The little girl waited. She waited in the casket where her mother had gently placed her before they were discovered. She couldn’t see anything from within and could hear very little, but dared not make a sound. She kept instinctively mum. She heard rapid footsteps approaching their caravan, some voices faintly saying, “There’s the witch, burn her alive.” She felt a stone bouncing off the casket and screaming accompanied by sounds of something being dragged. Much later a pungent smoky odor started filling the casket, but she still dared not move. Laboriously breathing she waited for her mother to come.
From Guest Contributor, Manjiree Marathe
On the first day, they took everything. On the second day, they took everything else. On the third day, I had nothing. (Least of all myself.) This was going to make it really difficult to get everything back. But only if I really wanted it all back.
I think they had taken all of everything from me due to an error of some sort. Some algorithm got confused. Ink bled into a ledger and a decimal was dropped and they took everything. And everything else. (Including me.) They possess even my will to have it all returned. So I’m okay.
From Guest Contributor, Russ Bickerstaff
6:17 am. Chilly out. Her teeth, against the pink roses on the gold-leafed rim of her chipped tea cup with matching saucer cradling renegade drops of Lipton’s–headquarters in Hoboken–clink and chatter. Behind her, tractor wheels first crunch and smash the little stick fence, cracking like femurs, then pummel the daisies, until finally the front door splinters apart. Empty Campbell cans and Hellman’s jars, lost tin and remnant timber crash the family photo, not hers, from a Sears’ catalog, but nonetheless… Miss Dallyworth takes the last sip, while the gentrification continues on, at her new address: the curb.
From Guest Contributor, Jennnifer Sarah Cooper
There’s a songbird outside my house that knows the tune to every standard of the last fifty years. He drives me crazy.
He never stops singing, not while I’m at home anyway. How sexually frustrated does this bird have to be to tweet Paul Simon and Barry Manilow all day long? Visitors find him quaint and always want to take video, and then they make me watch their posts on YouTube. I’m thinking of shooting myself.
He says he’ll keep at it until I do, because of how I shot his wife last winter. It’s a decision I regret now.
My name is Caleb Jones. What does divorce mean? It means daddy doesn’t live here anymore. It means mommy and daddy used to fight, now daddy moved away. I don’t cry anymore. I can only see daddy on the weekends. Oh joy. My room seems grayer than I remember it being. My teddy bear, Howard, I hug him tighter than before.
Should I go out to play today?
No it’s raining, that’s ok I’ll read the book daddy bought me, last Christmas. It’s a good book. I read aloud. I can still smell daddy’s pipe as I read. Good night.
From Guest Contributor, Doug Robbins
Betsy wanted to slay a dragon. All her friends had killed at least one and it was embarrassing to show her face at the academy.
Sadly, Betsy’s father had strictly forbidden her from joining any quests. He kept telling her maybe when she’s older.
Betsy’s brother had resigned himself long ago to never slaying any dragons and he told Betsy she might as well give up too. “Dad’s never going to change his mind. He’s against all slayings. Mom says that it’s because his grandfather was a dragon.”
Betsy grew up to hate dragons more than any of her classmates.
My new swim trunks were still crispy and smelled of a fresh paint. I plunged into the warm Hawaiian water, ready for my long-postponed vacation. And then I saw Her.
She gave me a hearty, genuinely happy smile, exposing a string of perfect, pearly white teeth. Her tight black skin glittered under the sun. She was clearly into me.
I looked back at my family uncomfortably. Little Johnny was pointing his little finger in my direction: too late. My body split in half, the ocean stained scarlet.
Luckily, my swim trunks remained completely intact: Sharky did not like their taste.
From Guest Contributor, Olga Klezovitch
Olga is a scientist who lives in Seattle. Her previous work has appeared in 50-Word Stories, Necon E-Books, and A Story in 100 Words
Walter Goggins is known to stock brokers everywhere as Wall Street poison. Every stock he’s purchased in the past 30 years has immediately gone into the tank. He turned 18 on October 19, 1987 and by the end of that afternoon, they were already calling it Black Monday.
Since then, he’s been quiet in his investments, ruining a Sears here and a Blackberry there with his ill-timed purchases. His urges sometimes get too much, however, and he’ll start buying up whatever stocks strike his fancy, as in 2000 or 2008.
Walter doesn’t care that he’s unlucky. He enjoys ruining companies.
The elevator doors close with a ding. Alone inside, she hums and checks the mirror. The speck on her cheek looks unsightly, like a coal mine bent forward and kissed her.
She pulls out a tissue from her bag, and dabs at it. No luck. Nagging speck, like someone spit tar on to her face. Two more tissues, nothing.
The skin around it is reddening. Three more tissues, one after another. She’s getting restless as her floor draws near.
The seventh tissue does the trick. Someone from behind was kind enough to hand it to her.
The elevator doors open.
From Guest Contributor, Indu Pillai
Indu is a commercial writer based in Bangalore. Her fiction has appeared in Mash Stories and 50-Word Stories. She delights in all kinds of stories, written and unwritten. Twitter: @InduPillai01
I did it. I killed her in cold blood. I hesitated at first, but she finally got on my nerves.
She tickled my ears, sat on my lap, and touched my private body parts. I asked her to stop but she kept going.
I slapped her in the face. She dropped onto the floor at once. Her skinny, crooked legs twitched a few times in utter disbelief and then she went silent. I picked her up, dropped her dead body in the garbage can, washed my hands, and went back to work.
My office is a “No-Fly Zone.” No exceptions.
From Guest Contributor, Olga Klezovitch
Olga is a scientist who lives in Seattle. Her previous work has appeared in 50-Word Stories and Necon E-Books.