This week’s artwork is by G.J. Mintz.
Not Enough Yesterdays
by Christopher P. Mooney
Come in for a cup of tea? I ask, unreasonably pleased when she says she will. I let the bag stew for longer than she likes, knowing it will mean more time.
While she drinks it, I want to ask her to remember that during all of this, whatever this is, I am loving her. And that she loved me, too.
Afterwards, when she’s gone, again, I’m glad I didn’t say anything, didn’t ask. Because the awkward pity in her eyes – that used to see me – and in her words – that used to tell me – would have been too much.
A Peaceful Jane
by Raymond Sloan
Her complexion was busy in loud, uneven colour. The dress on looked musty and flooded her body. The room rung of a thick hush of condolences that Jane’s husband relished in behind the grief.
On cue, his eyes welled. Sorrow swelled. Words choked in the middle of a memory as he put aside his lies, affairs, the years of misery he put her through, to play the distraught husband.
Stopping to take the scene in for a moment, a feeling of betrayal arose when he realised every photo surrounding him was missing the one thing she now wore.
by John Barrett Allen
He inhabits the Invisible when his heart stops. No hovering over his hospital bed to gawk in shame at his whiskey-wasted body; no ambling down a bright corridor toward miraculously healed Becky, who offers a forgiving embrace. No. Instead, he wanders in fog-drenched darkness until his shin bumps metal. A rowboat’s stern. A river’s lapping edge. Infinite vessels, gloriously lit, the redeemed faithfully pulling the oars. Impatient, he clambers over the hull and everything disappears. He falls and flattens until a hard light pierces his tear-soaked eyes. Doctor says, relieved: “He’s back.” Another voice, Becky’s, agitated, follows: “Not your boat.”
At the Dinner Table
by Emanuel Hind
Scotch eggs, Cara surmised, furry and orange as they are, must one day hatch into highland cows, for they were very similarly clad and she was a very logical eight-year-old. Avocados, too, were surely the ova of fearsome scaly lizards. Naturally, then, an ordinary supermarket egg, brown and smooth, could never come from a feathery, squawking chicken: the two seemed nothing alike. Contemplating her thesis, her gaze fell to her hands, her arms. Brown. Smooth. Realisation. A canon of shrieks, a violent crash as the floor shattered the plate. That was the last egg her fork would ever touch.
Just like Weldon Kees
by Jim Doss
Class, that’s what he’d call it, seersucker suit, fedora with brim turned down, half-smoked cigarette between his lips, surveying Alcatraz at sunrise, plotting his escape into another life. The party ran late that night. One of the last to leave, he drove the opposite direction from home toward the Golden Gate, his keys left in the ignition to seed the mystery. Did he possess the courage to jump, his body drawn by anonymous currents out into the Pacific? Or did he swap identities, namelessly crossing the Mexican border, a gringo tolerating no questions? The trail of butts leads us nowhere.
by Janine Muster
The storm lifts the cover off their unfinished porch and blows down the ladder Hector had used to fix the roof. The sudden noise makes Elsa almost drop her bishop. Hector, ignoring her attack on his queen, moves his knight.
Elsa can hear the drops. Then something warm rolls down her back. She shivers.
“I thought you fixed it?” She takes Hector’s queen.
“Yes.” Hector takes her rook. “Chess.”
“Why is it still coming through the ceiling?” Elsa’s hand trembles as she moves her king.
“It mustn’t be the rain then.” Hector calmly traps her king with his rook. “Checkmate.”