"The Mission" by Karen E. Williams
"Second Chance" by Paulene Turner
To me, a good man was like an endangered species. Hard to find, and there was a penalty for their capture. I looked into the connecting family room and spied a picture of Brian on her coffee table.
“Three years is a long time to be dating with no ring, if you ask me,” I leaned in, taking her hands in mine.
"A Private Conversation" by Maureen McGuirk
I was late for a meeting. It was a big deal with a Japanese company – they don’t like you being late. Then, I got this text message. I looked down just for a second. She must have stepped onto the crossing just then.. Oh, God, can you believe that – late for a meeting? How fucking stupid. When that cop comes back, I’m turning myself in. I don’t care what happens to me.
"An Indeterminate Hour" by Joseph Hernandez
Synopsis: A troubled woman discusses where her life went wrong, and if there’s any hope in resolving it, with her younger and older self.
Logline: The only person worth fighting with is yourself.
"The Measure of Love" by J. Ray Paradiso
She never told him about these dreams. She knew he would laugh at her. And anyway, these were never direct forecasts of what was to come. The dreams never involved him. She was always alone in them.
"The Waiter" by Claude Clayton Smith
I love when we snuggle.
So do I. You’re my one and only!
After we snuggle, will you comb my hair?
"The Rescue" by Steve Carr
We're going in circles, Charles. We have to settle this. I didn't mean to turn our anniversary into a referendum on our marriage. But the question remains, why’d you have to gawk at the hostess who seated us?
"My Mother's Rosary" by Joanne DeMieri Kennedy
When the couples lay silent and still, allowing their bodies to be fried by the sun and heat, Chester ate bean sprout and tuna sandwiches and drank ice cold bottled water. He watched the woman who swam alone as she gently glided back and forth across the choppy water.
"Wild Horses" by Valerie D. West
I pictured the shimmering beads, my mother’s rosary, lying at the bottom of the airplane’s bin. Wrapped in half eaten sandwiches, pretzel wrappers, bound for some dumpsite on the outskirts of Vienna.
"Todd and the Big Easy" by Pilar Aurelio Munoz
Alicia stood in front of the mirror, putting a gold chain around her bare neck. Her strapless violet dress revealed cleavage, and her dark areola showed faintly. She struggled with the clasp, so of course I helped. I stood behind her, and we were still the same height. I loved Alicia.
"Umbilical Noose" by Enya K. Mayne
When he listened, he listened intensely. I finished the recapitulation with my lifelong excitement to come to New Orleans. I told him I was a writer and that New Orleans had captivated me: the energy of it, the utter happiness of its residents, the musical nature of it all.
“Younger” By Alyssa N. Vaughn
We strived to be as alike as possible in the meantime. No one wanted to be the evil twin, the fat twin, the ugly twin. We made sure to eat – or not eat – the same amount of food. Keep our rag-doll limbs lank, our collarbones razors, our shoulder blades jutting wings. Neither of us deserved to gorge on Mom’s decadent baking. We would be gone soon enough anyway. Maybe if we dissolved into nothingness, we wouldn’t have to keep stockpiling pills and rope and sharp objects.
"A Town with No Name" by Steve Carr
Ten years later, at our youngest granddaughter’s high school graduation, my husband had a heart attack and died again. The kids and my sister complimented me on how well I was managing to keep it together, how composed I seemed.
I hadn’t forgotten the last time, and although my heart broke, I woke up hesitantly every morning. Discovering that I was alone brought on a strange mixture of relief and renewed mourning.
"Limerence" by Don O. Noel Jr.
The bartender nodded and twisted one end of his handlebar mustache between his thumb and index finger. He put the glass down on the bar and poured whiskey into it. “What brings you to town?” he said.
Lark gulped down the whiskey and set the empty glass on the table. “Just passing through.”
"The Perfect Cup of Coffee" by Linda Lenhoff
They proved a good team, tackling the project with a will, successful enough that management wanted them to keep at it. They gladly did so, meeting often over lunch, where they could linger because on company business. Their desks were near enough to leave each other notes. They talked about the arts, and discovered shared tastes in books, theater, music.
Somewhere he learned a phrase that described such collaboration: They were office spouses.
"Be Kind" by Alexis Cram
It took weeks, no, months, into this relationship before Dave even let me touch the coffee maker, the grinder, all his fancy equipment. Dave’s coffee maker has more buttons on it than anything I’ve ever seen. Two timers, two pots. It’s top of the line. And the grinder is fast: seven point three seconds. Dave times it once a week.
But finally, one Saturday, Dave spent the whole afternoon showing me how to use everything properly—how to measure, how to grind it (not too fine), how to time it. We went over it all slowly, methodically. I really felt close to Dave that day.
"Love in the Wings" by Rebecca Hope
Finn sighed and set down his luggage. “Alright Uncle. I’m here. What do you want to show me?”
His uncle was always researching something and ALWAYS showed it to Finn when he thought he was onto a breakthrough. Of course he was always researching things like the key to immortality, proof of the afterlife, ancient “cursed” relics, and other equally ridiculous things. But those were their moments, and Finn wouldn’t trade them for anything.
"X" by Melanie Haney
When Kate started dating a guy she’d met on Love-in-the-Wings, I was as thrilled as she was. The two lovebirds made a perfect couple—they were birds of a feather, just as the site advertised. Before long, she was urging me to join so I, too, could find true love at last.
“I’ll register tonight—after the kids are in bed.”
"Good Boy" by Jamie Fouty
X-marks the spot.
It was a game his dad had taught him when he was only three and he wanted him out of his hair for a few minutes to watch a race and drink a beer. You see, son, he’d said, X-marks the spot, like a treasure hunt. See, you take your two fingers, just like that and they make an X, you see? Now it’s your treasure finder, like pirates. So why don’t you go and see if you can’t find us somethin’ nice and let me know.
"The Change" by Deb Jannerson
I wake you up in the mornings with kisses and jumping on you, even though you get upset sometimes, I continue to do it because loved ones should always start the day off with excitement and joy. You are lucky, others don’t have the fortune to start everyday with expressions of happiness and opening their eyes to the blur of pure adoration. I am your fuzzy alarm clock, because I am a good boy.
“No,” I protested, then more loudly, “no! That’s not what I want anymore.”
It laughed. The mystical fire laughed at me! I can’t wait to tell Kelsey about this dream, I thought. Some part of me already knew the dreadful truth, but hope dies hard.