Welcome Home

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By Hayley Reese Chow

After a year in the desert, the polished airport linoleum shimmered like a haunting mirage of still water.

Alex hefted the olive bag on his shoulder and stepped onto the escalator, gliding down toward the gaggles of excited families and friends waiting below. He watched another Lieutenant drop his pack and rush into the arms of a squealing brunette, her rosy Santa hat falling away in the passionate embrace.

Alex fingered the ring in his pocket, the one Jen had mailed back to him with her regrets.
With a sigh, he walked past the strangers and got in a cab.

           
“I work numbers during the day and spill sentences in the wee hours of the night. Words that sit in the soul only go sour, and writing is the cheapest therapy there is.” – the writer

Wisdom Listens

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By Virginia Miranda

Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens. Jimi Hendrix

She stood in the middle of her apartment and sighed. She felt like a ship without a rudder … a compass resting on a mobile phone, her poles reversed.

On the wall hung her favorite quote – A wise woman once said, ‘Fuck this shit,’ and she lived happily ever after.

Her thoughts ebbed and flowed. Was it wisdom or courage she needed to steady the ship?

Wisdom comes from living, she decided.

As the Air France jet taxied down the runway, she felt a thrill of anticipation for the future.

           
I love the challenge of writing drabbles, of condensing my wayward thoughts into 100 meaningful words.

Fritters

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By Sian Taylor

“What the—?”
Home from work, Helen sees the eggs and flour on the kitchen floor.
Her daughter looks up from her cellphone.
“Zack was making pancakes and dropped stuff.”
“Why didn’t he clean up?”
“He ran out of time. He’s gone to soccer.”
“What about you?”
“I didn’t do it.”
She’s had enough. Helen scoops up the eggs and flour, adds corn and a slosh of milk and starts stirring.
Thirty minutes later Zack’s back, throwing his soccer gear on the table.
“What’s for dinner? I’m starving.”
“Corn fritters.”
“Great.”
The kids eat quickly.
Helen chews her cheese sandwich.

           
“I write because I really enjoy it – and it’s great if others enjoy it, too.” – the writer

Unanswered Questions

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By Foster Trecost

Regrets lined behind him like cross ties on a railroad track.

When nights lasted too long, he traded his bed for a bucket seat, but answers always lurked around the corner. Back in bed, he continued to drive.

His job involved numbers. Answers appeared with the push of a button, but they weren’t the ones he wanted. His boss asked him to leave long before he could leave on his own.

The job before that ended when he forgot to go. For fourteen straight days.

Sometimes he convinced himself it wasn’t his fault. But these illusions never lasted long.

           
“I write to change the past.” – the writer

The Wait

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By Amber M. Simpson

I wander these rows of final rest with nothing to do but miss you. This ache of longing is a small death all its own.

I run my fingertips along the hard, etched letters of your name, wishing for the warmth of your flesh instead of the chill of your stone.

How unfair it is that it should still be smooth to the right of your birthdate, while my own date of death has been carved for six months.

We bought these plots side by side so we could lie together.

Now all I can do is wait for you.

           
Amber Simpson writes because the voices in her head tell her to.

Hard Five

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By John Adams

“I’m not here to tell jokes.” He scoops up the microphone with the same confidence he practices rescuing sea otters from oil spills. “I’m here to tell truths.”

“Your ‘truths’ aren’t funny either!” a woman heckles over her Jack Daniels.

A bead of moisture forms on his forehead. “Humor distracts us from a world in crisis.”

“I wish it’d distract us from your set!” calls another rando.

The comic starts full-on sweating. “Fight the establishment!”

“Fight your booking agent!”

“Yeah!”

“Yeah!”

Defeated, he spends the rest of his five minutes talking about the wacky things people do with their butts.

           
John Adams is a founding member of That’s No Movie, an improv comedy team that plays at festivals across the United States. He lives in the Kansas City area, where he produces comedy shows and frets about writing.

Frogs and Love

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By Shaily Agrawal

At the old age home, fingers entwined, they recounted their story to the volunteers.

Debra: It was 1959. I was at the city fountain, and like all women of my age, making a wish to find true love.

Suddenly a guy bumped into me, looking scared and mortified. His fiancée was holding a frog from the fountain and laughing.

It was love at first sight.

Emma: Next day, a jar with a frog spawn sat at my doorstep with a note: “Seems like you were kissing the wrong frog, Princess. Coffee at 4, City fountain?”

We never looked back.

            
“So many stories are waiting to be told. So I hold the pen and let the stories write themselves.” – the writer