Showing posts from March, 2022

Nanda Finds God

I promised a picnic for my son, Nanda’s first day of Kindergarten. Just the two of us. I met him at his classroom, said hello, and lifted him for a bear hug. I had our picnic packed into a bag slung over my shoulder. We walked the park green alongside a fence that ran the length of the school, possibly 200 feet or more until we found a cushiony patch of grass. From my bag, I pulled out a cotton tapestry and spread it across the lawn. Nanda sat facing the fence, and I sat with my back to it looking at him. I poured some lemonade from a thermos into two plastic cups. Nanda’s eyes were still fixed on the fence. “Well, tell me, how was your first day?” I handed him some juice. “Good.” He grabbed the cup and took a gulp, eyes not meeting mine, still gazing out at the fence or beyond the fence, maybe the schoolyard. On paper plates, I arranged tuna fish sandwiches, carrot strips, apple slices, celery with peanut butter, and cookies. Not even the cookies grabbed his attention. “What


The only sign of life was an old newspaper blown by the wind. Yesterday's news. The fires had died down. The colossal  wreck of a housing block blackened by smoke was mute testimony to how far civilisation had regressed. The living were those who had left hoping for safety and freedom or at least food. Those who stayed had not stood a chance against a reckless foe that could not tell military from civilian or adult from child. An armed man, an enemy, stood and watched. Tears fell down his face like a torrent that would never end. It never will. Derek McMillan The editor of #worthingflash has shared his feelings about victims of war in Ukraine, Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan.  

Night Drive

The bleak winds reminded Kate that California was, after all, a desert. Semi-arid. She looked out her car window, seeing the whistling wind send tumbleweeds across the road. Wind like this brought memories with it. The Santa Anas, here again. The names of the places here told the story: Death Valley, Furnace Creek, Burnt Ranch. She was driving through the Mojave on her road trip to Utah. Roadside bushes picked up in the beam of her headlights what appeared to be ghostly coyotes. She blinked and saw that they were just dusty-millers, mesquite, greasewood. Not small groups of people clustered near the road, arms upraised in prayer, but Joshua trees. In the Mojave snakes rattled quietly as a muted tambourine before lunging. Get a grip she told herself, noticing that her headlights skewed in different directions—one pointing up like a floodlight, the other illuminating the broken median down the middle of the road. The Santa Anas, a bad wind whipping, lashing, drying everything

Living Their Best Lives

Dylan was about to post a photo of his dog, Lenny, on Facebook when Lenny looked at the screen and said Dylan should use a different photo because Lenny didn’t like that one. Dylan told Lenny that this was the only pic he took during their morning hike. Lenny thought for a moment and told Dylan to post this one anyway because even a bad pic of Lenny was better than no pic at all. Dylan told Lenny that there’s no such thing as a bad pic of Lenny. Lenny nodded in agreement and they laughed and laughed and laughed. John Sheirer is an author and teacher from Massachusetts, USA. His latest book, “Stumbling Through Adulthood: Linked Stories,” won a Pinnacle Book Achievement Award and a New England Book Festival Award. Find him at 

Tom's Choice

Tom gradually became aware that he was no longer asleep and his eye-lids fluttered open. He looked around and saw his hospital room. I’m still here he thought, what goes on. He felt a gentle touch on his hand and with some difficulty looked round at the familiar face by his bedside. “Jane” he whispered. “Good to see you; why can’t I go home?” He noticed how pale her face was and he could tell she had been crying. “What on earth is the matter; what is happening?” She started to cry again and tears rolled down her cheeks. “Jane please tell me.” He tried to move but his limb would barely respond. “My dearest Tom; I am so sorry. The doctor has news for you, but I asked to tell you myself.” Tom’s mind flashed back; he was beginning to remember. He had been at home and started to feel very unwell. He had taken some paracetamal and gone to bed hoping to sleep it off but in the early hours he was feeling truly dreadful and barely able to speak. He had woken Jane and within mins she was spee