Tag: flash fiction

What She Knew – Sue Powers

She had a birthday, became thirty, became morbid and suffering and told her husband she would bear no more children, that inherent in birth is the sentence of death, that all childbearing is selfish, an illusion of immorally and how well she knew that she would die soon (what is thirty, forty more years compared to eternity?), that she was powerless, that her only life was moving along a path she could not remember freely choosing and she would not know all experience, live all the lives, reach all the corners that she might, but if nothing else, she said, she wished better for her unborn offspring than this anguish, this knowledge of nothingness-after-life.   

Take an aspirin, he said. Not unkindly.

Sue Powers has an array of publishing credits, among them Saturday Evening Post. She’s the recipient of a fellowship & grant from the Illinois Arts Council in Prose and two of her stories have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. She has 21 fiction publications.

 

 

Photo by Gaelle Marcel on Unsplash

Dear beloved readers—

This letter originally was supposed to be about all the awesome work we have been publishing and all the great things to come for DDR. Like many of you, I have experienced a range of emotions recently.  Mostly heartbreak, anger, and confusion… But now, it’s time to speak.  

Dying Dahlia is so proud and honored to be able to share work by women.  Dying Dahlia along with many other publications believe that women’s voices need to be heard.  When I started DDR it was for that reason and that reason alone.  And we will continue to do so.

If you are a survivor of sexual assault here are some things we here at Dying Dahlia want you to know…

Do not be silent.
We hear you.
We believe you.
Speak your truth.
And know that we stand with you.
You are not alone.

I, too, am a survivor. I was sexually abused as a child. And like some survivors who are stepping forward now, the trauma I experienced happened over 20 years ago. Do I remember the clothes I was wearing? No. Do I remember the dates it happened on? No. But I remember. 

It happened.  It mattered.  You matter.  And I believe you. 

I don’t know what is going to happen in the coming days.  I know that I am inspired by the women who are using their voices to stand up for what is right.

We want to see and hear your voices.  On blogs, on social media, in our submissions, in other journals, wherever.  We support you and your efforts to stop this plague.  Because it is a plague.  It is not okay. It has never been okay. 

There are many people out there who believe as I do— survivors should be heard and supported. If you know someone who has been sexually assaulted, reach out to them.  This is an incredibly painful and overwhelming time for many survivors right now. Listen to them. Come from a place of love.  That’s all that is needed.

But most importantly, to all the survivors out there— stay strong and speak your truth. To a friend, to a family member, to the world. Put it in a poem, in a story, in a song or just say it out loud.

And don’t stop. Don’t ever, ever stop. I know I won’t.

Much Love,

Abbie Copeland
Editor-in-Chief

 

If you or someone you know needs help, please reach out to RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network). You can visit their website rainn.org or call their free confidential hotline at 1.800.656.HOPE (4673).

Feed Me – Carrie Mumford

Once a guy took me to Point Pleasant Park in the rain and sat me on the rocks overlooking the ocean and fed me spaghetti he’d cooked from a Tupperware and told me he wanted to drop out of school and buy a boat and sail around the world with me. The spaghetti was dry and the next summer he fell in love with a boy at the yacht club.

xxx

Once a guy made me lobster and lasagna. He called his adopted nonna and she coached him over the phone on how to melt the butter, when to take the noodles out, how to rub the spices between his hands. We slept in dog-dirty sheets and he told me about his brother’s time in jail and how he himself had stolen a register full of cash once but that was okay because it was the guy’s own fault for leaving it open when he went in the back to get the pizza.

xxx

Once a guy cooked me plantains and showed me how to choose the perfect mango, how the sweetest meat was closest to the pit. He recited a poem he’d written for his ex about kissing on a bridge in the rain and told me she’d left of her own accord and that it was her fault and her fault alone. He told me to be good be sweet be kind when I left him a few months later, of my own accord.

xxx

Once a guy made me baloney sandwiches with mustard on brown and he’d doubled in size overnight. He told me about his new girlfriend, how her hair was curlier than mine and her bum bigger and how we were so different because she was a cheerleader and I was a point guard but he liked that about her. And then we went upstairs to his dad’s camera room. Antique cameras stared at us on the single bed with baby-blue sheets. His feet hung off the end and we had perfunctory sex because we had to. 

xxx

Once a guy ate snowflakes off my eyelashes. He rolled on top of me and my snowmobile suit from the seventies, waited for the snow to fall, licked it from my eyelids, my cheeks, my lashes. He told me the stars always made him think of the Tragically Hip and the tobogganing hill made him think of weed. He drove me home in his crappy car and told me my mom was bad for me, as if she were something I could quit, like cigarettes.

xxx

Once I made a guy shepherd’s pie because his dad had a heart attack. I borrowed a cookbook from my mom and spent four hours boiling and mashing and frying and baking, and then I dropped it off at his house. He answered the door in an open housecoat and boxers and wouldn’t let me come inside. Behind him, his ex said, “Who’s that?” and I still handed him the pie and he still took it. I never got my dish back.

Carrie Mumford has lived on both the East and West coasts of Canada, and many places in between. Currently, she lives in Calgary, Alberta with her husband, three naughty cats, and one rambunctious dog. Her first novel, All But What’s Left, is forthcoming in June 2018.

First Week of First Grade – Natalie DeVaull-Robichaud

“He has trouble with transitions,” I explain to the social worker in her air-conditioned office. Two hours before, in class, he yelled out “I want to kill myself! I don’t belong in this school!” because (he later explained) he didn’t want to write anymore. They are wondering what is wrong. I ache in the cool plastic chair. There is a mirror on the wall where there should be a clock. There is my son who is different. I am glad there is organic milk in his snack bag that day as he shapes the magnetic toys on the table into an elaborate sculpture of triangles on triangles. The magnets are balls and sticks. He points to the silver magnetic ball in the center of the sculpture and says, “This is the atom of my mommy’s heart.”

Natalie DeVaull-Robichaud lives with her husband and son in Connecticut, where she teaches writing.