1. Happy New Year by Judy Thomas of Georgia (240 words)
For the hundredth time Julia made up her mind that this was the last time he would have the chance to break a promise to her.
2. Overcoming Debbie Gilroy by Wayne Scheer of Georgia (910 words)
The ghost of Debbie Gilroy peered over Andy Mueller’s shoulder as he stared at the business card where he’d scrawled Nancy Gomez’s phone number.
3. Monica’s Second Time by Heather Wardell of Ontario (167 words)
I’m lying on the bed, wearing a brand new white silk nightgown, waiting for him to arrive.
4. Ezra by Joseph DeRepentigny of Georgia (425 words)
Ezra did not feel well. His eyesight was blurry, and his joints ached. Nor did he want to do anything except lie down and rest. Therefore, going to the doctor’s office took a lot of effort.
5. Second-Hand Rose by William B. Naylor of Nova Scotia (55 words)
“He buy you flowers?”
6. Educated Selection by Sharon Poppen of Arizona (680 words)
“I may be old fashioned,” Grandma said to her great grandkids, “but ...”
7. Secondhand Shoe by Patricia Harrington of Washington (324 words)
“She has such cold eyes. Whatever do you see in her?“
8. The Mulberry Street Horsefly Calamity by Diane McAnulty of Pennsylvania (790 words)
I was cuddled up with a magazine article on the medicinal use of leeches, finally getting a little midnight-in-July breeze from the open window, when a fly landed on my right shoulder.
9. Size Doesn’t Matter by Stephen L. Thompson of Pennsylvania (92 words)
Winter had moved in like an annoying neighbor, and Jason had had enough.
10. Lone Survivor of Flight #13 by Diana Woods of California (733 words)
As I settled onto my personal flotation cushion, I wondered if I'd made the right decision. For weeks, I had agonized over risking my life on this flight, but I yearned to smell the powdery sweet skin of my newborn granddaughter.
11. Smile Right Line by Darren Todd of Arizona (645 words)
“Bo gives a toothbrush to every girl he talks to,” I explained to the bewildered girl who had just joined us in the Burger Chef parking lot.
12. The Bicycle Man by Mariel DiSibio of New Jersey (765 words)
The Bicycle Man was sitting on the curb in front of his father’s drugstore, sobbing, face in his hands.
13. The Writer’s Flea Market by A Collaboration (of two authors and an editor) (240 words)
“I'm looking for a muse,” I told the vendor.
14. Competitive Edge by Darren Swift of Caerphilly, Wales (545 words)
“John felt good. Really good. This was the day they'd been working toward. This would be their day. The culmination of a year's practice.”
15. Houdini Bound in Chains by K. Lawson Gilbert of Pennsylvania (860 words)
“The kitchen felt unusually cold for a summer morning. I ground coffee beans, while filling the water chamber of the coffee maker. I looked forward to that first aroma of java, but instead, an unpleasant odor bunched heavily around me.”
16. Open Door Policy by Pam Skochinski of California (265 words)
Through three regimes, I’ve been the manager here at Tomich Manufacturing. With each regime change, policies changed but the job, it stayed the same.
17. Snake Eyes for the New Guise by KR Mullin of New Jersey (465 words)
One day Adam went to Snake’s favorite basking stone and found him stretched out in the sun, apparently sleeping.