Had the cat been mine I would have signalled its swift demise, thinking, what sort of life can a cat have with three legs? But there it was, keenly curious, joyfully hobbling around my garden, nearly catching two feuding wood pigeons, doing cat things. Well, for one short summer anyway.
John Young is an old chap grappling with themes of limits, longings, and finitude. He lives in locked-down St Andrews, Scotland, an ancient town with an ancient university, home of golf, home also – allegedly – of many ghosts (though he has not met any yet).
The zombies falter. Flesh becomes corrupt. Limbs are shed; animation a struggle.
Yet the fiends still pursue us. Onto our fields we stagger; new furrows disrupted by frantic feet.
Spades raised, we strike; the dead fall, cleaved into pieces. Good fertilizer, for our crop.
We live on, another winter assured.
Paul Lewthwaite, who hails from Scotland, hopes to start writing again after a ten-year hiatus.
Despair of evening gives way to terrors of the night, to sleep, disrupted, dreaming of elegance, of past and future nightmares. To wake to morning and rise, to work, to read, to listen for wisdom, to love again and hope for another evening, another night, another dream of another day.
Originally from New York, Janet Clare lives in Los Angeles with her husband. She’s had short fiction and essays published in literary journals online and anthologized. She studied at UC Berkeley and UCLA. Her first novel, Time Is the Longest Distance, was published December 2018 by a small press out of Australia, where the story is set. She is at work on her second novel, A Different Happiness.
“I followed your vision through the hellholes of northern France.”
Now, on a chateau hospital lawn near Ypres, she laughed beside him.
“Custance, nurse of my wounds, beacon of my desire.”
The purloined brandy, springtime lark song, and his idolatry bonded her heart to his.
Close by, field cannons rumbled.
Retired in Ontario, Gary Thomson has ample time to blow Satchmo’s and Beatles’ tunes on his Hohner harmonica.
Noises in the night.
Sounds of fighting, of pain.
On the grass lies something leathery, scale-like, sticky with blood.
Every day a little bit closer to the house.
Where you keep new knives in unexpected places.
Including one under the mattress, not too far from your stretching hand.
Ian Hunter lives in Scotland and is a writer, poet, and editor.
More than a tourist in the land of the Parkie where the governor
mumbles and shakes. I’m like a warrior trying to escape; PD has
a grip on my soul. A voting citizen, I fell off the floor and opened
the door to a new life that yells: watch out!
Michael Mogel is an out of work Fire Alarm Inspector due to Parkinson’s and has been writing poetry since college where he founded a literary
Ellen’s cat got out. He finally figured out how to open the screen door. His name is Whiskers. He’s friendly for a cat. Always rubbing against people’s ankles. He’ll answer to his name. I haven’t told Ellen yet. We live on Longview. The traffic’s heavier since they widened the road.
Bob Thurber is the author of “Paperboy: A Dysfunctional Novel” and two collections of stories. A celebrated master of Flash and Micro Fiction, his work has appeared in 60 anthologies, received dozens of awards, and been used in schools and colleges throughout the world. He resides in Massachusetts where, despite severe vision loss, he continues to write every day. Visit his website at BobThurber.net.
It was the worst haircut of her life.
Tears welled in her tired eyes. It was patchy and asymmetrical with long, dark curls sprouting at her left temple.
The stylist shrugged apologetically.
Tears escaped. “I love it,” she grinned.
Her first style since brain surgery framed her face with hope.
Jo Withers is becoming addicted to writing 50 Word Stories. She also has a middle-grade, science-fiction novel out this month.
He wore bags under his eyes and dressed in all-black.
He mourned over having to let go of what he had known for years.
Yet, he gleamed with elation as he moved his tassel from right to left.
Four years had passed, but he knew it was only the beginning.
Ever since she was young, Annie Lin has been doing all kinds of outdoors activities, including hiking and biking. Drawn to the atmosphere of nature, she keeps busy with figuring out the animal shapes of clouds and learning more about cultures beyond the city life. She is frequently out in the sun, often finding herself coming home with an awful tan.
When the radiation cleared, they were ready.
When they ventured, blinking, out onto the surface, they were overwhelmed, but they were ready.
When they followed the maps, found the seed vault intact, they were ready.
When a fat mouse ran across the littered cement floor – no one was ready.
Sarah Krenicki likes writing short fiction about large things.