Lots of soap. Scrub. Sing a happy song for twenty seconds. Rinse. The officials say if I wash my hands real good, I’ll help stop the virus’ spread.
But I don’t know any happy songs, and washing my hands may get rid of germs but it won’t cleanse my sins.
Marc Littman’s short stories have been published in magazines ranging from Fictive Dream and Cafe Lit to The Saturday Evening Post. He also writes novels and plays. He lives in Los Angeles.
Call from Health Department: voice claimed Eliza was exposed to COVID-19, should quarantine.
Eliza shivered, hung up. This was Anthony’s fault. They’d met behind the Nitty Gritty wearing masks, thought it’d be OK.
Her husband appeared. “Who’s calling you?”
“Lady looking for a jerk I never heard of,” said Eliza.
Shoshauna Shy finds the pandemic provides a lot of writing material. Read more about what she does at PoetryJumpsOfftheShelf.com.
My mother’s memory of the poems surprised me. I’d sit with her and listen to her recite, after years of never hinting that she knew any poetry. I wonder if she was reminded of the young farm girl she once was, standing in front of her father, practicing until perfect.
Janine lives and writes in Portland, Oregon where she can’t help but be influenced by the leafless trees shrouded in fog. Winter has its beauty.
When we found a body under the conservatory, my husband and I disagreed on what to do.
We should call the police (me).
No, definitely not (him).
We inherited the house from his parents. His dad, actually, who’s living in a care home.
Now I know why we don’t visit.
Laura Besley writes short fiction in the precious moments that her children are asleep. Her fiction has appeared online, in print and in various anthologies. She tweets at @laurabesley.
I warned them. The book stays locked in the attic for a good reason.
That attic had gathered dust for three generations, weakening the wood and strings of the instruments.
I warned my sons not to play those haunting melodies, not to summon those ghosts, but they did it anyway.
Zack Smith is a Senior English Major at Salem State University. He has been published in the Dead River Review. Zack is an aspiring Book Editor who writes creatively in his spare time.
The house began to eat itself. It had no other choice, having grown sluggish and depressed from the family secrets rotting inside its crevices.
Help would’ve come if anyone asked, but no one recognized its deep decay. It had been staged for sale, appearing in peak condition from the outside.
Lisa Alletson is an emerging writer whose work has been published in The Globe and Mail, Ginosko Literary Journal, and The Write Launch. She was born in South Africa and lives in Toronto, Canada. Follow her on Twitter at @LisaAlletson.
I sat, staring at the news station, counting the steps to the door.
I should go in, tell them what I knew, what I’d discovered. But the people who wanted me to stay quiet were out there somewhere, watching. They could end me so easily.
I opened the car door.
Chad Bunch writes speculative fiction from the suburbs of Saint Louis. He is currently trying his darnedest to publish the first book of a series.
Karen never told her fans what her stories were about; their interpretations were more interesting.
Some saw the salvation of sex. Others a search for God. One reader in Australia insisted Karen was a psychic channeling his own unrequited longings.
Karen knew they were really about her best friend’s husband.
Robb Lanum is a failed screenwriter in Los Angeles. Some of his longer-form, epic works have appeared on 101words.org.
My aunt called, said her brother was dead and I should help pay for his funeral since he jumped from his hotel window the week after we met. You likely said something to cause it, she said.
I figured out what, but I never told my aunt or sent money.
Paul’s new collection of Flash & Micro, “Kiss Kiss” from Truth Serum Press, will be out in March.
They called me to the principal’s office. Thought I won the essay contest.
I felt good. They seemed worried.
“Was everything you wrote about your uncle true?”
Lying would save us. So I did.
“No, it wasn’t true. Just fiction.”
I hadn’t won. I stopped believing in right or wrong.
K. Joffré is a married gay latino living in New York. He is a Slate contributor and has had fiction published in ContemporaryQueer.com. Slide into his DMs at @meanhood.