The Things You See at Traffic Lights


By John L. Malone

The blue Yaris pulled up at the traffic lights alongside his HiLux; the driver began picking his nose. Christ! did people still do that? Soon it would accrue a fine. You weren’t supposed to even touch your face. What would he do next? dig a finger into his ear, clear out some wax, have a good itch? scratch his balls? He was amazed at this guy’s brazenness, his folly. The things you see at traffic lights, he thought. Then he realized he was looking at his own reflection in the Yaris’s side window.

John is a South Australian writer of poetry, flash fiction and the occasional short story

The Monsters


By Robert Keal

Most of them wear multicolored armor, probably to psych us out.

They fight with their hands and their feet; nothing, no one can keep them down.

Be careful, their favorite move is ‘the crusher.’ They scoop you up in one big grab and squeeze: Your cries won’t fit their ears.

We’re only vulnerable during the day – it’s safer to come out at night.

That’s when we gather and start talking; it’s clear none of us can live happily here. Not in the monsters’ grip.

Yep – these monsters are really scary. Especially while sucking their thumbs, silent and sure.

“I write to make peace with what’s in my head.” – the writer

What Was He Thinking?


By John L. Malone

What was that guy thinking? Did I agree to this? I must have. What was I thinking? I should never have posed nude, for starters. That wasn’t necessary. And sitting in public view for all to see. You know what I look like? A guy sitting on a toilet seat, hunched over, muscled legs taut, trying to take a dump instead of having a good think. At least he could have put a cubicle around me. Even a bronze statue deserves some dignity.

John Malone is on a roll. His chapbook of poems has just come out.

On a Sticky Note Found at the Bottom of an Elizabethan Trunk


By Michael Thomas Ellis

‘Tis writ that only rot be wrote
by those who seldom write nor writ,
and those what learned to write by rote,
shall rare see quote what rough they writ.
— Bill

“I write because I’d never be able remember these things if I only spoke them out loud. Besides, imagine the looks if I did.” – the writer

The Return of the Native


By John L. Malone

So what’s your story? You’ve been out all day, don’t come home at night, and just when we’ve locked up and getting ready to go out, you rock up! Nice one. I know what you want. I know what you’re after. So, what’s your story, eh? She looks up at him with her mock-innocent amber eyes, but the cat has nothing to say.

John’s new poetry chapbook, Hope is the Helium, is coming out this year.

My Waste Line


By John L. Malone

I’ve thought a lot about waste lines lately —
All the lines I failed to utter;
the cutting remarks I failed to make;
the punch lines of jokes I mucked up or forgot;
the lines I fed women after my ex left me in the hope of getting lucky;
but principally the lie I told you why I couldn’t make your seventieth
and now the line I’ve joined of all the other sad sacks hopping on dating sites for the third or fourth time this year.

John Malone is a South Australian writer of flash fiction, short stories and poetry who delights in Literature wherever it is found.

Some of Our Fave Drabbles from 2019


By The Drabble

To celebrate the end of the fifth calendar year of our existence, we present some our favorite posts of 2019. While we are grateful to every Drabble reader and writer for helping to make this site such an unexpected success, we want to recognize a few pieces that truly accomplished what we were setting out to do when we began this blog almost five years ago. Here (in no particular order) are a few drabbles we truly loved in 2019. We hope you do, too:

Unconditional by Toni G.

When You See Me Walk by J. Nayana Nair

The Poems I Have Not Written by John Malone

A Lie for My Boy by Roy Gomez

Lonely Photographer by Bello Olabisi

My Father by Dianne Moritz

Partners by S.B. Borgersen

My White Cane is a Magic Wand by Rebecca L. Holland

Some of the Time by Ali Grimshaw

Space Dew by Neil Clark

Your Mother, the Clown by David Derey

Darkness by G. Allen Willbanks

The Twelfth Day


By Jacqueline Moran Meyer

My neighbors hate me. As predicted, twelve-drummers-drumming showed up at my house this morning, making the neighborhood suffer through twelve deafening solos. Behind them stood replicas of the previous twelve days of gifts—three-hundred-sixty-four in total. The majority of them hungry living things.

We had one date! One! I’ll admit, the first partridge was a charming gift. By day four, when twenty birds flew around my house, I broke it off with him. Out of spite, he kept sending “gifts.”

I now have three-hundred-thirty-four lives to find homes for. Thankfully, thirty golden rings should cover the groceries.

Worst Christmas ever.
Jacqueline Moran Meyer is a small business owner living in New York who wishes there were more hours in the day. Her mantra: The only time it’s too late late to try something new is when you’re dead.

The Uses of Prayer


By Eliza Mimski

Dear Heavenly Father,

Max had the nerve to break up with me last night. I did absolutely nothing wrong. Please let him regret it and text me saying he misses me and wants to get back together. I would like flowers when he comes over, preferably roses, red ones. Also, please make him really suck up to me because I’m going to play hard to get just so he knows that if he ever breaks up with me again, it will be hell for him.

Thank You, Heavenly Father,

Your friend,


PS. I’ll be wearing my low-cut red dress.

“I write because I cannot imagine a world where I didn’t, couldn’t … It’s how I spend my time when not working.” – the writer