He Died by A. Elizabeth Herting

Bob Herting.jpg

He Died

He died on a Friday.

The July heat was already pouring in through the weathered old screen as he perished quietly in his slumber. He’d always insisted upon the open window, even on the very coldest of nights. His wife would wrap herself in layers and layers of electric blankets in those days when they still shared the same room, time and circumstances causing them to slowly drift apart in their sleep.

Thirty-nine years as husband and wife. Decades of laughter and illness, heartbreak, and euphoria gone in the span of a single heartbeat. She would never know what did him in, only that he slept. She found him there in the first blush of morning, leaving the room before turning back and placing her hand gently on the bedroom door. The new day opened up all around her, petals on a withered flower, as she realized they would never see their fortieth year together.  Continue reading

The Last Gift by Simon McHardy

‘Turn off the light, Susan.’ It is early morning and the cold has crept into the room through an open window. Susan doesn’t reply and I watch the plumes of her breath as she sighs gently and turns the page of her book. I put my hand lightly on her arm, ‘You must be exhausted, you’ve been reading all night.’ She glances in my direction, a hint of a smile flickers across her face which then twists in confusion. Her mouth gapes and her eyes begin to well with tears that drip on to the book’s white pages.

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The Lobster That Wouldn’t Sleep by Tom Sheehan

It had happened again and bright-eyed, thick-chested Judd Farro, half clad in the yellow foul weather gear of his trade, couldn’t remember how many times it had happened over the years. The sea, obviously, has its own rules and regulations, he thought, its own machinations, and you don’t really count on them. But here, in its own great mystery, the lobster with the bold X on its backside was caught anew in one of his traps, big as life, healthy, and as if daring to say Here I am again. The X was indelible, unmistakable, and struck him with an awed intensity.

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So, Where Are You Now by Jeffrey L Higgs

The distance between the house and the cliff isn’t long, nor is it short.  The distance is the distance. Years ago flowers bloomed here in ever increasing numbers, filling the landscape.  Their lithe youthful necks stretched upwards basking in the warmth of the sun’s rays.  But no more.  Time’s passage stole the flowers beauty and they began a slow, steady decline.

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The Boy Who Dug Worms at Mussel Flats by Tom Sheehan

typewriterFirst there was a smaller sail out on the water. And then there wasn’t any sail, as if it had been erased. Bartholomew Bagnalupus did not blink at the contradiction in his eyes. There were things like mist and eyespots and vacuums of sight. Been there, had that, he thought, as he swung his short-handled curled pitchfork into the earth of Mussel Flats. Another bucket of worms he’d have before the tide would drive him off the flats.

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