Tag: relationships

Idle Hands by Molly Andrea-Ryan

“This is not acceptable behavior,” she said as the cat pawed at the carefully painted skeleton. “That isn’t yours,” she said as the cat knocked the skeleton from the shelf, sending it skittering across the floor. She picked it up and put it back, shooing the cat away, knowing it was a game, knowing that playing the game once meant playing the game again.

His miniatures were part of a game he never played. Skeletons, goblins, witches, sirens, dragons. He bought the kits, built the models, painted them. He placed them on a crowded shelf, organized and reorganized by size, color, and assigned skill. “I’m sure the game is fun,” he said, “but it isn’t what interests me.”

Kickstand by Patrick R. Wilson

Erica fingered the wooden splinters of the food truck court picnic table and stared out at the water till she spotted Ryan rolling up on the fire-red Cannondale he bought on credit. He didn’t stop to park the bike before entering the dining area, but jostled his way through the lunchtime customers like an entitled eel in a koi pond. If anyone protested, or pointed out the PARK YOUR BIKE sign, or looked at him wrong, Ryan would explain he’d been sick. Thankfully, no one complained.

What Chloe does in the metaverse without you is about you by Salena Casha

Chloe mentions that she got her new track pants in the metaverse when she went shopping with Alessa and you hate to think that they’re hanging out without you in some virtual Ivy Park and getting matching tattoos while you’re sitting at home eating salmon salad with your parents. She told you she’d get a matching tattoo with you, a real one when you both graduate – two halves of a butterfly – but you’ve heard that in the verse when you have tattoos like that and you line up the ink, the blue outline will shiver and crawl right out of your skin, hover above you as you hold onto each other on a roller coaster at Cedar Point even though you’ve never left Florida.

Shit is so much cooler in there. Tattoos mean something in there. People go places in there.

Commitment Issues by Emily Harrison

I found her on a pale Tuesday, which is a good way to describe most Tuesdays in Scarborough. The weekend has a habit of sucking the light inside its vacuum.

The Tuesday was like any other except for random curiosity I decided to stop by the corner shop I walked past many (many) times on my way to the bakery. I’m sure it was a front for dealers. They only accepted cash and stayed open until 10pm on Sundays, selling things like joke cigarettes and cartons of milk.

They sold her too. The marionette.

Chopped by Erika Nichols-Frazer

Since Mike, our youngest, went away to college, Derek and I have been eating a lot of meals in front of the TV, or, specifically, while watching Chopped, which seems to always be on the Food Network. We’ve started to eat dinner in front of it most nights, not sure what to say to each other. We need something to fill the silence.

I’ve never considered myself much of a cook, nothing special, anyway. I made meals the kids liked, homemade mac ‘n cheese, lasagna, hamburgers and roasted potatoes. But now that they’re both in college and thousands of miles away—they both insisted on getting as far away as they could—Derek and I have been eating a lot of premade and frozen meals. It’s different with half as much food to make. I keep buying more than we need and having to throw out rotten apples and potatoes with eyes. I have to halve recipes. Sometimes I buy things out of habit, like beef jerky or Double-Stuf Oreos—Mike’s favorite—and they go uneaten for months.

Sprinkles by Eule Grey

Eggs.

Eggs, potatoes, onions, spices, oil, tomatoes, ham. Cheese: optional.

Eggs.

Eggs, potatoes, onions … eggs.

It’s a long list. Miranda can remember the first three items but not the rest. She copies from her ‘Meals for One’ cookbook onto the notepad, making sure to write in quite large letters so it will be legible in the shop. Last week she didn’t do this, and when she stood in front of the supermarket aisles with a page of scribble, it was no good. No good at all.

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.