On the Move, by Amy Friedman

(Originally posted to LinkedIn.)

“Guess what?” he crowed, grinning.
She looked up. “What?”
“I got it!” he said. “We can leave this shitty little city.”
“Where are we going?” she said, mouthing a smile.
“Atlanta!” he said. “You won’t have to work anymore – I’ll be making enough for both of us.”
“That’s great, honey,” she said. “When do they want you there?”
“In two weeks!” he said, striding into the kitchen.
Swiveling back to her screen, she whispered a sigh. “He’ll probably be out of work again in a year,” she thought to herself. “Wonder if he’ll be willing to move there without me … “

Final Thoughts, by Don Tassone

She lay in her bed in a half sleep, neither fully conscious nor fully unconscious, as if she were suspended between the real world and a dream.

She looked around and glimpsed the faces of her loved ones. Then she closed her eyes and saw her birth, her growing up, her marriage, her children being born, her aging, her dying and her life beyond. She saw everything and everyone, together at that very moment.

If only she had known sooner. If only she had known that nothing is separate, that everything is one and that all is joined in her.

Loss, by Chloe Ford

The sand was warm between my toes as I made my way back to where I’d left him.
His cries of pain tore through me, the first aid kit in my hand suddenly feeling inadequate.
Tears ran down my cheeks unbidden as I broke into a run.
“Hold on, Max,” I whispered. “Hold on.”

I couldn’t save him.

How do you say goodbye?
You were my link to the world, Max, my partner in all things.
There will never be a greater guide dog.
Sleep well, old friend.

Temptation, by Russell Conover

The cakes, pies, ice creams, and other desserts were all delighted to be the naughty pleasures in which people indulged after the main meal, since all the calories and sugar combined into irresistible treats for all, even though their nutrition value was so lousy that diners would be better off eating sugar from the bottle, except for the fact that these desserts satisfied a craving that could only be fulfilled one way–by throwing caution to the wind and diving face-first into all the succulent sweetness, which is totally worth it given the culinary delight and the always-enjoyable post-food coma.

Truth, Universal, by Sankar Chatterjee

Prof. Rajat Sen heard the latest revelation on radio. The eldest son of strongman got caught and forced to admit his past collusion with the foreign agents for his father’s electoral win. He remembered his early student-days in the country. Like him, most of his new friends were also international students. A similar scandal involving a trusted aid of then-president broke out. He sold arms to a sworn enemy, while channeling the profit to death-squads in Central America, all illegally.

Next day, his friend Abraha from Ethiopia mentioned his African wisdom: “A fish always starts to rot from the head.”

Not Now, My Love, by Gordon Lawrie

“Not now, my love.”

She had her back to him. His gentle fingers stretched out towards her and stroked her neck, working their way down as far as they could reach.

“Not now, my love.”

He withdrew his hand. But not for long; soon, she felt the hand caress her head, her neck, her shoulders. She liked his touch, but …

“Not now, my love.”

Once more he desisted. But temptation was to prove too strong. Reaching out again, he tickled her neck gently. This time …

“Not now, my love. I’m driving. It’s dangerous. Sit back in your seat.”

“Sorry, mummy.”