Writing advice

Today’s Drabble Archive Sunday selection …

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By Jamie Thunder

editors pickWrite about what you know, they said. But when she wrote about the hollow pull of loneliness and the fear she felt when walking alone they said no, no that is self-indulgent, and unfair on the many men who do nothing to warrant fear, even late at night when the bulbs in the streetlights are broken and the shadows run across the pavement like foxes. So she wrote about dragons and magic instead, and they praised her humor, her lyricism, and her vivid imagination.

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Coda

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By Dwayne Allen Thomas

It was a fight I couldn’t win. She used a cheat code and unlocked a fifty-foot wave of emotion that knocked the cool out of me for months. I countered. Blocked. Absorbed. She adjusted, summoning a set of logical surgical tools to pick apart my arguments at every turn. I conceded. We went our separate ways. She never spoke to me again.

It was her first time standing up for herself.

It made me love her even more.

What Comes Around Goes Around

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By Annette Edwards-Hill

1986
“They’re turning off the street lights this week Grandma,” says Thomas, “so we can see the comet better.”

“Bloody council,” mutters Thelma. “We’ll be robbed in the dark.”

Thelma closes her curtains to the darkened streets and says to the shadows, “Seeing it once is enough.”

1910
Alice lifted Thelma from the cradle, at 4am it was pitch black outside, only the faint light of the candle flickered across her face.

“It’s the end of the world,” she whispered to her baby.

Outside she held Thelma up to the night sky. The blaze of the comet illuminated her face.

     
Annette Edwards-Hill’s flash fiction has appeared in Flash Frontier and is forthcoming in Bonsai: The Big Book of Small Stories (Canterbury University Press, 2018). She has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best Small Fictions 2017.

The Bogs

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By Kim Tackett

Where the river meets the shore, and it’s not just water anymore. On a good day, a beach. Not so great, a bog. The marshy part of marriage, so quiet, you have to pay attention to hear it.

A blur instead of a border, just the place where the grass grows in the mud. A twig, some moss, and a piece of trash.

The other side has a different view, but the water is still cold except for where it’s warm. Debris nestling in the grass, daring to be a treasure.

After all this time, still unsure of my footing.

Lost

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By johnlmalone

I met him on a winding path beneath the bridge
leading to the zoo. I had lost my girl. He had lost
the plot though I didn’t know it then.

We talked briefly beside the banisters as a blue
Kayak passed us by. Before his accomplishments —
his CV baggy with published poems — I

was lost for words. “Take care,” I remember him
saying. “He’s always had his head in the clouds,”

a fellow poet once said of him. Perhaps that’s why
a week later he climbed to the roof of a big city hotel
and stepped off.

Thirty-eight Percent

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By Debbie Taggio

He won’t do it again
He promised
Brown petals fall from roses
Replaced by new blooms
Red.
He sees red, quick to anger
I stay quiet – do everything right
A mouse, scuttling along skirting boards
Hold still; it hurts less that way
Violet this time
Secret marks, hidden
I make sure, no walking into doors for me
He won’t do it again
He loves me
‘You’ve got a keeper there,’ they say
Broken.
Broken jaw, broken ribs, broken promises
Broken spirit.
Yellow now,
Fading bruises, fading self
Pushed too far
Silver, steel…
He won’t do it again
I love you.

Untethered

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By Traci Mullins

“We can’t pull the plug,” my sisters say, as though our mother’s tether to this world is a cord infused with life, like the one that brought her into it. But I know it’s a shackle, chaining her to a place she no longer belongs. “Don’t let me linger,” Momma’d told me. So on the seventh day I say “Enough is enough.” My sisters are horrified as I turn off the machine, but I feel Momma’s lips brush my cheek as I set her free.

     
Traci’s work has appeared in Flash Fiction Magazine, Dime Show Review, Ellipsis Zine, Flash Flood, Fantasia Divinity, Spillwords Press, and others.