Tag: relationships

Doing Better by Caragh Medlicott

The doctor fitted the silicone bracelet to my wrist on a Friday afternoon. Her silver-rimmed glasses slid down her nose as she sealed the clip with a foreign electronic device. It was new to her too, doing this, but the results were undeniable. That’s what she said.  

I walked out the building unusually alert to the sound of my footsteps, to the weight of my body pressing down in my rubber-soled shoes. There were birds chittering somewhere nearby, I thought in the bushes, and I smiled in their general direction. It was the kind of pacifying smile you give to a mother whose child is playing up, one which says: It’s okay, I understand.

Requiem for a Home Cooked Meal by Krystian Morgan

Alice was yet again in the kitchen, checking on the food being kept warm. It looked appetising when it was ready over an hour ago, but the prolonged stay in the oven irradiated any vitality it once had. Steamed greens lay pallid and mournful. Within the casserole, the lamb, root veg and liquor have broken down into a single homogenous mash, and a thick skin has formed over the top, already tanning under the orange light of the cooker.

She hears the front door and his usual clatter when returning home. He ascends the stairs without fanfare; no explanation for his lateness, nor for not replying to her texts and calls enquiring as to his whereabouts. Just his work bag slung into a mangled shape in the vestibule and soaked-through shoes bleeding dirty rainwater onto the floor.

Undying Love by Kip Knott

I suppose the last straw was when I asked Ophelia to lay on the floor so I could trace her body to make sure the coffin would cradle her perfectly.

My father was a carpenter, and his father before him, and Jesus before that. From the time I could hold a saw and heft a hammer, I had been able to make anything out of wood. I thought of myself as a kind of alchemist who could turn a piece of knotty pine into cash with nothing more than a few simple tools and some linseed oil.

Consuming Life by Philip Charter

Each class was costing Sarah nearly one hundred Dirham, even if she went to Yoga twice a week. That was nearly thirty dollars an hour. She could imagine Arnold’s look of disapproval at her indulgence, but keeping in shape made her feel better about living in a city surrounded by desert. Sarah couldn’t go running in the humid evening like her boyfriend.

She stole a glance in the mirrored walls of the all-women fitness club. Most of the other members were in much worse shape than she was. It wasn’t their fault; some Arabian women barely got out of the house. But, the instructor helped them much more than her.

A Spare Moment by Holden Zuras

“Do you have a moment?” The old man asked me.

“Well, a few,” I responded. “I have to return this book by 5 o’clock today. They charge an exorbitant late fee.” 

“One spare moment is enough. I just want you to help me mull over something that’s been consuming my thoughts.”

“Of course, but I don’t believe there is an afterlife.”

“Ha! Silly boy! I was only going to ask you if you were happy.”

No Caller ID by Lindsey Goodrow

The other night I got a call at 4:45 AM. I half-squinted at “No Caller ID” flashing on the screen of my phone. This wasn’t the first time that I had received a call like this. My heart rate immediately accelerated and I fumbled to turn my phone on mute. I flipped it over so that the screen was facing downward and focused on controlling my breathing – big belly inhales through my nose. I tried not to wonder if I should have just turned it off, in case the calls continued to come in. Minutes passed in silence, my breath steadied, and I drifted back to sleep.

Using a loophole to call your ex is a bold and pathetic move. To call at 4:45 AM implies drug and alcohol indulgence. To know, the next morning, that “No Caller ID” was most certainly dying from regret and a bad hangover was admittedly satisfying to me for a short period of time. But the unbearable pain deep in my chest and stomach that came with that call and lingered for months after was affirmation that I needed to continue blocking “No Caller ID” from my life.