[23] Sewn Shut

“His eyes are sewn shut,” Marc whispered. “Don’t move. He’ll hear you.”

The three boys quieted as the monster crept through the woods. Tree branches snapped. Leaves rustled.

Silence.

“Raaa!” The monster jumped out and tried to devour the others.

“Get back to base!” Marc exclaimed, inhaling sweet summer air.

[18] Googling

“Freddie?” Mrs. Price asked.

The young boy picked his head up off the desk. “Yeah?”

“I was hoping you could tell me the capital of New York.”

Freddie rolled his eyes. “Albany.”

“South Dakota?”

“Pierre.”

“Alaska?”

“Juneau.”

Mrs. Price tilted her head. “Been studying?”

“Nope, just Googling. It’s way faster.”

“New Attendance Codes” has been published by The Daily Drunk Magazine

Happy New Year, everyone!

I’m a little late getting around to posting this, but I wanted to share another publication update. The Daily Drunk Magazine published my hybrid flash fiction story “New Attendance Codes” on Christmas Eve. I was excited to add this to my list of publications for 2020.

I wrote “New Attendance Codes” in an attempt to capture the pure absurdity of this school year. Schools and families are doing the best they can – I mean that earnestly – but this year has been unlike anything we have ever faced before. Each day poses a new challenge, and the challenges are far from what we used to typically experience.

Writing this story was simply one teacher’s way of having a laugh to help find his way through an obscure time.

I hope you enjoy it!

– Justin

[16] The Train Hopper

Under the cover of darkness, Milo hopped aboard the westward-bound freight train. He slipped inside a boxcar. Moonlight glimmered on his face.

“Hey,” a seasoned, smoky voice called from the shadows. “Where you heading, kid?”

“I don’t know.”

“No? Well, where you from?”

“Nowhere.”

The man’s voice cracked. “Me too.”

[15] The Greatest Gift of All

Paula and Martin couldn’t afford presents this year, so they wrote each other stories and poems. The newlyweds rolled up their creations and placed them carefully in the tree.

Christmas day was spent laughing and crying as they reflected, reminisced – dreamed.

In the end, their greatest gift was each other.