Gatesy sways in his overcoat. When he found it he could hardly do the remaining buttons up. But he has “lost weight,” as he puts it. I call it starving.
“C’mon,” I implore, “You have to eat.”
Now if you want to eat you have to show faith.
We pray, pick up bowls and under posters exhorting piousness, join the queue.
The server jokes, “What’s it going to be?”
As if there’s a choice.
After staring at Gatesy he adds more into his bowl.
Gatesy smiles as he eats.
“What’s so funny?”
“I got them where I want them”
When Tomorrow Was Perfect
by Angela Gilbert
“They’re coming!” Griff swipes his sword near Brett, blocking the villains from their assault. The forest teems with orcs only they see. “Fix your sword!” Brett’s frantic fingers tighten the fraying coils of rope connecting the wooden blade to its handle while Griff holds them off.
Their battle shields the lurking man from their notice.
Tonight will bring police. Interviews. Brett’s tearful mother asking Griff why they had walked home separately.
Tomorrow will bring posters, searches, and the beginning of a big forever without answers.
But right now laughter, sweat, and wooden swords hold the
promise of a perfect tomorrow.
Time to Move On
by Andrea Damic
All she can hear is the emptiness of rooms and corridors followed by squeaky floorboards and gushes of wind rushing through the hole in the roof. Pictures of family members displayed on tarnished walls alongside an unsteady spiral staircase whisper about the past long gone. She looks at their faces intensely attempting to remember their names but to no avail. Trying to put the puzzle together was like following a trail of disappearing bread crumbs.
For a moment she catches glimpses of her aged translucent body in a broken mirror across the hall. “Maybe it is time to move on.”
by Cheryl Snell
Before her legs gave out, she climbed into bed. Thought she could better track her body’s factories there. If she lay back and listened hard enough to the warnings–high winds rushing from ear to ear, vision blurring like raindrops on a windshield–she should have enough time to summon help. She looked at the brass bell she kept on the bedside table, a duplicate of the one her mother had used during her final illness. She’d ring the clapper dumb, never realizing the ringing in her ears was, as her friends liked to say, all in her head.