A Red Balloon, Too

By Andrew Stancek
Still waiting for Dad, three days later, with enough kibble for Rocko, a half-full bag of birdseed for Raa, the heel of a pumpernickel for us. Mr. Stefan is sure to drum on the door today, squeezing out rent money.

Memento

By Sarah Scott
The day Lucinda turned nine, her father appeared at the back door. She hadn’t seen him in two years.

Pecking Order

By Jayne Martin
Our food, untouched and cold, sat forbidden until he had finished his. Tears only brought his fist slamming against the table, upending our dishes, twisting our stomachs into painful knots.

A Blanket Decision

By Elizabeth Zahn
At the Twisted Stitchers meeting, I held up my first, nearly finished, crocheted baby blanket. They oohed and ahhed. “But look,” I said, “There’s a mistake 40 rows back. Should I frog it?”

Ashes to Ashes, Dust to...

By Susan Hatters Friedman
My deep purple vase sat proudly on the dining room table of our tiny home. Black sand from Te Henga was the temper I had worked into the clay.

Closing Time

By Patricia Q. Bidar
Fiona banks her ride in front of Mel’s Hot & Cold Heroes. Her Oldsmobile Cutlass is like a battered lemon shark.

Chloe

By Eric Wilson
Hi, it’s Arlene Radford down the street. Sorry to be phoning you so late at night, but it’s about our cat, Chloe.

The Path to the Dark Si...

By Tonja Matney Reynolds
Sarah’s eight-year-old son is freaking out. His one perfect origami Yoda is missing.

Lipstick

By Sarah Freligh
We learned to paint our mouths kissable, but were taught not to. By the parish priest, by our mothers, by Seventeen magazine.

Lost Boys

By Stephanie Yu
Years later, we would have mortgages, car payments, and life insurance, but no recollection of when we all dropped acid together in the high desert after graduation.

Domestic

By Frances Gapper
Luke started to howl as Mum click-clicked the washing machine. “He’ll be all nice and fresh!” she cried in her bright and ruthless voice.

Embroidery

By Thaisa Frank
Because I couldn’t find you, I embroidered little houses and visited each one. Some houses floated, tugging on their threads.

Shrinking

By Barbara Diggs
Nia didn’t mind at first. Being at her kids’ eye-level made life easier. Their odd stories and complaints became miraculously comprehensible.

Uncle John Isn’t Really...

By Leslie Walker Trahan
He’s just a man who works at the candy company. When he visits, he brings me and Mom bags of malformed candies, the ones that weren’t good enough to package.

Fading

By Sarita Sidhu
My parents are fading. As did theirs. My father’s unyielding certitude has been momentarily displaced by bewilderment, betraying a loss of relevance in a new world order.

Honey

By Bailey Bridgewater
There are bees trapped into the walls of an abandoned home. There are ghosts trapped in the attic, swaying to their hum.

A Tiger on the Rue du B...

By Elizabeth Kuelbs
Savannah sneaks out of the hotel while her dad and Veronica rest up for more museums of naked cherubs and armless statues.

All White Male Authors ...

By Ran Walker
She bought him a book by John Barth as a birthday gift. “You like him, don’t you?” she asked.

Child Play

By Kendall Brunson
His daughters ran from the back of the yard screaming “Snake! Snake!” The poisonous water moccasin slithered after his children, but his wife was the first to react.

The Uncle

By Ron Hartley
I used to love to linger and breathe in the scent of our cluttered garage, and of dad’s old pick-up always parked there.