Grandma says I’m underreacting.
She says back in her day things weren’t so bad. She says I really don’t know just how bad I have it. She says kids today are too lazy—they don’t fight for change like they used to.
I open the curtains and close them again.
Sarah Hausman just decided it was time to write again.
A mosaic of tables
under tarped tents
littered with clothing.
Men bellow in Arabic
My Mexican origins
I know: hamsah five, talatah three.
I pick through Zara, H&M, and Bershka pleased
to be brown,
to stand elbow-to-elbow as a pseudo
Alyssa Minaker lives in North Africa with her affectionate husband and her even more affectionate Bichon Maltese, Zizi.
My heart has shattered and the shards are everywhere.
Each shard a memory, each memory most precious.
Goodbyes were said, tears were shed, hugs gratefully given and received.
The end of the school year; I will never see most of these students again.
China is a long way from America.
Daniel Quillen is retired and living in China, teaching English at a Chinese university. He just wrapped up his final semester there.
How Dare You humanize yourself?
How Dare You leave your assigned statistic?
How Dare You plead for the rights I forget I have?
How Dare You be more than a job-stealing terrorist?
How Dare You challenge every single assumption I’ve built?
They were right.
You are very dangerous.
Gretchen is a university student grappling with understanding the breadth of hurt in the world.
Grandfather’s fantasy-filled tales of visits to world capitals were sparked by a vivid imagination. “See the world,” he would urge, pointing to maps pinned precariously to the wall.
We sensed he had never ventured abroad, but his gestures and improvised foreign dialects kept us enthralled.
Listening to every single word.
John B. Sinclair is a much-travelled Scot who has now returned to Scotland, where he enjoys freelance writing on a variety of subjects.
You looked up into the night sky. Saw brilliant stars, expanding universe, mysterious galaxies, endless time. You looked down into my eyes. Saw faint light, boundaries of my soul, simpleness of my mind, the finity of my existence.
I linger beyond the border of light and dark, a black hole.
Marie A Bailey lives in the southeastern U.S. with a supportive husband and three cats. She has been published in The Disappointed Housewife as well as Florida’s Emerging Writers, An Anthology and America’s Emerging Writers, An Anthology of Fiction, Volume I, both by Z Publishing House. She blogs about writing, travel, knitting and cats at 1writeway.com.
In a place with no trees the boys built a forest of stone.
They chiseled and stacked, erecting one here, one there.
They carved branches and engraved leaves.
In daylight the fake trees looked ridiculous.
But at night, when the moon rose, forming long shadows, the world felt like home.
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.
The painter painted the world black. Black trees, black grass, black clouds, black tomatoes. Van Gogh-like brush-strokes, thick with sorrow, melted around us. Even little girls smiled with teeth black as watermelon seeds. Everything so biblical we ran to the river to wash away our sins in dark, inviting waters.
Jim Doss lives with his wife and three children in Sykesville, Maryland, and earns his living as a software engineer. He has previously published two books of poems: Learning to Talk Again, and What Remains. In partnership with Werner Schmitt, he also published a book of German translations entitled The Last Gold of Expired Stars: The Complete Poems of Georg Trakl 1908 – 1914. In his spare time, he is an editor for the Loch Raven Review.
The caveman watched his son with pity. The boy sat cross legged, smiling vacantly at the night sky. He should have drowned him. Theirs was no life for the weak.
The boy glanced at his father with pity. How could he begin to comprehend the infinite totality of their existence?
Chris Redfern likes writing and wronging. Follow his adventures at aatwatchtower.com.
He stood amid chaos, tumult, and noise, hearing nothing.
A voice passed through his mind. “Speak your wish, and your hearing can be restored to you.”
He looked around him, at the lights, movement, and stone-eyed faces. “Do not restore my hearing,” he said. “Please take my sight, as well.”
This story is based on a title suggested by @PanzerVaughn.