The Get Together

By Prapti Gupta

Today my mom and I are very excited. Today we are going to meet with our father after a long time. I am very excited for it. But the meeting period is very short, just 10 minutes.

We reached the place. Mr. Morgan was waiting for us. He was the medium through which we are going to talk with him. We are going to do planchette.

My mom and I haven’t talked with him since the day we two died in a road accident a year ago but my father survived! It’s really a special day for both of us.

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“I am a 17-year-old girl from India. Writing thriller stories has been my hobby for a long time.” – the writer

Ballad from Heaven

By Douglas J. Lanzo

After touring Antietam’s hallowed battleground,
where many thousands of Civil War soldiers
were slain or wounded one fateful day,
my twins sons and I
came upon Private Soldier Monument,
a towering marble statue
of a federal army soldier
affectionately dubbed “Old Simon.”

As we read Old Simon’s engraving:
“Not for themselves but for their country
September 17, 1862,”
a tiny finch emerged out of nowhere
and alighted upon the soldier’s cap.
Before I could take a picture,
the bird began to sing,
its lyrical voice weaving together
strands of sadness, gratitude and hope:
a ballad from heaven, leaving me breathless.


“I write to unlock a bit of the hope and inspiration that resides within us during these difficult times.” – the writer

Am I the Only One Who Does This?

By John L. Malone

I’ve been clearing up the house
sweeping up the crumbs.
It’s a monthly ritual.
Am I mad? Or just dumb?
I clear away the cobwebs
sweep up the dust
collect and bin the rubbish.
Somebody must.
They won’t wash themselves,
mum used to say.
The sink’s full of them
so I put them away.
Make the place spotless
so it shines & it hums.
& I better get a move on
before the cleaner comes.


John L. Malone wrote this piece “… because you don’t come across many funny flash fiction poems :)”

The “Alaska Option”

By J. Cameron Davis

Colby and I always talked about the Alaska Option, while we were in rehab.

Both determined to quit killing ourselves with drugs and alcohol. Both tired of hurting our loved ones.

If we ever relapsed, we decided we’d hop a bus to Alaska, get high as a kite, and kill ourselves.

As I boarded the bus, teary eyed and concealing a bottle of vodka and a pipe in my suit pocket, I thought about the Alaska Option.

When I got to the cemetery, I poured the bottle over Colby’s gravestone and smashed the pipe, thinking of what could have been.


J. Cameron Davis is “a recovering addict trying to inspire others.”

Depression

By Megha Nayar

I have 102 degrees of cabin fever. It happens whenever I marinate in could-haves and should-haves for too long.

Do little things, says my therapist. Take a bath. Make your bed. Walk. Call a friend.

Easy for her to sing that song.

I’ve lain here for hours now. I last drank water in the morning. My armpits reek of yesterday’s sweat. My scalp has sprouted little balls of sebum that I scratch and weed out when I’m bored.

This can’t go on.

Out I jump, as suddenly as I’d slumped.

I step away from the brink, into the shower.


“I write because it is the only kind of validation I know.” – the writer

The Subway Musician

By Shira Wilder

The day has been long. I’m sick of the city, I tell myself. My weary body won’t hold me up forever. Soon I will look like one of those old ladies everyone pities, until they become one themselves: lonely, back permanently hunched from urban living, weighed down by grocery bags and regrets.

My footsteps echo in the freezing station. I approach the melancholy refrain of a lone saxophone, playing just for me. The old man’s eye is foggy with cataracts, but his melody sees deep into my soul. Transfixed, I can’t help but smile.


“I write because the mundane really is magical.” – the writer

Waves of Regret

By Michael Degnan

The ferry arrived 20 minutes ago, but I still feel the swell of the ocean. How strange the way we can preserve sensations in our bodies.

It’s the same with you. I still feel you pressed against me, swaying during our first dance. I still feel the lace of your white dress. That was 20 years ago.

I look at the sky. The sunset’s red streaks are like the lipstick marks you found on my collar a couple of years later. I arrive alone at my rental and sit down, regret still pulsing through my body like a violent ocean.


Michael Degnan lives in Peaks Island, Maine. He writes because “it helps him think.”

Self Care

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By Laurie Janey

She lies in bed, 3.30 in the afternoon, spots of sunshine creeping across the curtains, and she thinks about death. She’s not scared of being dead. To be dead is to not be. It’s the dying bit that’s a hassle. She’s not into pain, not into fear, not into leaving a mess behind for someone else to deal with. And besides, she hasn’t finished watching that TV series about the serial killer and the kinky cop. She gets out of bed, 4.10 in the afternoon, crisis averted, and smears herself in an overpriced anti-aging skin serum, from hairline to nipples.

              
“I write because my brain won’t shut up.” – the writer

When I’m Alone, I’m Afraid

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By James McEwan

I can’t remember when I first noticed the little bird, a wheatear. When the telephone rang it appeared at the window and when I hung up the handset, I would drop some seeds or crumbs outside.

A bond developed between us and mutual expectation. The bird became my companion, and I was its source of titbits. We were creatures of habit, and the little bird became a great comfort to me in my moments of deep anxiety.

The bird will migrate soon, what will I do? I wished the calls would stop, or at least whoever it was, would speak.

             
“I write to free the souls trapped in the cavity of my imagination.” – the writer

A Tree Reborn

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By Tanzelle

Circular cracks show on its map
Its rivers do not flow, only dried up sap

Mountains rise up and its structure still sure
However, the dying giant has no cure

Grey, empty, hollowed out
Water it cannot go without

It gains new life on a lonely night
when by lightning strike it is set alight

Its ashes nourish
The soil it will encourage

Seedlings sprout from its ground
The extent of life is ever profound

              
Tanzelle writes “for creative expression.”