The Homes Of Birds (Nature Contest Winner)

by thegooddoctor in 100 Words

I’m very excited to present the winner of our Nature Flash Fiction Contest, from regular contributor Brook Bhagat. Someone might look at the strange format and say it’s more of a poem than a short story, but my favorite poems are the ones that tell a story as well. Plus I liked it so this is the one I’m choosing. Congratulations Brook! And thanks to everyone who participated. A lot of great stories.

I understand the funeral I have the address the dress the time

it begins with smiling cameras and ends with paper tablecloths, cold cuts and deviled eggs downstairs

even worse is the sunshine, all those empty minutes left

I would have lost it

if not

For the hike, still in our black together,
you and Ben, the boy,
me and my sister arm in arm
down the easy path at
Garden of the Gods,

lighter than before, noticing the homes
of birds in the rocks and remembering
we are just a moment, fragments
of a mystery that flies and sings.

From Guest Contributor Brook Bhagat

Brook’s poetry, fiction, non-fiction, and humor have appeared in Monkeybicycle, Empty Mirror Magazine, Harbinger Asylum, Little India, Rat’s Ass Review, Lotus-Eater Magazine, Anthem: A Tribute to Leonard Cohen, and other journals and anthologies. She and her husband Gaurav created Blue Planet Journal, which she edits and writes for. She holds an MFA from Lindenwood University, teaches creative writing at a community college, and is writing a novel. Her poetry collection, Only Flying, is due out Nov. 16, 2021 from Unsolicited Press. See more at brook-bhagat.com or reach her on Twitter at @BrookBhagat.

Stay tuned for an announcement soon about our next contest!



by thegooddoctor in 100 Words

The birds of appetite circled the spot below them on the desert floor. Inkblots against a sky cloudless and blue. They wheeled in decreasing concentric circles. Always, the spot the center of a bull’s-eye.

One bird landed feet from his target. Drawing nearer, he became agitated. There was nothing there. With a screech he took off in search of better prey.

Slowly, the spot resolved itself against the haze and became the figure of a man. He had stopped to rest after walking for hours. He stood now, indifferent to temperature and to thirst. Indifferent as well to his destination.

From Guest Contributor James C. Clar


Plastic Jesus In An Upright Tub

by thegooddoctor in 100 Words

Me and Dale chuck rocks at it. Before school, while we wait for the bus on Highway 62 and after school or on Sundays. It’s not all we do. We sit and talk about which girl at school we’d most like to bang. I’m more of an ass man. Dale really likes big boobs and has lots of ideas about what to do with them. Dale has a .22 rifle he shoots stuff with. I tried to get him to shoot Plastic Jesus but he said the bullet might ricochet and kill us. That would be a miracle, I said.

From Guest Contributor John Riley

John is the founder and publisher of Morgan Reynolds, an educational publishing company. He has written over forty books of nonfiction for secondary level students. His fiction and poetry have been published in Smokelong Quarterly, Connotation Press, St. Anne’s Review, The Dead Mule, and other many other journals both online and in print.


A Beginner’s Guide To Dystopia

by thegooddoctor in 100 Words

From the street outside, a loudspeaker boomed, “According to the decree of the 17th of this month on the Abolition of Walls.” I got up from the table where I was reading and went over to the window. Banners with the slogan “Public Interest Comes Before Self-Interest” fluttered in endless repetition down the street. Practically right under my window, officers were clubbing a man who lay crumpled on the pavement. I sighed, then went and sat back down and found my place in the book – sea nymphs with red seaweed hair were sunning themselves on the ledges of seaside cliffs.

From Guest Contributor Howie Good

Howie is the author of THE DEATH ROW SHUFFLE, a poetry collection forthcoming from Finishing Line Press.


Found And Lost

by thegooddoctor in 100 Words

I’d seen her at the bar at least twenty times before. This time I told her “There are better drinks at my place. Please join me.”

She followed me to my apartment. After a round, she walked into my bedroom. When I followed her, I saw one of the few women who looked better naked than dressed. She told me what she wanted; I did my best to deliver, and enjoyed every minute of it.

The next day I went back to the bar. Everyone there claimed that no one like her had ever been there. I doubt my sanity.

From Guest Contributor Doug Hawley



by thegooddoctor in 100 Words

Covid-19 has taken a toll on my social life. The quarantine has me cooped up other than grocery shopping or a drive, and I miss the sounds of my friends boisterous laughs when we joke about men while watching romance movies chomping on popcorn.

Reading a novel with my feet up, the same words stare at me. I toss the book aside and pace, when a tapping on the back door distracts my thoughts. I look outside and a black kitten is on the patio meowing.

I forget all my troubles when I step outside and pet this adorable animal.

From Guest Contributor Lisa M. Scuderi-Burkimsher


The Squeaky Gate

by thegooddoctor in 100 Words

Carol heard the front gate creak; someone had come into the garden. “Who could it be? Who is out at midnight?” The doorbell rang. She quickly put on her bathrobe and started for the door, then hesitated. Should she answer it? What if someone wanted to harm her?

Carol slowly cracked the door and saw her mother standing there.

“Mom! What are you doing here?”

“Promise me you will take care of your brother.”

Her mother turned and walked away.

The next morning Carol learned that her mother had died of a heart attack the night before at 11 pm.

From Guest Contributor Janice Siderius


The Century Plant

by thegooddoctor in 100 Words


People lined up around the block, masks on, cameras and children in hand. The news spread fast, as these things do in 2020, via Facebook and Instagram. Some thought it might be a hoax, but any excuse to leave the house was welcome.

The woman who planted the Agave was just ten years old when she and her dad had picked placed the little cactus in their front yard. She’d decided to hold onto the house after her parents moved to Florida hoping to see it flower someday. Now, despite the crowds and reporters, the long wait had been worth it.

From Guest Contributor Alice Ryder


Flying Dancers

by thegooddoctor in 100 Words

She dances with the leaves on this late autumn night. They rise, fall, crackle, swoop back into the air, without reflection about their falls. No signs of injury. No self-pity.

She envies the leaves. They can fly from words.

Too artistic, dark, can’t you be happy? Go to this party. Go to that party with your father. Stand straight, watch your gait. Smile. Writing’s a waste of time.

The words float in her mind like sickly alphabet cereal. But another curtain of leaves showers her. She twirls, the leaves dancing with her, sky and street opening wider than ever before.

From Guest Contributor Yash Seyedbagheri

Yash is a graduate of Colorado State University’s MFA program in fiction. His work is forthcoming or has been published in WestWard Quarterly, Café Lit, and Ariel Chart, among others.


The Art Of Doing Nothing

by thegooddoctor in 100 Words


There are twelve rules of enlightenment. They cover elements of Buddhist philosophy such as proper meditation, simplicity, and a constant reflection on necessity.

It’s this last part that bothers Alicia most. The more she reflects on what’s truly necessary, the more she realizes that her life has lost all sense of meaning. It’s enough to make her want to go live in the woods someplace like a hermit and just contemplate nature every day.

Nature wants nothing to do with Alicia’s existential crisis. It doesn’t care that it’s meaningless. It just wants to start recomposting her as soon as possible.

From Guest Contributor Laura Stacks