Of course, I spilled coffee on my shirt. I was seven minutes late to work when our grace period was six minutes. All six reports were due today with two more being assigned within the hour. By lunch, I asked for the cheeseburger meal, but only got the sandwich and was still charged $7.00. My heel broke, and I realized too late this stall was out of toilet paper. I didn’t notice my gas tank was on E, and I’m not sure who Kristy is but she’s liking all my crush’s posts. Dinner burned. I’ll try again tomorrow.
This was how it ended: Dad splayed before the open door, shouting to the world he’d be leaving “ON MY OWN TURNS!” and Mom, two steps behind, hand to stomach, stopping as if shot. “Your own turns?” Her laugh became a shout. She spun and spun until falling to her knees on the hardwood floor. “Own turns?” she gasped, eyes closed, tears streaming. “Turns!”
Dad was dumb, fixed in place, as if he feared the slightest move would twist the whole whip-smart world down upon him, which, dizzy now, I want to imagine he might have sometimes thought he deserved.
by Salma Khalil
There is my mother, trying to put the little green bow on my head. As I refuse to cooperate with her, she gives up, fully aware that it was a waste of time. Not knowing that this would happen for years with no end, refusal after refusal. Little do I know, that turning down all those little bows might have been the worst decision of my life.
At Home With The Ticking
by G.J. Williams
Cled? Cled’s on what he calls ‘ticker time’. It’s his heart, the meat one, the literal ticking of it, a minute-by-minute affair. Seems it took fifty years for the news to reach him: dying’s a big deal, truly. It means what it says on the tin. Going by the look on Cled’s face he’d no idea. Odd, in view of his apparent death wish. He’d like to say it’s all been gravy. Instead, Cled says, It’s not been gravy, any of it.
Tolls went up two dollars. All I saw were red brake lights. The accident was on the northbound 24-mile bridge, but I was going southbound at 5 mph now. When the rubbernecking ending, I tried to make up for lost time, but the patrol car pulled me over and gave me a $300 ticket. A bird flew past my window and barely avoided suicide, but the thick layer of bugs that have collected on my bumper weren’t so lucky as I finally exited the bridge. Something tells me there will be a foggy convoy when I return.
by Judith Salerno
It was the same nasty breakfast, raw bean sprouts with prune juice.
“I understand the prune juice, Worf, but why the bean sprouts?”
He growled, “It’s the closest thing to gagh that I can find at the supermarket.”
“You’re not a Klingon, dear. Your mother just named you after one.”
He scowled, and I knew my mistake would cost me.
“Today is a good day to die!” he stomped to the den and started Klingon Academy on the big screen.
Great, he’ll be there all day while I’m raking leaves.
Maybe I’ll dig up some earthworm gagh for his dinner.
by Jen Schneider
The cast iron pot lived life in a box. All corners sealed. The attic its forever home. Amidst yellowed photos, christening gowns, and soiled denim. Clean-ups long overdue. Survivor on TV. She scrubbed spots. Diced celery. Chopped onions. Simmered broth. Chicken legs shed skin. Time melted in savory air. Inhale. Exhale. Breathe.