Flash Fiction Archive 2018

BRIGHT: A Bright, Shining Star B.A. Sarvey

Word: BRIGHT Word Count 470 A Bright, Shining Star B.A. Sarvey The word “bright” entered her consciousness, as she squinted her eyes open a slit. Immediately, she shut them against the light. It made her eyes hurt. No warm, soothing fluid bathed them to diffuse the brightness into a dim, all-consuming halo of protection. Why […]

BRIGHT: Bright By Anne Nassar

Word: BRIGHT Word Count 473 Bright By Anne Nassar “It’s completely unfair,” his sister said. He kept quiet. He felt the same way, but could not say so. That would just egg her on. “I took care of her for years,” his sister said, “She used to call me in the middle of the night […]

BRIGHT: Bright is Subjective by G. Ackman

Word: BRIGHT Word Count 497 Bright is Subjective by G. Ackman People had always talked about him in low whispers, as if they thought he couldn’t hear or understand their insults, couldn’t feel the bite and sting of their words. He’s not very bright, they would say. Dumb as a box of rocks. In high […]

BRIGHT: Star Light, Star Bright By Sally Madison

Word: BRIGHT Words: 500 Star Light, Star Bright By Sally Madison Mary, seeing the child responding to the doctor’s medicine after setting the arm and leg bones, softly whispered to the little boy. “I see you are awake, my friend. I’m so very glad that you are better. You gave us a good scare. My […]

BRIGHT: The Babysitters By Peg Scarano

Word: Bright Word Count: 487 The Babysitters By Peg Scarano How do you decide your children are old enough or mature enough to baby sit for their younger sibling? At 14 and 10, I believed it was time to put these two to the test with their 5 year-old sister. I had to go to […]

BRIGHT/INUDATE: Yellow-Brights By Sharon Collins

Word: BRIGHT/INUDATE Word Count 50 Yellow-Brights By Sharon Collins Towering waves lashing the cliffside frighten Sister but not me. I know they cannot reach us. I love watching the flashes turn night into day. I love the echoes that boom and bounce off the cave walls. Tonight the storm is more terrible than any I […]

CONNECTION: Evolution Chapter 20 – Inspiration By Sharon Collins

Word: Connection Word Count 499 Evolution Chapter 20 – Inspiration By Sharon Collins In this time of cold winds and raging storms, I am ever grateful to live with Yysha and my children in her cave above the waves. Yysha knows the magic of fire and its warmth and light are generous gifts when the […]

CONNECTION: Kermit By Peg Scarano

Word: Connection Word Count: 500 Kermit By Peg Scarano My mom passed away after nine months of fighting a courageous battle with cancer. It was the best of times and the worst. My brother took family medical leave and came from Florida to spend her last month with us. This time together brought us closer […]

CONNECTION: Serendipity By Sally Madison

Word: CONNECTION Word Count 495 Serendipity By Sally Madison Eric entered the Ostrava castle museum first and purchased the two tickets for Lindsey and himself. Lindsey, with her flaxen hair pulled back, was wearing a new black jacket and long skirt set. They would be visiting historical churches and she wanted to be dressed appropriately. […]

CONNECTION: Telltale Connection B.A. Sarvey

Word:Connection Word Count: 500 Telltale Connection B.A. Sarvey Initially, Gabe didn’t make the connection. He just knew the bank teller’s face jangled something at the back of his mind. ‘Star’ her nameplate stated. Having been a weekly patron for the past three years, Gabe was certain she was new. So where had he seen her? […]

CONNECTION: The 2E Shuffle By Sam McManus

Word: CONNECTION Word Count 500 The 2E Shuffle By Sam McManus The low neon lights glowed brighter for a moment, then the hustle and bustle of feet moving past dimmed their vivacity in starts and stops, like lightning bugs trapped in a glass jar. Feet in sneakers, and loafers, and sandals, and even a few […]

CONNECTION: Timil Deeps By Terry Rainey

Word: CONNECTION Word Count 500 Timil Deeps By Terry Rainey Because I lived close to OLPS, I did once a week classroom duty, washing the ancient desks and cleaning the chalkboards, full of the words of Sister Mary Xavier, SPC. While X graded papers, snorting and harrumphing, I reimagined the words on the board spelled […]

CONNECTION: World Wide Woof By Mike Cecconi

Word: CONNECTION Word Count 497 World Wide Woof By Mike Cecconi Sniffing is, of course, Dog Internet and that’s why they’re as addicted to it as we are to laptops and cellular, able to get by snuffling along low to the ground when there’s no other options but, man, when they get in that car […]

DISSONANCE: A Gram Story By Peg Scarano

Word: Dissonance Word Count: 497 A Gram Story By Peg Scarano My mother-in-law, Rosina, and I have had a love-hate relationship for nearly 50 years. The first strike against me was the fact I had no Italian blood flowing through my veins. A normal person might realize that this particular liability really wasn’t my fault, […]

DISSONANCE: A Glorious Dissonance By Jane Malin

Word: DISSONANCE Word Count 489 A Glorious Dissonance By Jane Malin I wasn’t sure what surprises were in store for today. I studied the others in the room. There was an edgy tinge in the air. I stood as my attendant fussed over me and brushed my hair. Man, did he ever brush my hair, […]

DISSONANCE: Commemorating Dissonance and Marriage B.A. Sarvey

Word: Dissonance Word count: 500 Commemorating Dissonance and Marriage B.A. Sarvey It wasn’t apparent at first, this ironic connection between Memorial Day and her wedding day. A day of sacrifices remembered, a day honoring the fallen, those who had succumbed to conflict and discord. What did this have to do with marriage? “Just pick a […]

DISSONANCE: For Want Of A Vote By Josh McMullen

Word: DISSONANCE Word Count 494 For Want Of A Vote By Josh McMullen “How am I supposed to feed my family?” It was a simple question, really, one that the senator had no trouble giving quasi-answers to on TV shows and in the newspaper. But one-on-one, with the scraggy man standing in front of him, […]

DISSONANCE: For Want Of A Vote By Josh McMullen

Word: DISSONANCE Word Count 494 For Want Of A Vote By Josh McMullen “How am I supposed to feed my family?” It was a simple question, really, one that the senator had no trouble giving quasi-answers to on TV shows and in the newspaper. But one-on-one, with the scraggy man standing in front of him, […]

DISSONANCE: Imagine That By Sam McManus

Word: DISSONANCE Word Count 500 Imagine That By Sam McManus Dr. Girard got caught cheating on his wife. Don’t ask me how I knew it. I wouldn’t sell Sheila out for any amount of money. But I have to say I took a skosh of pleasure in hearing the news, in imagining his normally smug […]

DISSONANCE: Laurel Doves Chapter 8 – The Call By Sharon Collins

Word: Dissonance Word Count 489 Laurel Doves Chapter 8 – The Call By Sharon Collins Geneviève was not the only sleepless soul this first night of cloistered freedom. Mother Superieure also stared into an empty sky, the weary moon having hidden her face behind the gathering clouds. Her mind filled with a dissonance that even […]

DISSONANCE: Letter from the Dolgeville Jail By Terry Rainey

Word: DISSONANCE Word Count 475 Letter from the Dolgeville Jail By Terry Rainey My Dear Fellow Writers, Someone read my limegreen book and counted how many words I really use each week. From 512 up to 729. Pattern of misconduct including combined words, sentence fragments, no verbs, colons, semicolons; even just deleted spaces between words. […]

DISSONANCE: The Bandwagon By Mike Cecconi

Word: DISSONANCE Word Count 500 The Bandwagon By Mike Cecconi “We could call the band The Cognitive Dissidents,” Ethan considered, “you know, like, a pun on the phrase Cognitive Dissonance?” “I know what cognitive dissonance is,” Julia acquiesced, “but don’t you think that’s too precious, too-clever-by-half?” “Yeah,” he agreed, “but it’s supposed to be pretentious, […]

DISSONANCE: You Don’t Believe By Sally Madison

Word: DISSONANCE Words: 446 You Don’t Believe By Sally Madison The trucks arrived at the dock in a midst of chaos complicated by the downpour, while the troops were executing the evacuation, efficiently as possible, but not very steadily. ‘The smell of the salt water and diesel fuel is almost a relief from obnoxious aroma […]

FEED: Big Fish Little Pond By Mike Cecconi

Word: FEED Word Count Big Fish Little Pond By Mike Cecconi Henry David Thoreau wrote about the thrills of splendid isolation in the vastness of his New England wilderness in a cabin a mile-and-a-half from town, where he could walk back to the family home to get his laundry done in forty-five minutes, where he […]

FEED: Crisis Management By Sam McManus

Word: FEED Word Count 500 Crisis Management By Sam McManus It was an absolute frenzy on the fifty-second floor, at the office of Reinhart, Ford, and Waltham, as one by one the men from the IRS exited the elevator, all suits and ties and no nonsense. They descended upon the law firm like buzzards, ready […]

FEED: ESL By Terry Rainey

Word: FEED Word Count 500 ESL By Terry Rainey My story hangs on the classroom wall, on large white paper. In Teacher’s handwriting. I admire it as I walk in. I read it, as I have many times. “My name is Rabu. I am from Thailand. I was born December 16, 1949. I came to […]

FEED: Feed By Anne Nassar

Word: FEED Word Count 503 Feed By Anne Nassar She’d taken him at his word. She believed that they would have a house near her parents’ house, that he would work and she would stay home and raise their children, and that they would have a life that was God-centered. And when she’d said, “For […]

FEED: Feed By Joshua McMullen

4/25/18 – Feed Words – 498 Feed By Joshua McMullen Lucas had admired her from across the room, and his brain along with his eyes immediately began feeding him information: mid-20s, about five-foot-three…unrealistically long ginger hair that spread like a wavy wildfire down her back…and a look that said in big, neon letters, “I DO […]

FEED: Feed the Heart By G. Ackman

Word: FEED Word Count 497 Feed the Heart By G. Ackman The tiny newborn’s front legs barely moved, but it was enough of a twitch that I knew he alone survived. His mother had exhausted herself bringing these babies into the world, and I had feared that it had all been in vain, but at […]

FEED: FEEDING FRENZY By Nan Ressue

Word: FEED Word Count 467 FEEDING FRENZY By Nan Ressue The food wars began when the baby started feeding herself while enthroned in the highchair. Food bits scattered on the tray became entertainment as they were dropped over the edge, one at a time. She had a strange fascination with spaghetti sauce. This lovely liquid […]

FEED: Grief By Sharon Collins

Word: FEED Word Count 499 Grief By Sharon Collins My daughters and I feed Yysha of late. Even the honeyed red-fruits do not tempt her. She eats only the long-eared-hoppers that we hunt. She roasts them only to get thin bones for her sewing tools. Ever since the awful night of the mock-battle, she sits […]

FEED: Happy Mother’s Day By Peg Scarano

Word: Feed Word Count: 502 Happy Mother’s Day By Peg Scarano I get overcome with a sense of serenity whenever I talk about the fact my husband and I have been living in a state of wedded bliss for nearly 44 years. You may sense a bit of sarcasm in my tone, because some recollections […]

FEED: Laurel Doves Chapter 5 By Sharon Collins

Word: FEED Word Count. 499 Laurel Doves Chapter 5 By Sharon Collins Geneviève swam back to consciousness and opened her eyes to see the broad yellow-green leaves of the sacred Laurel above her and hear Père Jean was repeating, ”Je suis dèsolè, ma petite, dèsolè…” as he tenderly tucked her wayward braids back under her […]

FEED: No Need to Feed a Dead Cat B.A. Sarvey

Word: Feed Word Count: 500 No Need to Feed a Dead Cat B.A. Sarvey She had eventually come to terms with the $700 cat in the freezer. The ghastly vet bill hadn’t left her destitute, although it had taken a huge chunk of her nest egg. The adoption had been ill-fated all around. Its aftermath […]

FEED: The Hands Wo’t Feed By Sally Madison

Word: FEED Words: 451 The Hands Wo’t Feed By Sally Madison “I got this one!”, came an angry young man’s shout. “I owes them a one or two, and I’ll make sure they get what they deserve”, pushing his way to the front of the crowd. He grabbed Mary’s wrists tightly yanking them away from […]

FRICTION: Flashy Frozen Friction Featuring Fantastic Fantasy By Maggie Robertson

Word: FRICTION Word Count: 440 Flashy Frozen Friction Featuring Fantastic Fantasy By Maggie Robertson The day was bright and sparkly, and bracingly cold. The trees shimmered with Nature’s own decorations. Wind howled bitterly, with each gust raining twig-studded diamonds onto the amalgam of ice and powder that painted the world white. It was April. Spring […]

FRICTION: Friction at Work by B.A. Sarvey

Word:Friction Friction at Work Word count: 499 B.A. Sarvey The friction of his hand sweeping crumbs from the counter whispered a rebuke. Wishing he could as easily brush the episode from his thoughts, he sloshed some coffee into his mug, grabbed the toast, and headed for the terrace. Maybe he could write her out of […]

FRICTION: Laurel Doves Chapter 2 By Sharon Collins

Word: Friction Word Count 499 Laurel Doves Chapter 2 By Sharon Collins Geneviève’s restless mind settled on her youngest traveling companions. Both girls had been waiting under the sacred Laurel Tree on that tragic day. The sprite-like Lisette and the very, very quiet Giselle had each been trained in The Way and were also under […]

FRICTION: Not the Swearing Kind By Sam McManus

Word: FRICTION Word Count 500 Not the Swearing Kind By Sam McManus He had Tourette’s, but not the swearing kind. In fact, if you didn’t know him very well you wouldn’t even suspect he had any issues. If you looked closely, however, you might notice the trembling in his right hand, the clicking of his […]

FRICTION: Simultaneous Organism By Terry Rainey

Word: FRICTION Word Count 499 Simultaneous Organism By Terry Rainey Sister Mary Xavier, Sisters of the SPC (St. Peter in Chains), commanded us to open our science books to chapter 7, Friction. My book had lost its cover and was held together by brown construction paper, softened with frequent handling. It had been in OLPS […]

FRICTION: The Night the Horrors Came By Mike Cecconi

Word: FRICTION Word Count 500 The Night the Horrors Came By Mike Cecconi They ripped one of my arms off, the monsters, and all I could do was stand there, frozen in place, unable to even scream my shock and pain. Loping squishy things, the howling shambling sacs of meat looking on my shattered limb […]

FRICTION: Traitors at the Gate By Sally Madison

Word: FRICTION Words: 484 Traitors at the Gate By Sally Madison Mary stood near the window, peering around the gold fringe of the emerald green velvet draperies that hung on the tall windows in the parlor of the mansion where she and her husband, the Lord Mayor, lived. Her handkerchief turned slowly, as she fingered […]

FUNAMBULIST: Blinking Lights By Mike Cecconi

Word: FUNAMBULIST Word Count 499 Blinking Lights By Mike Cecconi Here we are in the limbo between our flights that we call Layover, neither here nor there but more or less exactly where you’re supposed to be for now. Here we are in San Francisco and yet nowhere near a final destination. We’re in San […]

FUNAMBULIST: Fine Lines By Peg Scarano

Word: Funambulist Word Count: 460 Fine Lines By Peg Scarano There are so many times in one’s life when you have to have to walk that fine line, performing balancing acts more intricate than the finest circus juggler and more skilled than the most gifted funambulist. However, my balancing acts usually involved emotions rather than […]

FUNAMBULIST: Funambulist—a Solo Pursuit By B.A. Sarvey

Word: FUNAMBULIST Word Count 499 Funambulist—a Solo Pursuit By B.A. Sarvey I am a funambulist—not to be confused with a som-nambulist—although I may unwittingly sleep-walk. I once watched a man walk a wire over Niagara Falls. For days after that, I tied a clothesline between two chairs and tried balancing on it. The chairs kept […]

FUNAMBULIST: Funambulist’s Nightmare By Sharon Collins

Word: FUNAMBULIST Word Count 197 Funambulist’s Nightmare By Sharon Collins The dreamscape rises each night with the moon. Stretched taut before me, a twisted cable of glistening steel, a tightrope of denial spans an abyss, an endless, echoing emptiness of abandonment. Behind me, riveted iron gates, a hundred stories tall, shudder against the surging flood […]

FUNAMBULIST: Millie’s Flowers By Sally Madison

Word: FUNAMBULIST Words: 458 Millie’s Flowers By Sally Madison Sandusky, Ohio will be in Millie’s memory for every. It was just another show, just like the previous 10 years of shows. All the people had left, and there, in front of Milliie’s station, was a bouquet of flowers. They were long stemmed white cala lilies […]

FUNAMBULIST: Orthography By Sam McManus

Word: FUNAMBULIST Word Count 500 Orthography By: Sam McManus The uneven sound of my loafers slapping against the floor echoed wildly in my mind as I crossed the expanse of the stage, certain of my impending humiliation. I fiddled with the change in my pocket, as a fidget, as a grounding wire to keep me […]

FUNAMBULIST: The Dreaded F Word by G. Ackman

Word: FUNAMBULIST Word Count 350 The Dreaded F Word by G. Ackman Famous Funambulist Suffers Fatal Fall as Reported by Francis Furloff, Fox Channel Four Last Friday, February the fifth is a day that no one will soon forget. A flood of frenzied fans began gathering at four in the morning, fascinated with Frederick the […]

FUNAMBULIST: The Reluctant Funambulist

Word: FUNAMBULIST Week 46: Word Count: 476 The Reluctant Funambulist By Maggie Robertson I stand on the precipice and eye the single rope that stretches across the valley. This rope is our village’s sole connection to the rest of the world, and our protection from it. Our village cannot be reached any other way, which […]

FUTURE: A Future Trip by G. Ackman

Word: FUTURE Word Count 481 A Future Trip by G. Ackman So this is the future. Odd. It’s much quieter than I had believed it would be. Of course, this could change. So much depends on little actions. I have seen that before, although not often. I have found that humans are pretty predictable, actually. […]

FUTURE: Future By Sharon Collins

Word(s): SINGING/FUTURE Word Count 499 Future By Sharon Collins In the dreaming-dark Sister returns to me. I lean against her for warmth as we sit on the ledge at the cave’s mouth, watching the moon dance on the waves. We are happy and we are playing our favorite game. It is a singing game. At […]

FUTURE: Future Passed By Terry Rainey

Word: FUTURE Word Count 495 Future Passed By Terry Rainey We tidy up nervously before the seven-block trip to our 50th high school reunion. Canastota High School, Class of 1968. What was our daily walk to high school became, in time, our life’s path. Many of our classmates went out to the big world. A […]

FUTURE: Lessons Learned By Peg Scarano

Word: Future Word Count: 460 Lessons Learned By Peg Scarano She wasn’t an easy woman to love. She was tough on her children from childhood throughout their adulthood. She was harsh with her husband much of the time. She was short on patience and understanding. Smiles were rare. I never saw an out-right belly laugh. […]

FUTURE: Qué Sera Sera.. By Sally Madison

Word: FUTURE Word Count : 498 Qué Sera Sera.. By Sally Madison Linda timidly walked into the garage carrying the surfboard Chris had lent her. Chris, spotting her through the tangled mass of multicolored surfboards hanging from the rafters, was relieved to see her and his board return safely. Leaving the group of guys he […]

FUTURE: The Future is Now By Sam McManus

Word: FUTURE Word Count 500 The Future is Now By Sam McManus “The future is now!” read the rolling mega-screens around the Omni Convention Center. The digital signs blinked every few seconds, a singular trap for epileptics trapped on the massive floor of the cavernous space. It was impossible to avoid the mega-screens, though, if […]

FUTURE: Time Marches On By Nan Ressue

Word: FUTURE Word Count 496 Time Marches On By Nan Ressue Warm breezes stirred the leaves on the knurled trees lining the well-worn lane that led down the slope to the ancient house. Two old friends who never tired of each other’s company were sharing the porch that lovely morning, commenting on each other’s theories […]

FUTURE: Time Marches On By Nan Ressue

Word: FUTURE Word Count 483 Time Marches On By Nan Ressue Warm breezes stirred the leaves on the knurled trees lining the well-worn lane that led down the slope to the ancient house. Two old friends who never tired of each other’s company were sharing the porch that lovely morning, commenting on each other’s theories […]

FUTURE: What the Future May Hold By Mike Cecconi

Word: FUTURE Word Count 500 What the Future May Hold By Mike Cecconi My father met a lot of people for a man who never lived anywhere other than Little Falls. Dad possessed more than one lifetime’s worth of stories and he told the hell out of them. He assumed, for example, that there was […]

HELP: Atlantis Lost Chapter 5 – Value By Sharon Collins

Word: HELP Word Count 500 Atlantis Lost Chapter 5 – Value By Sharon Collins Empty hours need filling so I muse endlessly. In the dark chill of pre-dawn I find myself mulling over Value, most particularly my value in this life. I conclude that there are people whose value can be measured by how much […]

HELP: Christened by St. Michel By Sally Madison

Word: Help Words: 500 Christened by St. Michel By Sally Madison Carrying an empty basket down the rocky path from the abbey on her way to retrieve supplies, Elizabeth paused to sit and pray for a moment in St Peter’s garden. Usually she ignored the seagulls that live on the island, but not today. One […]

HELP: Not So Modest Proposal By Nan Ressue

Word: HELP Word Count 496 Not So Modest Proposal By Nan Ressue “Hey Joe! What’s up with you Man?” “Well, I just heard a great idea … “Are you going to get around to telling me or are you just going to dance around and avoid it?” “Just promise me that you will hear me […]

HELP: Perfect Harmony: One Of The Lucky Ones By Josh McMullen

Word: HELP Word Count 499 Perfect Harmony: One Of The Lucky Ones By Josh McMullen Elodie tore open the letter from Syracuse with such gusto that it became confetti in seconds. She immediately noticed the first sentences: We enjoyed your well-put-together performance. You should be proud of your commitment so far to the piano. She […]

HELP: Step right up By Terry Rainey

Word: HELP Word Count 500 Step right up By Terry Rainey Writing lots, want an eager audience for your writing? Driving long distances to writing groups in drafty libraries, uncomfortable chairs, around a mish-mash of oblong tables, full of misgiving and indigestion? You want no muss, no fuss, no spills; you want writing group nirvana? […]

INUNDATED: Color My World By Nan Ressue

Word: INUNDATED Word Count 460 Color My World By Nan Ressue My world has always inundated with color. From my current vantage point of age, I know that the shade and intensity of my colors were altered as I experienced my lifetime of challenges and rewards. When I was young and struggling through the disturbing […]

INUNDATED: Greater Atlantic Switchboard By Sam McManus

Word: INUNDATED Word Count 500 Greater Atlantic Switchboard By Sam McManus “Greater Atlantic Switchboard, this is Quinn,” proclaimed the slim girl behind the reception desk, headset protruding from her left ear, microphone poised at her lips. “Hi Quinn!” the man on the other end of the line replied, rather loudly. “I’m calling to report otters […]

INUNDATED: He’s Gone By Sally Madison

Word: INUNDATED Words: 460 He’s Gone By Sally Madison “Oh, Mary, “I’m so glad to see you here. You would not believe the councilmen’s meeting today. I was inundated with requests: the constable wants to go home after he has seen that all the tavern-goers are safely home, the teacher wants new slates, the preacher […]

INUNDATED: Her Pen By Peg Scarano

Word: Inundated Word Count: 461 Her Pen By Peg Scarano She had always loved to write. As a teen and young adult she and her pen vented her emotions through writing prose and poetry. Sometimes, her words would meander through pages and pages filled with emotions running the gamut of euphoria to despair. Not only […]

INUNDATED: Inundated by the Day by G. Ackman

Word: INUNDATED Word Count 497 Inundated by the Day by G. Ackman She sat at her desk and stared at the stacks of papers littering its top, each representing a task on her ever-growing “to do” list. She didn’t have enough time to finish any one stack, yet all were clamoring for her attention. Head […]

INUNDATED: Oil Can By Mike Cecconi

Word: INUNDATED Word Count 498 Oil Can By Mike Cecconi What do you do when you find that you’ve been rusted still into place? What will you do when you’ve lost so much of yourself you don’t even know who you are anymore? Piece and by piece replaced, in big chunks and little over days’ […]

LIGHTNING: Tonight, She Rides the Lightning By Josh McMullen

Word: LIGHTNING Word Count– 500 Tonight, She Rides the Lightning By Josh McMullen The lightning illuminated the room where they both sat, and in an instant, it was dark again. They had been sitting across the room from each other, neither saying a word since the power went out. Between them sat a phone, on […]

LIGHTNING: Free Spirit By Sally Madison

Word: LIGHTNING Words: 490 Free Spirit By Sally Madison Linda braced herself as she reached for the handle of the shop’s glass door. ‘What was she going to tell her mother?’ she thought. ‘No, I don’t have to tell her, I just won’t show her, if I place it right.’ The smell escaping from the […]

LIGHTNING: Lake of Fire By Mike Cecconi

Word: LIGHTNING Word Count 500 Lake of Fire By Mike Cecconi If God’s like a genie in a lamp but you only get one wish, I certainly wasted mine early. It felt necessary at the time, but I was just a child, I didn’t know the life I’d have laid out for me, the things […]

LIGHTNING: Lightning Nan Ressue

Word: LIGHTNING Word Count 468 Lightning Nan Ressue “Come On! Come on! Hurry Up! They are going to be out and we won’t be ready. It’s been dark for a couple hours.” “I’M really not sure I want to. They’re alive aren’t they? What’s going to happen after they been in the jar for a […]

LIGHTNING: Ridley Street Lights By: Sam McManus

Word: LIGHTNING Word Count 500 Ridley Street Lights By: Sam McManus They was brilliant even when they wasn’t, ‘cause they glory wudn’t linked to they freedom. Me and Ricardo would chase them down at twilight, when the shadows made them just visible enough to the naked eye, but not so bright they would try to […]

LIGHTNING: Rules Are Not Made to be Broken By Jenny Scarano

Word: Lightning Word Count: 499 Rules Are Not Made to be Broken By Jenny Scarano In the first grade, a special guest fireman came to talk to our class about lightning safety. Being an excellent student, I paid close attention. Number one: When thunder roars, go indoors. Pretty straightforward. What idiot would be outside anyway? […]

LIGHTNING: Shared Time (for Zach) By Sharon Collins

Word: LIGHTNING Word Count Shared Time (for Zach) By Sharon Collins What begins as the story of a Man and his Watch, ends as a story of a Man’s Mom and his Watch. My son purchased his first important timepiece, an Oris Artilier Date with skeletal movements in 2010. It acknowledged the all-important quarter-century milestone […]

LIGHTNING: The Plot to Kill Sister Mary Xavier By Terry Rainey

Word: LIGHTNING Word Count 499 The Plot to Kill Sister Mary Xavier By Terry Rainey My mother drove us home after our easy win over St. Charles. All of us had scored. Herman stole the ball three times and made two layups; Martin followed up and made the one that Herman missed. A rebound had […]

LIMBO: In the Heart of Normandie Chapter 2 – Left in Limbo By Sharon Collins

Word: LIMBO Word Count 499 In the Heart of Normandie Chapter 2 – Left in Limbo By Sharon Collins Granddad’s orders required he report by midnight on June 4th. Gram believed his rank had provided that privilege. I think her contributions to the war effort also counted. No Donut Dolly, she was one of Dilly’s […]

LIMBO: Just Be Yourself By Mike Cecconi

Word: LIMBO Word Count 500 Just Be Yourself By Mike Cecconi “If she knows God-honest magic, though, why doesn’t she just make herself television-pretty?” I asked, “If that’s the only thing holding back her dream.” “For her, it’s not that easy,” Frank said, “that’s not how magic works.” “Then why not plastic surgery, like half […]

LIMBO: Limbo Land By Nan Ressue

Word: LIMBO Word Count 463 Limbo Land By Nan Ressue What is it? Where is it? When do you get involved in it? I hear that it is a place of confinement, of neglect, a sense of being forgotten. I can think of a situation in life that fits those words which might surprise you… […]

LIMBO: Lion Tears By Sam McManus

Word: LIMBO Word Count 500 Lion Tears By Sam McManus The clock on the wall of the office was broken, but no one checked it anyway. It was an antique, replaced by cell phone displays, by Apple watches, even by FitBit exercise planners, so when anyone asked for the time it was always bypassed. It […]

LIMBO: Perfect Harmony: Get A Hit And It’s Yours By Josh McMullen

August 29 – LIMBO Words – 495 Perfect Harmony: Get A Hit And It’s Yours By Josh McMullen Elodie strode across the stage confidently and set her sheet music down on the stand. This was it: the big one. Leo said before they left that it was like bases loaded, no-out situation in the bottom […]

LIMBO: St. Felicity By Terry Rainey

Word: LIMBO Word Count 500 St. Felicity By Terry Rainey “Death!” SisterX said the word abruptly, to get me focused and a bit scared. Thomas Kepler called death a worm festival, throngs of earthy crawlers fondling my defenseless body. Before I fell asleep each night, I’d look at the picture of Susan Timberlake taped under […]

LIMINAL: A Liminal Affair By G. Ackman

Word: LIMINAL Word Count 500 A Liminal Affair By G. Ackman Caroline meandered through the open-air stalls of the Plaka district with neither destination nor purpose. She had been in Athens for over a week and her determination to fulfill her destiny was waning. She arrived here on a whim, one day finding herself unemployed, […]

LIMINAL: Laurel Doves Chapter 10 – The Hiding Game By Sharon Collins

Word: LIMINAL Word Count 499 Laurel Doves Chapter 10 – The Hiding Game By Sharon Collins “Miri, I am hungry. Have you anything good to eat in your pocket,” piped Lisette tugging on the woolen pouch tied to Miri’s waist. “ Non, ma chere, but we can look for strawberries along the path,” she promised […]

LIMINAL: Liminal Blade of Grass B.A. Sarvey

Word: Liminal Word Count: 500 Liminal Blade of Grass B.A. Sarvey In the country, the boundary line between one property and the next is imperceptible. The difference between one blade of grass and the next negligible. How then, does one determine precisely where one property ends, and the next begins? A half-mile-long picket fence? Too […]

LIMINAL: One Foot Out the Door By Peg Scarano

Word: Liminal Word Count: 486 One Foot Out the Door By Peg Scarano I started looking forward to retirement 20 months before the big day. That’s when I started counting the weeks. There were approximately 90 of them left. When I got down to a year, I started counting days – 365 – that was […]

LIMINAL: Perfect Harmony, Part Two: Elodie’s Beginning By Josh McMullen

Word: Liminal Word Count 499 Perfect Harmony, Part Two: Elodie’s Beginning By Josh McMullen Elodie had even come into this world quietly, sixteen years earlier. Though, for a baby girl who was only three and a half minutes old, quiet isn’t necessarily a good thing. All through her mother’s pregnancy, Elodie’s father, an aficionado of […]

LIMINAL: Speaking in Tongues By Sam McManus

Word: LIMINAL Word Count 500 Speaking in Tongues By Sam McManus “Not at all,” said Father Baretta. “We haven’t had any need to use a hymnal, not after the great hymnal fire of oh-two. We use the app ‘Godsongz’ now, and we’re much better for it.” Young John Hopkins shook his head, looked down at […]

LIMINAL: Spring and Winter By Sally Madison

Word: Liminal Words: 488 Spring and Winter By Sally Madison Having watched Alexandria leave his bed in the morning, her husband smiled to himself, as he slowly methodically maneuvered from his bed to his favorite sitting chair facing the garden. Alma will be bringing his morning herbal tea and brown bread any minute. ‘She thinks […]

LIMINAL: Threshold By Nan Ressue

Word: LIMINAL Word Count 379 Threshold By Nan Ressue It’s going to be tomorrow and I’m wondering if it came too soon. I thought I was ready, thoughtfully, painstakingly prepared. I realize that it was more for my mind than anything else. There was great concern on everybody’s part; endless interviews, journaling, conversations, just thinking, […]

LIMINAL: Turkey Bacon By Terry Rainey

Word: LIMINAL Word Count 501 Turkey Bacon By Terry Rainey My daughter came to live with us in the summer. She came with zero English. She’d never heard it spoken, very little of any language, apparently. Her age, I found out, was off by months on the papers. Her peers were children challenged by some […]

LIMINAL: Wigglers in West Hills By Mike Cecconi

Word: LIMINAL Word Count 500 Wigglers in West Hills By Mike Cecconi There’s a million things to be said about picking up a semen analysis specimen as a medical courier, only a handful that could be shared in polite company. Most of the time, it was not as gross as you might believe, it was […]

LUMINOUS: Disillusionment By Mike Cecconi

Word: LUMINOUS Word Count 500 Disillusionment By Mike Cecconi Finally, Frank got back to the question of why I could see him as he was, a just-under-seven-foot tall sasquatch, when everyone else only saw a street-busker who’d left his costume on inside the diner as a matter of convenience. “You know the gossip show TMZ?” […]

LUMINOUS: Like June By Sam McManus

Word: LUMINOUS Word Count 500 Like June By Sam McManus All I knew was I was never wearing a dress. It’s not like we’re in the fifties or something, when all girls had to wear were dresses, or skirts, or whatever else that let guys see up them from the bottom of a staircase. I […]

LUMINOUS: My Dearest Alexandria By Sally Madison

Word: LUMINOUS Words: 454 My Dearest Alexandria By Sally Madison My Darling Alexandria, With all my heart, I wish I could be with you this moment and every moment I take breath. I lay my head at night, I feel your soft hair resting on my arm. I see your long lashes flutter as you […]

LUMINOUS: Orbit By Terry Rainey

Word: LUMINOUS Word Count 498 Orbit By Terry Rainey I substitute a few times a week, Science this day. I appreciate the large room’s colorful depictions of the universe. I usually hand out some assignment that may not ever be checked by an adult, but this day I’m just monitoring. The kids file in and […]

LUMINOUS: Perfect Harmony: A Sky Full of Stars By Josh McMullen

Word: LUMINOUS Word Count 500 Perfect Harmony: A Sky Full of Stars By Josh McMullen Leo and Elodie clambered over the last rock, then stood in front of a lush meadow. A few feet past that, almost as if God had slammed a cosmic cookie cutter there, was a crystal-clear lake. It had been absolutely […]

LUMINOUS: Sitting Ducks By Sharon Collins

Word: LUMINOUS Word Count 482 Sitting Ducks By Sharon Collins Standing on the verge of despair, buffeted by a wet south wind blowing in off the Channel, he stared down, mesmerized by her hazel eyes. Full of worry and unshed tears, they were luminous in the starlight. Pressed tight against the full moon of her […]

LUMINOUS: The Gift By Peg Scarano

Word: Luminous Word Count: 497 The Gift By Peg Scarano She was given the gift on a special birthday by a special friend. It was a case containing six different bottles of wine. She wasn’t crazy about wine but it was the labels that were intriguing and made the gift so unique. Each denoted a […]

NEST: Curiosity By Sally Madison

Word: NEST Words: 491 Curiosity By Sally Madison Early in the day, the beekeeper was tending his hives beyond the garden when he saw a color unusual to the familiar scene. What is that royal-blue color in the distance? He squinted hard, but he could not make it out through the mesh of his face […]

NEST: May 1244 By Sharon Collins

Word: NEST Word Count 499 May 1244 By Sharon Collins The novices were as prickly as their newly shorn heads. The scabs forming on their scalps echoed those on their broken hearts. Isolated in the misery of memory, silent tears welled as six faces searched the failing light. While mourning doves cooed under the eaves, […]

NEST: N.E.S.T. Error Message 616 By Mike Cecconi

Word: NEST Word Count 498 N.E.S.T. Error Message 616 By Mike Cecconi Hello. Welcome to N.E.S.T. Natal Emulation-Simulation Therapy. If you are reading this message or receiving it as auditory stimulus, there has been an interruption in the cycle of your simulation. Do not be alarmed, these interruptions are brief and remedied by a short […]

NEST: Nest Within a Nest B.A. Sarvey

Word: Nest Word Count 500 Nest Within a Nest B.A. Sarvey How effortlessly we nest one life into another, like Russian dolls, each carved carefully to fit together, each a part of a whole, yet each a separate entity. Darlene traced her mirrored reflection, the large doll—seemingly the most detailed. This was the public part […]

NEST: No Regrets By Peg Scarano

Word: Nest Word Count: 458 No Regrets By Peg Scarano It was spring. The foliage was my favorite minty green color mixed in with the fragrances of melting snow and new life while the air rustled with a slight breeze and I heard the chirping of birds happy to be back home. As I was […]

NEST: Susan Timberlake By Terry Rainey

Word: NEST Word Count 495 Susan Timberlake By Terry Rainey I spent most of my eighth grade lunches watching Susan Timberlake eat hers. We kept our meals in cubicles under our desks and we ate at our places. Surrounded by my pals Walter, Johnny, and Herman, I’d nod at their silliness, but I furtively glanced […]

NEST: Wordsmith By Sam McManus

Word: NEST Word Count 500 Wordsmith By Sam McManus I’m what most people would call socially awkward, the kind of guy who can’t see the forest for the trees. Way too many trees. At Loma Linda High, you could say I’m often mistaken for the scenery. I didn’t get stuffed into lockers because most seniors […]

NIGHTMARE: Livin’ the Nightmare B.A. Sarvey

Word: Nightmare Word Count: 500 Livin’ the Nightmare B.A. Sarvey Some people left and never returned. Some people had to leave and come back again in order to discover who they really were. Others never left at all. Douglas had wanted, at an earlier stage, to be the first kind of person, but ended up […]

NIGHTMARE: Perfect Harmony: Shining Star By Josh McMullen

Word: Nightmare Words – 498 Perfect Harmony: Shining Star By Josh McMullen “This has to be a nightmare,” Elodie whispered to herself. “All I have to do is wake up and all this will just be one bad dream.” It wasn’t a dream, no matter how hard Elodie pinched herself or how much she convinced […]

NIGHTMARE: Regret By Sharon Collins

Word: NIGHTMARE Word Count 499 Regret By Sharon Collins “Awake!” commanded the voice that never slept even when the others did.. “Awake! Awake! Awake!” It shouted dragging all the other voices into consciousness . Immediately they took up the clamor, “Your prophecies are true. To your duty, Old Woman! To the Sanctuary! Save the children! […]

NIGHTMARE: Stalemate By Sam McManus

Word: NIGHTMARE Word Count 500 Stalemate By Sam McManus The shredder finally died on page sixty-nine, having chugged its way along for three minutes straight without benefit of respite, despite powering along for a solid year with no issues whatsoever. A pounding on the office door, like a thudding metronome, continued without cease as IRS […]

NIGHTMARE: Tam Ky By Terry Rainey

Word: NIGHTMARE Word Count 500 Tam Ky By Terry Rainey I left Chu Lai at 0930, landed at Tam Ky at 1000. With two other replacements, I was taken over to B Troop Cavalry, Second platoon. Commander Sergeant Leonard Knox looked us over from where he stood on the back of ACAV#21, pockmarked with bullet […]

NIGHTMARE: The Mourning Routine By Mike Cecconi

Word: NIGHTMARE Word Count 500 The Mourning Routine By Mike Cecconi Frank Yetti woke up late in the morning most days, there weren’t enough tourists walking down Hollywood Boulevard at ten to make the effort worth it, especially on a weekday, so he afforded himself leisurely mornings, excluding holidays or dedicated events. If there was […]

NIGHTMARE: The Pilgrimage By Sally Madison

Word: NIGHTMARE Words: 489 The Pilgrimage By Sally Madison Elizabeth trudged through the water and sand of the ebb tide’s last remains with her eyes staring at the granite rock and, hopefully, her salvation. Her slippers were sucked off as she struggled through the muck. Her dress was filthy from the last four weeks of […]

NIGHTMARE: Time Waits for No Man By Peg Scarano

Word: Nightmare Word Count: 499 Time Waits for No Man By Peg Scarano The driver, taking us from Positano to Rome where we were catching a train at noon, was late. The roads on the Amalfi Coast are treacherous and he was googling Little Falls, NY on his phone while he was driving. He explained […]

NIMBLE: A Little Southern Discomfort By Peg Scarano

Word: Nimble Word Count: 493 A Little Southern Discomfort By Peg Scarano When I was working, I loved my weekends! I was one of those people who, during the week, would do at least one or two chores a night to lighten my weekend load. By Thursday night the cleaning would be done, groceries bought, […]

NIMBLE: Denise was nimble; Denise was quick! By Jane Malin

Word: NIMBLE 492 Denise was nimble; Denise was quick! By Jane Malin I spied Denise’s gazelle-like form striding toward me in the Detroit airport. We were meeting there for the second leg of our journey to the client site in Louisville. I just smiled as I took in her 5-foot, 11-inch frame with hip bones […]

NIMBLE: Forever Nimble B.A. Sarvey

Word: Nimble Word Count: 499 Forever Nimble B.A. Sarvey Hey, guys! Thanks for stoppin’ by. Great to see you—been a while. What I don’t understand is why you seem either pissed off or choked up every time you come around. It’s Cinco de Mayo, man! Party time! You’re not still mad about last Cinco de […]

NIMBLE: Goodnight Earth By Mike Cecconi

Word: NIMBLE Word Count 499 Goodnight Earth By Mike Cecconi “Gramma,” Jasmine asked, “one more tonight?” “All right,” her grandma pretended to chide but was happy to oblige, “one more then your mom says you must sleep for school tomorrow.” “Oh-kaaay,” the girl responded, propping herself higher with pillows, disappointment directed toward her mother in […]

NIMBLE: I Don’t Dance (Or Do I?) By Josh McMullen

May 2 – Nimble Words – 498 I Don’t Dance (Or Do I?) By Josh McMullen “Hi…I’m Brooke,” the strange girl in front of Ethan said, extending her hand. “Would you like to dance? With me, I mean…” He didn’t; at least, he didn’t think he’d make a very good dance partner. Ethan had always […]

NIMBLE: John Bernard By Terry Rainey

Word: NIMBLE Word Count 500 John Bernard By Terry Rainey Friday after lunch, Sister Xavier, SPC, cleared her throat, and called us to attention. “History books. Chapter 12. 1865-1893. America after the Civil War. Mark Twain called it The Gilded Age.” SisterX slightly bowed to Twain’s portrait on the wall. She was the only nun […]

NIMBLE: Laurel Doves By Sharon Collins Chapter 6: Sisters

Word: NIMBLE Word Count 499 Laurel Doves By Sharon Collins Chapter 6: Sisters Walking along late spring byways, bursting with riotous color, the bishop and his little flock continued their dangerous journey. Each evening found them settled at an inn where neither Père Jean’s authority nor bottomless purse were questioned, and the girls had a […]

NIMBLE: Mom Be Nimble By Emily Scarano

Word: Nimble (2) Word Count: 455 Mom Be Nimble By Emily Scarano It was the end of another fun afternoon playing with my cousin John at his house around the corner. The grown-ups had been in the other room all day doing who knows what when Mom and Dad came and told me it was […]

NIMBLE: Nimble and Fleet By G. Ackman

Word: NIMBLE Word Count 467 Nimble and Fleet By G. Ackman “Come on, come on. All you people sit down and let’s go. Are you ready yet? Huh? Huh? I am. Here comes Brennan. Ok, let’s go. Oh,yeah, he’s telling them all about the fluffy toys. Like anyone really cares. They’re so stupid – but […]

NIMBLE: Nimble By Marea Needle

Word: NIMBLE Word Count 232 Nimble By Marea Needle I pick up canapés and nibble. Oh, I mean nimble, silly me. Drop the olives, celery and cheap crudities. I’m looking for the allure of risqué: bacon wrapping its body around a chicken breast, Florentine something on a stick, Swedish meatballs served by a strapping Swede. […]

NIMBLE: Synthesis By Sam McManus

Word: NIMBLE Word Count 500 Synthesis By Sam McManus The artificial lung hung on the wall as it had for 265 days, or as long as Allison had been at her job, give or take a day. It wasn’t there to commemorate her promotion, however. It was there for its own reason that the brass […]

NIMBLE: The Sheppard Boy By Sally Madison

Word: NIMBLE Words: 476 The Sheppard Boy By Sally Madison Kolya watched from high up the hillside, where he and his goats had been living these past few weeks. A caravan of families in brightly colored wagons was passing below. He knew it was not the Turks, but was not sure who they were. Content […]

PHANTOM: Down Draft By Sally Madison

Word: Phantom Words: 476 Down Draft By Sally Madison Eleanor was frozen, awestruck, at the sound and fury coming from the west. Hurricanes were a whisper compared to the huge roaring phantom locomotive that was barreling across the plains. The thirty-foot wake of dirt, gradated from near-black at the ground to a tan in the […]

PHANTOM: Grounded By Mike Cecconi

Word: PHANTOM Word Count 500 Grounded By Mike Cecconi They said it was the most humane way they had to “deal” with us but some days, I’m not so sure. I mean, I’m glad they didn’t kill me. I’m glad I’m not a guinea pig locked up in some laboratory somewhere, I’m glad I’m not […]

PHANTOM: Phantom By Anne Nassar

Word: PHANTOM Word Count 525 Phantom By Anne Nassar He had four days off from school. He felt like an intruder at home, so he decided to go and stay with his sister in her dorm room. He knew that no matter what else she had going on, she would be happy to see him, […]

PHANTOM: Phantom By Nan Ressue

Word: PHANTOM Word Count 493 Phantom By Nan Ressue “STOP IT! STOP IT RIGHT NOW, DAMN IT,” I yelled in my most intimidating voice. “How do you think I am going to sleep if you keep running up and down the stairs?”, addressing my question to thin air with a scowl on my face and […]

PHANTOM: Phantom Shadow By Sharon Collins

Word: Phantom Word Count 499 Phantom Shadow By Sharon Collins I wake sprawled on the ledge and damp with sea-spray. Struggling to stand, I discover I hurt and I think one of my teeth is loose. I probe with my finger. Yes, one of the grinders wiggles and it should not. I touch the throbbing […]

PHANTOM: The Lucky One By Sam McManus

Word: PHANTOM Word Count 500 The Lucky One By Sam McManus Ray rolled over in bed, restless, as he tossed, and turned, and tried to get back to sleep, but nothing seemed to work. The sheep danced above his head in what he could only describe as a tango, not remotely interested in jumping meekly […]

PHANTOM: The Twilight Zone By Peg Scarano

Word: Phantom Word Count: 498 The Twilight Zone By Peg Scarano When a first newborn arrives home, the life of the young family is forever changed. This fact cannot be fully comprehended until it happens. There are no words to explain it or any mental, physical and emotional preparation program. You just have to live […]

PLAYING: “FISH STORY” By Nan Ressue

Word: PLAYING Word Count 338 “FISH STORY” By Nan Ressue Their private lake was that luscious, smooth, sheet of turquoise, beautiful calm waters with a kiss of warm sunshine. It was a perfect day for them to be outdoors, enjoying both the shore and its margins, small scale adventure, safe for children. The blue heron […]

PLAYING: Apocalypse By Mike Ceccoini

Word: PLAYING Word Count 500 Apocalypse By Mike Ceccoini When the zombies finally arrived, it turned out the movies got a few things right and a lot more wrong. Yes, zombies are the animated dead and yes, they crave the flesh of the living but beyond that, as with most things Hollywood, all the nuance […]

PLAYING: Changes By Sharon Collins

Word: Playing Word Count 487 Changes By Sharon Collins The cool air has been with us now for all the faces of the moon and Yysha must store food for the time of the Long-Dark. We left our cave with the sunrise and now the sun is high. We have taken Pine and Frost away […]

PLAYING: Diary By Terry Rainey

Word: PLAYING Word Count 497 Diary By Terry Rainey I look out the kitchen window of wheat farm near Kenosha. In the clearing, my husband of thirty years, John, is playing baseball with our two grandsons, Will and Teddy. It is October 1908. Yet the memory of December 30, 1864, in Clinton, New York overwhelms […]

PLAYING: Just Playing By B.A. Sarvey

Word: Playing Word count: 500 Just Playing B. A. Sarvey He pulled up to the motel, almost hoping she wouldn’t be there. But her car was parked in front of number eight. He parked a couple spaces down. Besides the proprietor’s vehicle, the only other car, in front of seventeen, had out-of-state plates. “Mr. and […]

PLAYING: Lamentations By Sam McManus

Word: Playing Word Count 500 Lamentations By Sam McManus My dad died when I was five, so I don’t have any solid recollections of him. Sometimes I have flashes of work boots, worn and muddied, standing sentinel near the back door. Every once in a while I think I remember his laugh, guttural and deep. […]

PLAYING: Orders By Sally Madison

Word: PLAYING Words: 493 Orders By Sally Madison Chris came crashing into Linda’s apartment exclaiming, “Did you hear it!? Did you hear it!?” He grabbed Murray, the speckled collie, by the fur on the sides for his neck and give him a playful shake, shake, shake, as usual. Lifting her sad eyes from the nursing […]

PLAYING: Playing for Keeps by G. Ackman

Word: PLAYING Word Count 500 Playing for Keeps by G. Ackman Janine’s attention was not on the game. They had been playing it for hours now and it didn’t seem like it was going to end anytime soon. Her backside hurt from sitting so long and she was tired, hungry, and very grumpy. They had […]

PLAYING: The Tales of Tails – Fix It Please! By Peg Scarano

Word: Playing Word Count: 496 The Tales of Tails – Fix It Please! By Peg Scarano After a short trip in my portable prison, I found myself in totally different surroundings. It took me several days to acclimate myself. I spent hours and hours exploring every nook and cranny of this new place to assure […]

REFLECTION: Cast No Shadow By Sam McManus

Word: REFLECTION Word Count 500 Cast No Shadow By Sam McManus I woke up this morning on the left side of the bed. I usually sleep right. Such a small idiosyncrasy but something I couldn’t help noticing, and this one niggled at the edges of my brain a bit more than the others. Because it […]

REFLECTION: Laurel Doves Chapter 7 By Sharon Collins

Word: REFLECTION Word Count 499 Laurel Doves Chapter 7 By Sharon Collins With the matters of food for the body and food for the soul settled, and ruffled feathers smoothed, the girls sank into the noon-warmed grass. They shared a simple, travelers’ meal of bread, hard cheese, and sips of well-watered, red Languedoc wine. However, […]

REFLECTION: Memories in Silver By Josh McMullen

Word: REFLECTION Words Count 493 Memories in Silver By Josh McMullen Joy could see her reflection in the silver locket she held in her hand, and for some reason, she felt safe. It had been given to her eight years prior by Gabriel as a birthday present, and she had mistaken it for a ring […]

REFLECTION: My Brother, My Reflection By G. Ackman

Word: REFLECTION Word Count 499 My Brother, My Reflection By G. Ackman Mom, mom. He’s here again. Here – in your closet. . Come quick and see. Mom, mom. Look at him. And he’s barking. I can’t hear him, but I see his mouth open and he’s hopping backwards a bit, so he must be […]

REFLECTION: Physical Education By Terry Rainey

Word: REFLECTION Word Count 500 Physical Education By Terry Rainey Mr. Radatz, ex-Marine, buzz cut, square-jawed and flinty, taught us physical education Wednesdays and Fridays. His ever-present tobacco wad garbled his words but didn’t conceal the anger and urgency. Everything he said sounded like a verdict. Legend had it that he had taken Okinawa single-handedly. […]

REFLECTION: Reflection By Anne Nassar

Word: REFLECTION Word Count 501 Reflection By Anne Nassar He wouldn’t tell them anything. So, they guessed: he was a teacher from the city, and he had a nagging wife who wouldn’t put out. He had a small dog that he around carried under his arm. He tried to laugh it off, but he couldn’t […]

REFLECTION: Reflection on a Life Gone Wrong B.A. Sarvey

Word: Reflection Word count: 500 Reflection on a Life Gone Wrong B.A. Sarvey No remorse that he was gone. If anything, she felt relief. No remorse that she had wished him so. She was, after all, not the cause of it. Even if she had told herself the only way she would be free of […]

REFLECTION: Reflections By Jane Malin

Word: REFLECTION Word Count 458 Reflections By Jane Malin I came across a photo today, one that always makes me pause to think about life. Not just my life, but a more global panorama. The photo is one of my most treasured possessions. It depicts my stepson, John, during his deployment for Desert Storm and […]

REFLECTION: The Comb By Sally Madison

Word: Reflection Words: 477 The Comb By Sally Madison Peter bent to one knee, bringing his unusual height down to Alexandria, as she sat in front of the mirror in her boudoir. “I brought you a gift, my dear,” he commented as he carefully, took the comb out of its box. He knew of her […]

REFLECTION: Unintended Consequences By Mike Cecconi

Word: REFLECTION Word Count: 500 Unintended Consequences By Mike Cecconi In every timeline where we killed Hitler early, things ended up as least as bad. Usually worse. Here at Zeitgeist Time Management, sitting outside of causality, we learned this the hard way. Every fresh staff member, that’s the first thing they want to do, kill […]

RETICENT: Of a Feather By Mike Cecconi

Word: RETICENT Word Count 491 Of a Feather By Mike Cecconi She was reticent to talk about it with her family or her friends but she knew she’d have to break it off with him. They’d met when he was working the bird desk at the biggest pet store in the area and she was […]

RETICENT: Reticent by Nature B.A. Sarvey

Word: Reticent 500 words Reticent by Nature B.A. Sarvey Daylight’s allotted time is lengthening. This is good, because winter’s prolonged darkness encourages my reticence. Given the chance, I would become a hermit, seeing no one, speaking to no one. I am reluctant to leave the comfort of my home at any hour, but more-so once […]

RETICENT: Shy Smiles By Sharon Collins

Word: Reticent Word Count 500 Shy Smiles By Sharon Collins Sister is shy. So am I. It is difficult not to be shy when you look so different from the rest. I think about how different Sister looks from other wolves. In the deep pine-shadows of the forest, she must have shone like a ray […]

RETICENT: That’s Using Your Head By Peg Scarano

Word: Reticent Word Count: 480 That’s Using Your Head By Peg Scarano For as long as I can remember, I have been an outgoing person. I love meeting people and talking to friends and associates – old and new. I believe this trait was an asset in my career of marketing, community services and fund […]

RETICENT: Would You Like Desert? By Sally Madison

Word: RETICENT Words: 491 Would You Like Desert? By Sally Madison The dinner was over and the young women were picking up the dishes to take to the kitchen of their student residence, when the door knocker sounded. “I’ll get it,” said Eloise, the house matron, as she proceeded to the door. “Oh, hello, Prescott, […]

RIGHT: Bathwater By Mike Cecconi

Word: RIGHT Word Count 498 Bathwater By Mike Cecconi You wake up knowing you died yesterday yet here you are, safe in bed. This isn’t the first time, it’s happened often enough to lose count, dead but alive, no one else able to recall a thing. You only remember it hazily yourself, like a film […]

RIGHT: Choices By Sharon Collins

Word: RIGHT Word Count 499 Choices By Sharon Collins The right choice feels very much like the wrong choice. I know that Shadow cannot remain with us. He was born wild and lives wild. Sister was born wild, this is true, but she lives with myself. We are not an entire clan, but we are […]

RIGHT: Make the Right Move (But Watch Where You Step) By Maggie Robertson

Week 51: Right Word Count: 490 Make the Right Move (But Watch Where You Step) By Maggie Robertson “Dad, the sheep are out, and in your Mother’s garden again!” Our fences never seemed to work. I have a classic photo from my childhood; my father is fixing the fence, with the two pigs, the calf, […]

RIGHT: Mr. Right By Terry Rainey

Word: RIGHT Word Count 498 Mr. Right By Terry Rainey Friday afternoon, New York. Hoping to get to Washington for dinner. Hot, muggy 7th Avenue, then hellish Penn Station. No track announcement for the 3:35 Northeast Regional 173 till 3:25, creating a packed herd of people jockeying for position. Watching the cattle converge on the […]

RIGHT: Right By Anne Nassar

Word: RIGHT Word Count 453 Right By Anne Nassar He was happy, sleeping on Gosia’s dorm room floor, in the narrow passage in between her bed and her roomate’s. Her friends were nice to him. They stole him food from the cafeteria. They fought over who would take him to class as their guest. They […]

RIGHT: Seventeen Miles to Reseda By Sam McManus

Word: RIGHT Word Count 500 Seventeen Miles to Reseda By Sam McManus The highway was long, from Long Beach, down to Reseda, and beyond, snaking like tendrils in two different directions, one through the desert and the other through patches of civilization, but both packed with cars. If you peered long enough out the back […]

RIGHT: Spare Me By Peg Scarano

Word: Right Word Count: 498 Spare Me By Peg Scarano My oldest daughter did well academically and while she didn’t excel in sports, she always gave it her all. When she was in middle school, she decided to join the bowling team. It was right up her alley as it didn’t matter what the weather […]

SCULPTURE: ‘Venus of Petrkovice’ By Sally Madison

Word: SCULPTURE Words: 500 ‘Venus of Petrkovice’ By Sally Madison Walking back to the castle from the market square, Kolya came to across his daughter, Alma, and her playmates, Alexandria and Wanda. Wanda was taking a drink of the pond water after cleaning a new found treasure. Wanda stretched out her hand to show Kolya, […]

SCULPTURE: No Michaelangelo By Peg Scarano

Word: Sculpture Word Count: 471 No Michaelangelo By Peg Scarano Last week Sam told us God dropped dead at a board meeting while all the apostles, angels and saints sat there dumbfounded. This scenario got my mind whirling. Could God really die? Many times in the past I have thought perhaps God really did desert […]

SCULPTURE: On Your Own By Mike Cecconi

Word: SCULPTURE Word Count 498 On Your Own By Mike Cecconi God sat at Her desk, being interviewed for some documentary: “Humans, not my best work, I’ll admit. Kind of a rush-job. I was having trouble with the husband at the time, most of R&D was tied up in that Creating Whales project I was […]

SCULPTURE: Rendezvous By Sam McManus

Word: SCULPTURE Word Count 500 Rendezvous By Sam McManus The room was frightfully bare, save for the indentation where a fireplace used to stand, a starkly clean wooden desk in the center of the space, a chair that matched the desk, and the sculpture of Annie Lennox next to the window overlooking the San Fernando […]

SCULPTURE: Sculpture By Sharon Collins

Word: SCULPTURE Word Count 499 Sculpture By Sharon Collins The horror of Storm’s passing fades slowly. Yysha grieves still, and believes so should Frost and Shadow. They may have in the beginning, but do so no longer: in their hearts, I believe they are glad to have his share of the food. Rising to block […]

SCULPTURE: Sculpture of the Future By G. Ackman

Word: SCULPTURE Word Count: 491 Sculpture of the Future By G. Ackman Twenty-five desks sit in silent witness to the year, dust bunnies underneath them, smears of thankfully unknown substances on their tops. They have held, sheltered, and/or restrained a total of ninety-three students this year and well over a thousand through their lifetimes. The […]

SCULPTURE: The A Team By Jane Malin

Word: SCULPTURE Word Count 496 The A Team By Jane Malin One September several decades ago, Joe, a family friend purchased a brand new rifle in preparation for the upcoming deer season. At the time, I owned a husband, Bill, who was Joe’s conspiratorial good friend. They were inseparable. They hunted together. They were volunteer […]

SCULPTURE: The Rathenbooler By Terry Rainey

Word: SCULPTURE Word Count 486 The Rathenbooler By Terry Rainey Belinda gave it to me for my birthday. She’d cooked a dinner of Chicken Belinda and Jeff –she often named dishes after the people in her life – and I had to wait in the bathroom while she got it ready. I was thumbing through […]

SINGING: Birdsong By Sharon Collins

Word: SINGING Word Count 233 Birdsong By Sharon Collins She sits in the early-morning midst of March-birdsong. Bold Black Birds, greedy Jays, silly Speckled Starlings, Cardinals in their Crimson finery, bashful Mourning Doves, curious Chickadees, Woodpeckers, Downy and Flicker, their singing makes her sad. Their natural symphony, organic and unorganized, a cacophony really, performed from […]

SINGING: Clickety-Clack By Sally Madison

Word: SINGING Words: 496 Clickety-Clack By Sally Madison “Oh Mrs. Painter, nice to see you riding with us again,” said the conductor, as the matronly woman approached the passenger rail car. “I say, there is a young woman who is riding with us from St. Louis, going east to a university. This is her first […]

SINGING: Edward Hastings By Terry Rainey

Word: SINGING Word Count 498 Edward Hastings By Terry Rainey Trudging through the skeletons of the cut corn stalks, my Father carried my Brother Edward’s lifeless body across the field leading up to our house. As he came up the slight rise towards the house, I could see his red, swollen face, his heaving shoulders […]

SINGING: Finding Your Voice By Mike Cecconi

Word: SINGING Word Count 488 Finding Your Voice By Mike Cecconi She always called it a curse, even though it was all caused by a small benign tumor in her brain. She wondered aloud if she’d run afoul of Romani travelers or Vodou practitioners enough times to learn how you’re not supposed to call Romani […]

SINGING: Me and Ricardo By Sam McManus

Word: SINGING Word Count 500 Me and Ricardo By Sam McManus When I was a kid I thought I would live forever. There was just something about that childhood optimism that was both refreshing and naïve at the same time. Old Pete and Raheim used to stand on the corner slinging rock, telling us kids […]

SINGING: Singing Away the Rain by B.A. Sarvey

Word: Singing Word count: 500 Singing Away the Rain B.A. Sarvey Dear Rupert 67A, Your letter found me today. Communications aren’t always reliable here on Earth, especially in the River Region. I appreciate your efforts to locate me. Yes, I remember you. To say I’ve been haunted daily by that event is neither true nor […]

SINGING: Singing from the Heart by G. Ackman

Word: SINGING Word Count 492 Singing from the Heart by G. Ackman I woke to the sound of singing. I recognized the song and the voice, but how could that be? She wasn’t here. She used to sing it to me anytime I was sick or hurt or sad. Sometimes I think she sang it […]

SINGING: The Tales of Tails By Peg Scarano

Word: Singing Word Count: 498 The Tales of Tails By Peg Scarano I’m guessing, whether you are human or feline, you are wondering how I got stuck with the name “Tails”. Many humans go through life disliking their names because they were named after a great-great grandparent, a distant aunt or uncle or their parents […]

SMITTEN: Baltimore Catechism By Terry Rainey

Word: SMITTEN Word Count 500 Baltimore Catechism By Terry Rainey On Fridays, Father Badassari taught confirmation preparation, mostly by rote repetition. He let us choose our seating, while he perched on a stool, relaxed, with a knowing wink in his eye. I sat in the back with Herman and Martin, Baltimore Catechism books in our […]

SMITTEN: Calm After the Storm By Sharon Collins

Smitten Word Count 499 Calm After the Storm By Sharon Collins My sapphire daughter is smitten with this wild land called Mynydd Preseli whence everywhere is tilted gray. Truth be told, it is not the gray mountains as much as it is the stones, the bluestones in whose presence she now happily chimes. For this […]

SMITTEN: Perfect Harmony: It’s Going To Be Hard By Josh McMullen

Word: SMITTEN Word Count: 500 Perfect Harmony: It’s Going To Be Hard By Josh McMullen They walked back to their hotel room after the game, exhausted but excited. They had seen what the Diamond Dawgs could offer, and a contract was on the way to Leo’s house first thing in the morning. Next June, it […]

SMITTEN: Running to Stand Still By Sam McManus

Word: SMITTEN Word Count: 500 Running to Stand Still By Sam McManus Ninth grade was hell, an absolute apocalypse in the middle of a nuclear war, the first taste of a special brand of revenge for something I didn’t realize I had even done. Maybe it was all just because I was the one who […]

SMITTEN: Smitten By Nan Ressue

Word: SMITTEN Word Count 499 Smitten By Nan Ressue I was in that cage a long time. I know it’s an improvement over dirty, neglected, hungry and lonely but so many weeks went by that I was getting depressed, waiting for somebody to notice me when inquiring families came to the shelter. They aren’t all […]

SMITTEN: The Guards of San Malo By Sally Madison

Word: Smitten Words: 497 The Guards of San Malo By Sally Madison Returning to St. Mary’s School for Girls, Elizabeth descended from the carriage. “It was so kind of you to bring me to San Malo, Monsieur Voltaire. When you return to London and if you see Lord Duncan, please tell him that you found […]

SMITTEN: The Love Bug Bites By Peg Scarano

Word: Smitten Word Count: 497 The Love Bug Bites By Peg Scarano So many emotions echoed through me when Jenny told us she was pregnant with my first grandchild. Excitement, anticipation and happiness topped the list. After a few hours, the mom madness made its way into my mind and I started battling with trepidation, […]

SMITTEN: The Twenty-seven Club By Mike Cecconi

Word: SMITTEN Word Count 496 The Twenty-seven Club By Mike Cecconi I am no longer merely older than that age when celebrities die tragically to lock in their iconic beauty forever, some put it around twenty-seven, in fact I am almost too old to even be socially accepted dating someone in that range. If I […]

SPIRIT: Are You Kitten Me?! By Peg Scarano

Word: Spirit Word Count: 474 Are You Kitten Me?! By Peg Scarano When we first moved to our neighborhood 36 years ago, there was an elderly lady and a cat that lived three houses away. I’ll call her, Mrs. K, and her cat, Cat. During the warm summer nights when our bedroom windows were open […]

SPIRIT: Readying By Sharon Collins

Word: Spirit Word Count 499 Readying By Sharon Collins The long-necked, honking-birds have finished journeying toward the Land of the Endless-Ice. The danger of river-floods is past and the humming-biters no longer feed on me and make me itch. My fingers are the color of the sky from picking berries that grow on the low […]

SPIRIT: A Silver Lining in Paris By Sally Madison

Word: SPIRIT Words: 497 A Silver Lining in Paris By Sally Madison The butler knocked gently at Elizabeth’s door. “Entre” she called out. “There is a gentleman to see you, Mademoiselle,” he announced, as he averted his eyes from her, lying in bed, surrounded by pillows. He lowered the silver tray, so she could reach […]

SPIRIT: Confessions By Sam McManus

Word: SPIRIT Word Count 500 Confessions By Sam McManus He wasn’t traditional in any sense of the word, save the sense of mortality he felt every second of every day. Otherwise he was as varied as you could possibly get, which was funny since he wore mostly black, some white, and a face generally wiped […]

SPIRIT: Like a Natural Wolf Man By Mike Cecconi

Word: SPIRIT Word Count 491 Like a Natural Wolf Man By Mike Cecconi So much of my writing starts by mishearing something and then the misunderstanding turns out to be more interesting than the original intent. I’ve written more than four hundred parody songs, sitting in a Microsoft Word file on my computer somewhere, because […]

SPIRIT: Spirit By Anne Nassar

Word:SPIRIT Word Count 445 Spirit By Anne Nassar “Vivian pursued a variety of feminine pastimes.” For the first time ever, Alek thought about his mother’s life. His mother made macrame plant hangers. She constructed wreaths out of fake flowers and plastic pinecones. She painted ceramic tabletop holiday ornaments: Easter bunnies, jack-o’-lanterns, snowmen. She pressed flowers […]

SPIRIT: Spirit By Nan Ressue

Word: SPIRIT Word Count 210 Spirit By Nan Ressue I envision that core strength of inner spirit as a small, golden, tapered flame, upright and glowing, protected on each side by cupped hands, pure and steady, inextinguishable. It is representative of truth, beauty, dedication, and goodness. It may be disfigured or diminished by painful circumstances […]

SPIRIT: Spirit By Nan Ressue

Word: SPIRIT Word Count 210 Spirit By Nan Ressue I envision that core strength of inner spirit as a small, golden, tapered flame, upright and glowing, protected on each side by cupped hands, pure and steady, inextinguishable. It is representative of truth, beauty, dedication, and goodness. It may be disfigured or diminished by painful circumstances […]

SPRING: All the Lonely People By Sally Madison

Word: SPRING Words: 500 All the Lonely People By Sally Madison Eleanor, with hunched shoulders, shuffled as she carried a brown paper sack that leaked juice from a smashed tomato, when the sack split, freeing the eggs, bread, and rice in front of the church. She collapsed to her knees with a burst of tears, […]

SPRING: Give Me a Break By Peg Scarano

Word: Spring Word Count: 487 Give Me a Break By Peg Scarano It’s supposed to be the time of year when the dirty snows of winter melt away the salt and grime that collected in our streets and in our lives over the past four or five months. The days get longer in spite of […]

SPRING: Laurel Doves By Sharon Collins Chapter 3

Word: SPRING Word Count 499 Laurel Doves By Sharon Collins Chapter 3 Père Jean, Grand-mère’s gracious friend, appeared in the doorway of her dreaming. “It is time Isobel! She and the others must attend me now!” With quick kisses, moist upon both cheeks and the whispered word, “Demori,” lingering in her ears, Geneviève bade farewell […]

SPRING: Spring By Nan Ressue

Word: SPRING Word Count 429 Spring By Nan Ressue Many of us have seen you. We have all wondered at those swirling orbs overhead, those group formations of mysterious shapes, some modest, some gargantuan. We know about the vehicles which execute breath taking aerial maneuvers as they accompany aircraft in flight. We have heard about […]

SPRING: Spring Hopes Infernal By Maggie Robertson

Word: Spring Word Count: 482 Spring Hopes Infernal By Maggie Robertson Interesting how humbling and humiliating both begin with hum, as it’s what happens when you forget the words. She fancied herself a writer, but the words would not come. Her mind seemed as barren as the hillsides she gazed upon as she sat by […]

SPRING: Spring of Wisdom By B.A. Sarvey

Word: Spring Word Count: 500 Spring of Wisdom B.A. Sarvey It began as a trickle—an inkling of an idea. Out of a crevice in the bedrock, it seeped up and burbled: clean, clear, cold. Constant renewal, as water flowed from the depths of the earth, kept it that way. As a wee mite—barely four—she discovered […]

SPRING: Sunday Morning By Sam McManus

Word: SPRING Word Count 500 Sunday Morning By Sam McManus Every other Sunday morning I called shotgun, which meant I also had to load the jugs into the trunk of the station wagon, but I didn’t mind. “It’s not fair,” my brother said. It was his own fault he was too slow. “It’s your fault […]

SULLEN: Ellipsis By Mike Cecconi

Word: SULLEN Word Count 499 Ellipsis By Mike Cecconi She was beautiful, everyone around there was, that slightly sullen hiding how tired you are kind of beautiful you’d see in actresses and actors, beautiful like grocery-store produce kept ripe for weeks through chemical exposure, a waxen sheen to gloss over impending collapse into despair. That […]

SULLEN: Good News By Sally Madison

Word: SULLEN Words: 499 Good News By Sally Madison Sitting in her feather bed, Alexandria stared out the window at the birds re-nesting in the tree that she had fallen from. If only she had been patient and left the birds alone, both she and the birds would be happier for it. Some days the […]

SULLEN: Honeymoon By Terry Rainey

Word: SULLEN Word Count 499 Honeymoon By Terry Rainey September 3, 1944, a New York City Monday, 91 degrees in the muggy dense air of Yankee Stadium. She was dazzled by the war bonds signs, the large scoreboard, and the green expanse of the playing field. Green, a deeper green than any she’d ever seen […]

SULLEN: Laurel Doves – Chapter 11 The Dawning By Sharon Collins

Word: SULLEN Word Count 499 Laurel Doves – Chapter 11 The Dawning By Sharon Collins Giselle’s whinny broke the pre-dawn silence. Five bald heads poked out of their blankets . Giselle tossed and repeated what could only be described as the frightened whinny of a colt. “Oh no, she is whinnying again!” yawned Lisette. “What […]

SULLEN: Missing Greenleaf By Sam McManus

Word: SULLEN Word Count 500 Missing Greenleaf By Sam McManus Harrison Waltham III had grown up a mere three blocks from the railroad tracks, a fact that earned him a gossip rating of thirteen in the small town of Greenleaf, Ohio, which was better than some of his classmates but worse than the majority. Then, […]

Sullen: Oh, Brother By Peg Scarano

Word: Sullen Word Count: 490 Oh, Brother By Peg Scarano By now, 5-year-old Julie had gotten used to my burgeoning belly and waddling walk. She finally understood that there was a baby in my body who was going to magically appear soon. She had all her hopes pegged on the baby being a little boy […]

SULLEN: Perfect Harmony, Part Three: Leo’s Beginning By Josh McMullen

Word: SULLEN Words – 495 Perfect Harmony, Part Three: Leo’s Beginning By Josh McMullen Leo, on the other hand, came into the world the same way he would for most of his sixteen years of life: as the center of attention. He punctuated his first minute of life with a piercing cry that the nurses […]

SULLEN: Sullen By Anne Nassar

Word: SULLEN Word Count 493 Sullen By Anne Nassar Neither of them really understood what it was to lose somebody. Her grandpa had died, but he lived far away and she only ever saw him on holidays. He’d lost an uncle, but the uncle had been a drug addict and his mother forbade him to […]

SULLEN: Sullen Skies B.A. Sarvey

Word: Sullen Word Count: 500 Sullen Skies B.A. Sarvey I have no right. No right to ask anything of you, certainly not comforting words. Precious minutes should not be spent on someone you knew once-upon-a-time. We re-acquainted quite accidentally, me with a sheaf of poems in my hands and you with time on yours. You […]

THREAT: Kolya’s Release By Sally Madison

Word: THREAT Words: 493 Kolya’s Release By Sally Madison Watching from afar, the Duke studied the horses in the make-shift corral. The young rom cleaned the temporary stable and fed the horses by himself, then began adroitly training the horses. Emperor Macmillan II had founded a new breed called the Kaldruber. A Spanish foundation stock […]

THREAT: Laurel Doves Chapter 9. The Hiding Game By Sharon Collins

Word: THREAT Word Count 499 Laurel Doves Chapter 9. The Hiding Game By Sharon Collins As Mother Superior’s thoughts deepened, the dreams of another sleeping dove darkened into nightmare. Lisette again played the Hiding Game. Alone, her six-year-old-self scratched the dirt, mimicking others she had watched. But her efforts were useless. There was nothing to […]

THREAT: Masked Marauder By Peg Scarano

Word: Threat Word Count: 489 Masked Marauder By Peg Scarano It was mid-June. The doors and windows were open to let in the fresh summer breezes. The two older girls were finishing up their last days of school. It was a little after one and Emily was watching the Wizard of Oz for probably the […]

THREAT: Modern Change By Sam McManus

Word: THREAT Word Count 500 Modern Change By Sam McManus “Give it another chance,” she said, as she sat on the picnic table in her peasant blouse and plaid skirt. She was a picture of the modern woman, secure in her demeanor, waiting for the world to catch up. “This was the third time,” he […]

THREAT: Pencil By Terry Rainey

Word: THREAT Word Count 498 Pencil By Terry Rainey Sister Mary Xavier, SPC, kept vigil in her black habit while we read about a jumping frog from Calaveras County. Since I’d already read the story my mind wandered to the unique desk arrangement in SisterXland. Three rows directly faced Sister, the “extra attention” section, which […]

THREAT: Perfect Harmony By Josh McMullen

Word: THREAT Word Count 495 Perfect Harmony By Josh McMullen Elodie sat at the bench and played the piano softly, something she always did when she needed to get away from everything. Today, she needed to escape more than ever. People had found out about her secret and threatened to tell everyone. She couldn’t understand […]

THREAT: Please, Do Not Adjust Your Threat B.A. Sarvey

Word: Threat Word Count: 500 Please, Do Not Adjust Your Threat B.A. Sarvey Today had begun as most days did—quietly, cup of coffee in hand, Misha on his lap, newspaper open. But then, instead of sitting and reading, Carlton felt compelled to leave the house without combing his hair or even brushing his teeth. He […]

THREAT: Sympathy for the Devil You Knew By Mike Cecconi

Word: THREAT Word Count 494 Sympathy for the Devil You Knew By Mike Cecconi I went to the K-Mart going-out-of-business sale to mourn an America that has now passed away, no less grotesque in its consumerism but certainly less invasive. An America past where at least the oligarchs and plutocrats worried about making money off […]

THREAT: Threat and Consequences by G. Ackman

Word: THREAT Word Count 500 Threat and Consequences by G. Ackman Dylan slouched in the hideously orange chair in that melting teenager look so common for his generation. Although his face maintained a contemptuous disengaged mien, actually his mind struggled with his situation. Disbelief warred with shock, layered with anger and more fear than he […]

THREAT: Threat By Anne Nassar

Word: THREAT Word Count 500 Threat By Anne Nassar There was a knock at the door. She froze, terrified. She told herself to calm down, and stop being melodramatic. It was Marisol. She was an Elder. There was no hierarchy amongst the Elders, nevertheless, the other Elders deferred to her. This was due to her […]

TRAINING: Broken Trinity By Sharon Collins

Word: TRAINING Word Count 441 Broken Trinity By Sharon Collins Grant ran marathons. His religion was Training and he worshipped daily, a mad monk at the Altar of Mileage. Leigh knew that when she started dating him. The Loneliness of a Long Distance Runner was Grant’s favorite book. Leigh wished she had read it before […]

TRAINING: Game of Thrones By Peg Scarano

Word: Training Word Count: 499 Game of Thrones By Peg Scarano I think there are few life experiences that can compete with the excitement, anticipation, gratification, apprehension, anxiety and expectation of parenthood. There are a lot of “firsts” to look forward to in those early years on this earth. The first smile, burp, full night […]

TRAINING: Missing By Sam McManus

Word: Training Word Count 500 Missing By Sam McManus A sliver of moon peeked out from behind the dark twilight clouds, but no one was paying any attention to the scene. In fact, absolutely no one was outside of their houses in the entire town, the streets pristine and silent in the misty air. It […]

TRAINING: Outshined By Mike Cecconi

Word: TRAINING Word Count: 495 Outshined By Mike Cecconi Proxima and Rigil, two of the sisters Centauri, two of the closest stars to our very own sun, they like to watch us from afar sometimes, up there in the night sky. It isn’t night to them, of course, there’s no such thing as night for […]

TRAINING: Training By Anne Nassar

Word: TRAINING Word Count 466 Training By Anne Nassar Stana and her new mother went to church most mornings, unless the weather was bad. When the service was over, they knelt and prayed for Stana’s family. Stana only pretended. She believed in God – He was as real to her as her own hands. But […]

TRAINING: Training Day By G. Ackman

Word: TRAINING Word Count 497 Training Day By G. Ackman The sun’s rays tickled her eyes awake. She jumped up, shook, and just like that, she was ready for what the day would bring. Outside for her business , a quick breakfast, and it was time for her favorite part of the day. Training. Some […]

TRAINING: TRAINING PAIN By Nan Ressue

Word: TRAINING 431 words TRAINING PAIN By Nan Ressue By the time I turned sixteen, the idea of working had never floated through my head. This all changed when my father asked, “Do you want to get your own job or shall I get one for you?” Miraculously, I had a job at the local […]

TRAINING: Training Thrown to the Wind by B.A. Sarvey

Training 499 words Training Thrown to the Wind B.A. Sarvey Some men are destined to destroy things; some are destined to preserve them. Unaware of his role, Gerald, high above in the balloon’s basket, gawked at the landscape, enraptured. He absorbed the artistry of lines and angles, arcs and squiggles, circles and planes, stunned by […]

TRAINING: You Intrigue Me By Sally Madison

Word: TRAINING Words: 474 You Intrigue Me By Sally Madison One evening after several meals in the castle dinning room, the two lieutenants were absent and the General, still in uniform, but with buttons undone and with his tankard of port wine, was relaxed. Sitting in the master seat, with his back to the kitchen, […]

VISION: It’s a Man’s World By Peg Scarano

Word: Vision Word Count: 500 It’s a Man’s World By Peg Scarano Over the last few weeks I have had several conversations with God. I don’t turn to him very often, but when I do, it is for good reason. I feel our relationship has become such that I can share some of my innermost […]

VISION: A Man of Vision By Sam McManus

Word: VISION Word Count 500 A Man of Vision By Sam McManus “Would you call yourself a man of vision?” asked the man in the moustache, sitting across from Toby Fleese. If he were wearing a monocle and a top hat he might have been mistaken for the Monopoly Man. As it was, though, he […]

VISION: At the Beach By Sally Madison

Word: VISION Words: 500 At the Beach By Sally Madison Everyone had told her that you haven’t seen California until you’ve been to the beach. Linda scoffed, ‘I’ve seen water before, big deal, lots of water.’ She had recently been depressed and lonely, and she just hadn’t made time, but her roommate had bullied her […]

VISION: Fleeting Vision By Sharon Collin

Word: Vision Word Count 425 Fleeting Vision By Sharon Collins Kneeling still, I blink away the tears, clearing my vision. ‘Make him welcome?’ I ask. Sister answers by nudging my shoulder forward, then lying down beside me, muzzle on her paws, watching, waiting. The enormous He-Wolf does not move. He stands before me, his gray […]

VISION: Vision By Anne Nassar

Word: VISION Word Count 457 Vision By Anne Nassar When they got home, Alek’s father followed him upstairs. Alek sat down on his bed. His father remained standing. He folded his arms and looked at the floor silently, brow furrowed. Finally he said, I don’t know what’s happened to you. I don’t know either. You […]

VISION: Vision Impaired By B.A. Sarvey

Word: Vision Word count: 499 Vision Impaired B.A. Sarvey He had lost his vision. Not in the plain old way. Not in the ordinary sense that his eyes had stopped working. Lester’s eyes worked just fine. It was his inner vision that had abandoned him—the dream, the ambition to attain a goal. Just up and […]

VISION: Waste Not By Terry Rainey

Word: VISION Word Count 498 Waste Not By Terry Rainey The Mafia has a decent dental plan but the powers that be must feel eye care is a luxury, some hoity-toity add-on to the basic HMO. The family has doctors, of course, but very few optometrists, for some reason. I’m not privy to such things. […]

WARNING: Givin’ You a Warning By B.A. Sarvey

Word: WARNING Word Count 499 Givin’ You a Warning By B.A. Sarvey Who does he think he is? Calling me loser. Never amount to nothing. He’s the friggin’ dropout. He’s the one quittin’ school. Not me. Stuart slammed his locker shut. Kicked it for good measure. Started walking away then turned back, slammed his fist […]

WARNING: Initiation By Sam McManus

Word: Warning Word Count 500 Initiation By Sam McManus The trick is to keep breathing, to inhale and exhale in perfect rhythm, just like when making out with the CPR dummy in order to get that ever elusive first aid certification. But that’s hard to do when she keeps watching me for signs of distress, […]

WARNING: Julie’s Flowers By Sally Madison

Word: WARNING Words: 500 Julie’s Flowers By Sally Madison Julie’s stomach had turned and churned with excitement, anticipation and dread the first time she had seen her. Julie’s heart broke, as she could only have imagined what Millie’s life had been like. She had seen the posters. She knew what Millie looked like, but she […]

WARNING: No Warning By Sharon Collins

Word: Warning Word Count 499 No Warning By Sharon Collins Sister journeys away from me more often of late. She is gone again tonight. I fear she seeks to leave me. I will miss my beautiful, white she-wolf if she does leave, as I need her far more now than she needs me. Long past […]

WARNING: The Best Laid Plans By Peg Scarano

Word: Warning Word Count: 499 The Best Laid Plans By Peg Scarano There are some things you just cannot prepare for not matter how prepared you think you are. And we all know – the best laid plans always need a Plan B. If you don’t have one, make one! A great Plan A for […]

WARNING: Warning By Mike Cecconi

Word: WARNING Word Count 492 Warning By Mike Cecconi His future mother-in-law called him “Jimmy”, even though his given name was James Sheng and nearly everyone since junior high just called him “Jim”. Qingzhao’s mother was a tiny tanned tin tyrant but she doled out the terror in her sometimes-subtle ways, she was letting “Jimmy” […]

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