The filament flares of our violet sun act like milestones of the day; less so, the red night sun that chases—it’s too weak to emit much of anything.
A lot like my father and I.
I wiped the knife. “You won’t call me your red son anymore, I suppose.”
E.O. figures that people on other worlds probably still have daddy issues and bad blood. But they also have space cars, e.g. a flying Maserati. And that’s pretty cool.
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.
You explained her as a wild, last craze
In a desperate, lost Lothario haze
And I dismissed her as a mid-life phase
But the heart clots when a partner strays
So you’ll find for our remaining days
I will spite you in a thousand ways
Like “forgetting” to buy mayonnaise.
Jo Withers would like to reassure everyone that she remains very happily married with a plentiful supply of condiments. You can follow Jo on Twitter.
He’d become predictable, springing through the patio doors unto the deck, BB gun ablaze whenever any squirrel touched a bird feeder. So this time they waited, massing along the edge of the roof overhanging the deck. When he sprang, hundreds of squirrels pounced, joined even (how ironic!) by the birds.
Tony Jasnowski teaches English at Bellevue University and tries to keep peace between all factions in his backyard and himself.
We drank whiskey like sorrow were rare.
Dead’s dead, I muttered, bottle gone dry.
Hog stepped into the firelight, Colt drawn.
Wasn’t us, Billy blurted.
Hog shot him.
Wasn’t us my foot, I said, and drew.
I hadn’t a chance.
I knew it.
Hog knew it.
God hadn’t a clue.
Originally from the Midwest U.S., Justin Bendell lives and teaches in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he edits the Manzano Mountain Review, co-hosts Point Blank—a podcast about noir, hardboiled, and detective fiction—and records music under various monikers including fuguers cove and Euthanized Horse. His stories and poems have appeared in Meridian, 3:AM Magazine, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Thuglit, Washington Square Review, and more. He loves the desert. See more at justinbendell.com.
I force the door open. The smell of mold hits me hard. The floor undulates beneath my careful steps.
I’d finally heard the killer boast to a drinking buddy. He feared no one on this lawless, dank planet.
My lover’s dagger gleams in the kitchen light.
It’s time for justice.
Margarite Stever grew up in a tiny Missouri town. She currently lives in a larger Missouri town with her family and beloved fur babies. She writes stories and essays that touch a person’s heart and makes them feel something. Her secret identity is Ozarks Maven. You can catch her musings at ozarksmaven.com
“That’s only if you take ‘dimwitted incompetent moron’ to have negative connotations,” he said, sliding his hand along her shoulder in a motion that could have been reassuring, patronising, controlling, threatening, loving or just brushing away lint. “No judgment implied.”
Later she hit him with a hammer. Non-judgmentally, but hard.
Tom O’Brien is an Irishman living in London. He’s been published, long-listed, short-listed and placed in numerous competitions and publications around the web. He has a short story appearing in a forthcoming print anthology published by Blood & Bourbon. He’s on twitter @tomwrote
and his website is tomobrien.co.uk
On my last day I prepared a fabulous dessert, as my ex sat in the restaurant, his bottled blonde nibbling at lettuce with perfect lips. Whipped cream, crushed toffee, smoothest ice cream, and tiny crystals of sugar-like glass frosting. Irresistible!
As they say, revenge is a dish best served cold.
Viv Burgess suggests you do not try this at home.
Guilt burns my gut, only slightly sated by the whisky I sip.
The affair had been revenge for all the times his eyes had strayed. Joke was, I couldn’t tell him.
So my gut continues to burn as I take another sip and watch as his eyes stray once more.
Melissa is a writer, teacher, and dog lover in the Middle of Nowhere, Michigan.
Survivors and the families of lost loved ones gathered en masse to gaze at the blue lights the city had erected.
They cannot forget. In the same way, they will not forgive, either. “We will seek justice,” they chant together.
With that, the plan is hatched. Retribution will be theirs.
Kim Smyth is a freelance writer who loves to blog about life in general and alternative health. She lives in a quiet suburb of Fort Worth, Texas, with her hubby and two adorable Shorkies. Find her at kimsmyth.org and kimmy1563.wordpress.com.