Cool and calm, the good mother, I watched my kids jump and swim and splash each other, Marco Polo, but something burned me from the inside out, Mom zapping me with her stun gun, her theories and philosophies.
Linney swallows the Valium and lays still, her hands clasped on her midsection, on her side of the bed. She hears Charles tapping on his laptop in the library room. There will be ghosts, she realizes, lurking, waiting for her wherever she goes. The trick, maybe, is not to acknowledge them, to pretend to be asleep when they sit at the end of her bed, to keep brushing her teeth when they appear behind her in the mirror.
Jen Marie Wiggins
There is always solace in blankets. He’s learned this, my husband of nine years. I can almost see him. Shaking his head and grinning before he rips the sheets back to reveal me—a mass of blankets and tears crumpled on the bed, the last moments of a good sob still damp on my cheeks.
Your oldest understands immediately and begins to sob into his father’s chest. Your youngest is confused by his brother’s crying; you can tell he is unsure of whether or not to join him. Can we see her when she gets back? he asks. You pull him closer, kiss his hair, and whisper that Grandma won’t be coming back.
Brianne M. Kohl
I tell my friend, Erica, that I’ve decided to get back into shape. I’m sick of looking at magazines of celebrities claiming they’ve regained their bodies just six weeks post-baby. As if their bodies had gone somewhere foreign, slipped away into the ether for a time, but now they’ve returned, better than ever.
Just seeing the baby’s head wobble made her want to cry, especially since she discovered the warm circle that marked the entry to his brain. But she knew how vulnerable he was, no one had to tell her, and she wondered how any baby made it through the day.
We publish stories with strong narrative structure, great characters, interesting settings, beautiful language, and complicated themes. Have you written such a story? Read more about submitting your work here.