What My Father Left Behind

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By Dianne Moritz

A Spanish language textbook, his signature penciled on the flyleaf.

A self-indulgent sonnet scrawled on a slip of scrap paper.

That one photograph.

A lifelong sense of loss and longing in his two young daughters.

           
Dianne Moritz enjoys capturing brief moments in time, celebrating trials, tribulations, and beauty of life. She dreams of publishing a book of all her drabble.

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Darkness

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By G. Allen Wilbanks

“Why are you afraid of the dark? Darkness is the natural state of everything. It’s the light that’s unnatural. When God said, ‘Let there be light,’ he was imposing an artificial reality on a universe that had previously only know known total darkness and emptiness, and every force in nature is currently trying to drive us back to that original point of neutrality. Everything around us is temporary, and at some point in the future we will all return to that initial state of nothingness. It’s inevitable.”

“Maybe,” his wife admitted. “But, I still want you to replace the lightbulb.”

           
G. Allen Wilbanks is a member of the Horror Writers Association (HWA) and has published over 60 short stories in Deep Magic, Daily Science Fiction, The Talisman, and other venues. He has published two story collections, and the novel, When Darkness Comes.

Puzzling It Out

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By diannemoritz

You go along, putting life’s pieces together, one by one. Like a jigsaw puzzle, sometimes they fit snuggly: bird on a nest, sweet peas on a trellis. Then, just when you think you’re ready for the next piece, you lose it under the tablecloth or discover it’s all wrong … glaring sun, or cloud cover. Rounded corners instead of square. You need firm ground, find empty sky. Or vice versa. Always you desire roses without thorns. Love, not war. The biggest problem comes when you’re almost finished. There’s no escaping that last bit … it’s there, right there, waiting for final placement.

           
Dianne Moritz enjoys capturing brief moments in time, celebrating trials, tribulations, and beauty of life. She dreams of publishing a book of all her drabble.

That Moment, in a Bubble

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By Maia Cornish

They are selling sets of postcards: The Gate of Supreme Harmony; the Hall of Unity; the Palace of Earthly Tranquillity. In the Outer Court we pose for photos. I am self-conscious, standing in awe of history before tantalizing glimpses of emperors, concubines and eunuchs. A memory to be encapsulated in a bubble that will never pop.

I focus my camera on an ornate door embellished with Chinese lettering.

“And this one?” I ask, as I compose the photo. “What does this plaque say?”

My guide is inscrutable but polite.

“Ladies Toilet,” she translates. “Do you need to go?”

            
Maia Cornish is an emerging British writer, born in Cornwall. She has traveled extensively and has visited every continent (apart from Antarctica – yet). Her travels have inspired her writing, and her short stories, poems and flash fiction have appeared in print and online in UK and USA.

Why Can’t Mommy Mow?

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By Ruth Polk

Mommy tries squeezing this lever.
Mommy tries pushing that button.
Mommy tries many combinations of squeezing and pushing.
But Mommy can’t mow.

Mommy remembers the battery.
Mommy puts the battery in.
Mommy squeezes this lever.
Mommy pushes that button.
Mommy tries many combinations.
But Mommy can’t mow.

Mommy pushes down on the battery.
Mommy touches the lever.
The mower runs away.
Mommy chases after it.

Mommy figures out how to slow mower down.
Use battery.
Squeeze lever.
No grass is cut.
Mommy abandons mower.

Mommy goes to garage.
Mommy gets out one-handed, broken push mower.
Mommy mows the lawn.

           
I write so I can laugh at the ridiculous things that life throws my way.


Believe

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By Nick Lord Lancaster

She wishes some ancient myths and Bible stories were actually true. She would like to believe in a god. She thinks the world would be a better place if alchemy worked. She once used a ouija board at a party, and tells herself now that she never believed in it. She supposes some of the theories in The Da Vinci Code may actually be true. She knows her herbal sleeping aid tablets don’t work, but she has absolute faith in the placebo effect. She doesn’t believe in an afterlife, but thinks that Mum is still watching over her from somewhere.

           
Nick Lord Lancaster writes short things and lives in Essex with his wife and two daughters (one human, one canine).

The Final Pose

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By Mark Tulin

I’m not afraid of death.
I practice it every day
in my 8 a.m. yoga class,
simply lying there
without a care in the world,
feeling nothing but eternity.

I close my eyes
with the lights turned low
and the sounds of life
muted and blurred,
knowing that eventually
I will have a resting place
in the great unknown.

It’s a memorable pose.
A reminder of what I’ve done,
who I’ve met,
things I’ve accomplished
in my little speck of time.

It’s like any other pose
I might take,
except this one is supine
with no heartbeat
or breath.

                 
Mark’s poetry and stories are his most effective ways of expressing himself. His upcoming poetry book, Awkward Grace, will be out in early 2020.