Today, I kissed some poppy seeds.
Scattered them across my garden. Watered them in.
Gently sprinkled grey ash over them.
One summer, a drunk, who should never have been driving, killed my five-year-old daughter. My only child.
In July, the soil where she lies will be awash with blood-red flowers.
Hugh Cartwright is a scientist living and writing on the Canadian west coast.
I wait for Mom and Dad to return from the hospital.
Please wake up.
The rock skips one, two, three times across the calm lake surface before sinking into the deep. It’s all in the wrist action. I tried to teach you, like I tried to teach you to swim.
Jayne Martin is a Pushcart, Best Small Fictions, and Best Microfictions nominee, and a recipient of Vestal Review’s VERA award. Her debut collection of microfiction, “Tender Cuts,” from Vine Leaves Press, is available now. Visit jaynemartin-writer.com or find her on Twitter at @Jayne_Martin or Facebook at Jayne Martin-Author.
The fairy godmother appears
The willow wilts, until another noon
Intimate details of a concealed life
Bright days encroach on moonless night
Yet, no prince knocks—
she never gave anyone shoes to wear.
You knew this wouldn’t last;
Then she lost her job at the dressmakers’.
Mandira Pattnaik is an Economics graduate who lets her degree gather dust while she word-weaves. Some of those pieces have made their way into Spelk, Lunate, Gasher, Star82, and fiftywordstories. She tweets at @MandiraPattnaik.
The sky was full of white jellyfish. They were drifting down over everything. Parks, neighborhoods, baseball fields, the oil refinery. Thousands of them. Tiny stickmen with backpacks clung to them.
Papa was crying beside the window. “You must always share with your brother.”
Papa was a negotiator.
I didn’t understand.
Thomas Fitzgerald McCarthy is a licensed English teacher, poker player, and short story writer from New Jersey.
I arrive at school hot, sweaty. I want to run like Usain Bolt. He runs as fast as a car. My teacher says it’s not possible to keep up that speed for long, but she’s wrong. She has to be.
When I can, I’ll be gone. From he-who-hits and she-who-ignores.
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.
The livestream of his daughter’s birth crawled; he didn’t recognize himself in the black flicker.
Just earlier he shot a child who had pointed a gun at him. Watched the hate and fear fade from his eyes.
She’s now the only part of him that still belongs in this world.
Shaw Chen is a USAF Veteran and graduate student who wants to try creative writing.
Hundreds of tiny bulrush baskets, aglow with tallow and bearing various gifts for Yemoja, the river goddess, bob towards the saturn sun halo of red and black velvety rings.
But later that night, all night, the darkness weeps for the three families echoing those tiny, thin cries beyond the reeds.
Folake lives and works in Nigeria and hopes to earn the title of “fiction writer” one day.
Mother watched the fire on TV. She took down my father’s flag case, crying and incoherent, and then, in her confusion and fear, she dropped the case. The glass shattered, and the case slid under the tv, under Notre Dame as it burned, the fire reflected in her empty eyes.
Elizabeth Moura lives in a converted distillery and works with elders. She has had poetry, flash fiction, or photographs published in The Heron’s Nest, Chrysanthemum, Atlas Poetica, Presence, Shamrock, Flash, Paragraph Planet, Flash Fiction Magazine, O:JA&L, and Occulum.
“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.
Carl had been at this roulette wheel for 48 years, and he was hot: a loving wife, westside home, daughter at MIT with a full ride.
But unless you recognize when you’ve peaked and have the strength to walk away, the house eventually wins.
Carl knew the time had come.
Robb Lanum is a failed screenwriter in Los Angeles. This is his second 50-word story. His longer-form, epic works have appears on 101words.org.