The music almost kills me today.
It is a childhood memory. The song that would play as my father hunted and brought local wildlife back to the garage. It would play as I cried for my mother, begging her not to go to work, terrified of spending time with this hulk of a man.
Today, when that song comes on the radio again, I can smell that garage. Hear those birds.
My tears almost cause an accident on the motorway. When I pull over onto the hard shoulder I sit for twenty minutes, thinking about my mother.
By Captain 575
First love. High school sweethearts. The whole bit. Sometimes joked they shared a brain: Even bought each other the same Christmas gift—three times! One year it was tennis rackets. Ha! That was a laugh. They were still having sex then. Then it was iPads, which were cool. But! She left hers at the beach, he lost his charging cord thingy. Didn’t bother looking for it. Last year it was a book. Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus.
By Ian Fletcher
House plants are odd
for though some thrive
others will not survive
despite the attention
administered to them.
Who’d have thought
for that matter
the one we bought
to adorn our balcony
whose flowers faded
according to the season
but whose leaves then
withered without reason
to languish out there
with stems so bare
winter through spring
despite our tender care
would prove to be the latter?
So it is with our love, my dear,
which like the plant outside
howsoever it is now tended
can never be revived.
Ian Fletcher’s work has appeared in Tuck Magazine, The Ekphrastic Review, 1947 A Literary Journal, Spillwords Press, Dead Snakes, Literary Yard, Your One Phone Call, Schlock! Webzine, Short-story.me, Anotherealm, Under the Bed, A Story In 100 Words, Poems and Poetry, Friday Flash Fiction, and various anthologies.
By Christine Goodnough
“Mrs Derringer?” Officer Menzies flashed her badge when the woman opened the door. “Guess you know why I’m here.” She’d found starting this way could elicit some interesting reactions.
The old lady gasped. “How did you find out? I’ve been so careful.”
Menzies raised a questioning eyebrow.
“You don’t know what it was like living with that man. He was cruel in every way. I just couldn’t take any more.” Her eyes teared up. “I suppose one of the neighbors suspected …?”
“Mrs Derringer,” Menzies interrupted gently. “I’m here to tell you your driver’s license is expired. Time to renew.”
By Maura Yzmore
I am that woman behind whom you hate being stuck in the checkout line at the grocery store. My cart overflows, filled with produce and meat, bread and milk, snacks and drinks. You ask if we’re having a party. I smile. No, there is no party, but three boys will eat all this in a week.
You ask, and I feel joy. I am so lucky to have someone to feed, to love.
You ask, and I feel sadness. Soon—far too soon—they’ll all be off, and you’ll no longer hate being stuck behind me in the checkout line.
Maura Yzmore’s short fiction has appeared in The Fiction Pool, Microfiction Monday Magazine, 50-Word Stories, and elsewhere.
By Hadrian Hazlitt
She was sitting by the window, looking out into the starry sky. Behind her was her Mother; she was ill on her bed.
The night was cold, but she didn’t mind. She was waiting for a shooting stars — her only chance. Doctors were unable to cure her mother.
Perhaps a wish upon a star makes a difference. She waited for an hour. Then she rubbed her eyes. At last a streak of light passed through. She closed her eyes and she said her wish silently. She slept.
In the morning her mother was dead.
The flowers arrive without a message or recipient.
The husband accuses his wife of having an affair. In turn she accuses him of having the same. This soon escalates into a vicious argument, with years of unsaid truths hurled at each other in unison.
He wants a divorce. She wants a divorce.
As if prompted by this, their daughter enters the room, woken by the argument. She wanders past them both and finds a card on the floor.
These flowers are for next door, she says, before getting a glass of milk and returning back to her bed.