By Christine Goodnough
The lone suitcase on the carousel looked identical to mine but for the scratch on the side.
“Better check this out,” the airline attendant said. “Someone obviously grabbed yours by mistake.” He lifted it onto a cart.
Twenty minutes later a customs officer beckoned me. “You’re certain this isn’t your suitcase, Mrs. Smetch?”
“Positive,” I glanced over his shoulder and gasped. Another officer held two bags of white powder.
“My suitcase has my journal inside!” I clutched his arm. “Whoever took it will be showing up at my door …”
“No need to panic, Ma’am. We’ll deal with this.”
By Lara T. R.
They call her beautiful, and, indeed, she is. Beautiful in the way of a lightning strike – only when viewed from a distance. Up close, she will burn skin from bone.
She wears prisms of light in each strand of her hair. Every dead cell alive with the electricity that emanates from her soul.
Only scorched earth lies in her wake.
“Look,” she says, pointing upward, “look at the moon. It’s so huge. Let’s go.”
“Go there? Now?” he asks with a wry grin.
“God you can be stupid when you try,” she smiles back.
“Sure I can,” he said. “But really? You think we should go there? They’ve already sent people to the moon.”
“I know that,” she says.
They both pause to stare at the moon, hanging powdered and pregnant in the sky, and she pulls him by the lapel of his jacket, sucking a greedy kiss from his lips.
By Paul Isaac
Head down I boarded the train and almost bumped into a beautiful, blonde-haired woman. I gaped as long as the train guard would allow, before squeaking an awkward ‘hello’ I’m certain she heard over her headphones. No response.
Instinctively I felt for my wedding ring, forgetting it’s not there anymore. Hers wasn’t either. You can scream ‘amicable split’ until you’re blue in the face, but the truth is one of you has to suggest it first.
Lives once so tightly intertwined unravel with a single pull. You feel. Then you heal. Until one day you’re just strangers on a train.
By L. Stewart Marsden
The Snap! of cheek red’ning chill;
The Crackle! of gold and sable bills underfoot;
The Pop! of jeweled hills in the late day sun;
I love the first bowlful of Autumn,
Poured out and ready to be
By Anna Kander
“Mom, tell a fairytale! Can you do it in six words?”
“Alice in Wonderland?”
“Well, it’s 2017 … The Mad Hatter gets himself elected.”
“You made it political!”
“I teach politics.”
“Aesop’s fable about hard work?”
“Grasshopper ran. Ant voted for him.”
“Come on. Try The Boy Who Cried Wolf.”
“‘Failing’ boy spreads fake news. Sad.”
“Boy Who Cried Wolf: nobody tells that story anymore.”
“Jack and the Beanstalk: Beanstalk? We’ve giants to kill—here.”
“I can’t even—”
“One more, sweet daughter: Kissed frogs. Lived joyfully. Beautiful tadpoles.”
“What do you call it?”
“Happily ever after.”
Anna Kander is a writer in the Midwest. Her tiny stories have appeared in Nanoism, tweetpulp, Story Seed Vault, TweetLit, and 121 Words.
I’ll eat chocolate for breakfast
and smoke a cigarette for lunch
I’ll wear pajamas all day
and mascara all night
I’ll swipe left and right
and kiss indiscriminately
I’ll bring home an unmemorable date
and kick him out before coffee
I’ll be the person you fell for
and I’ll be single.