Wild Edibles Cafe. We’ll see if they’ve improved.
Meadow Salad: two-stars, fresh but terrible dressing
Venison: one-star, overcooked
Wild Mushrooms: five-stars, delicate, flavourful, delicious
Wine: two-star, bland
Dessert: one-star, horrible
Gastogne’s last review was under his obituary.
The restaurant owner reflected as he read. Ironic that he loved the mushrooms.
Paul Hock is an author, songwriter, and storyteller from Ontario, Canada. See more at paulhockpublishing.com.
Introduced by a mixologist, Stan was a zoologist, Evie a geologist. They lived in a metropolis, were happily monogamous, their lives never monotonous. Then Evie saw a gynecologist, who sent her to a virologist.
Stan wasn’t a monogamist.
Evie thought him the rottenest. He’s at the ER with a proctologist.
Originally from Toronto, Janet Koops now calls Bend, Oregon home. When she is not sitting at her computer, she is exploring the high desert with her husky.
Jenice left the dorm, left her purse bedside.
Success: her phone showed Channel 3 suspected abduction. Maybe that police siren nearing Lowell Woods was coming to search for her at last.
She ripped her shirt collar, threw her phone into the creek.
Denny would never threaten to leave her again.
Shoshauna is often inspired by the other 50-word stories that authors write for this site, and is grateful for that.
Three blocks away, someone asks how much for the Czech wolfdog.
Strangers have inquired before, but this is the first she stops to think it over. Four years pet-minding, and his owner refused to write her a reference.
“Ten bucks,” she says.
The chocolate brownie gelato is cool and sweet.
Graham Robert Scott’s stories have appeared or are forthcoming in Barrelhouse, Nature, Blink-Ink, and Pulp Literature. See more at hemicyon.wordpress.com.
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.