by Helen Chambers
The face of tomorrow slides away from my grasp, like catching a glass rainbow on a tablecloth. Tuesday? Wednesday? I expect you told me, but the cobwebs in my brain tangle the connections. In bright shafts of sunlight, I recall the hiss and flick of grasses scratching on my boots. We walk and willow trees dip their fingers into the river where the blue sky and our reflections are trapped gazing back at us. I am warm, too warm and I try to take off my shawl, but the others push it back on my shoulders.
I’m singing, with the others, crowded together, too hot. That song – you’ll know its name. You watch us. They say I mustn’t wave. I must pretend I don’t know you. So silly. Just sing. I know all the words. I was something then. I sang solos, proud and alone, with a strong voice. I have to stand behind the others now and I can’t see.
No more singing, that’s sad. I’m too hot. You take off my shawl, tuck my hand under your arm. Perhaps this is where the man’s daughter leaves. He looks old and sad. My daughter went. Lying in her pram watching the sun fluttering through the leaves. Tiny fingers, big round eyes.
You look old and sad. Did your daughter leave too?
Helen Chambers is a short story and flash fiction writer from North East Essex, UK, who dreams up ideas whilst out walking by the river. She has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Essex and she won the Fish Short Story prize in 2018. Helen has several publications, many of which you can read on her blog: https://helenchamberswriter.wordpress.com
by Derek Hamilton
Lonely; whispers and echoes, and I’ll answer the
Call me; ask if I’m sleeping, I wonder if it’s lost its
Appealing; the jury’s decision, you’ll have it for once in your
Lifestyle; but after a while, it gets harder to know what you’re
Worthless; give it a rest – I’ll make you think I’m something I’m
Not here; I’m no Shakespeare – I’m the best that you’ll never get to
Have fun; when it’s all done – you’ll end up resorting to
Pleading; your case to the courts – something you’ve gotta see to
Believe me; we belong to the Keys – and I don’t need to ever get
Homesick; learn a new trick – a showcase to try to
Impress you; it’s the least I can do – but it seems like it’s never enough
It seems like it’s never enough.
Derek Hamilton is a writer, musician, voiceover talent, and self-proclaimed nerd from Northeast Ohio. He’s a Columbia College Chicago alumni, a published poet, and currently works as a streaming media producer. You can find more of his work at derekhamiltonedits.com