dear.”
Susan Gale Wickes is from Indiana. In addition to writing poetry and short stories, she enjoys penning aphorisms and epigrams.
I don’t know what possessed me to do it.
I was tired, feverish, losing my voice. That night, I’d had the audacity to ask for help with the boys at bedtime.
His words stung; I was very angry.
But I was smiling as I swished his toothbrush in the toilet.
Michelle is an award-winning author and poet. She is a contributor in Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Spirit of Canada, and was 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! In 2018, 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.
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.