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Archives: 1000 words or less

“Folie Á Deux” by Laura Rose (MUSE 2017)

“Folie Á Deux” by Laura Rose (MUSE 2017)

The MUSE has spoken! Laura Rose’s essay, “Folie Á Deux,” is a winner in our first-ever Monthly Muse writing prompt on Childhood/Parenthood. Find the complete list of winners and finalists here and check out this month’s prompts here and share your own musings.


Folie Á Deux

by Laura Rose

 

It’s a still, sweet July evening. The air is cool, the sky cloudless. The birds are chattering away in the hedgerow outside of our cabin where my family spends the summer. We’re isolated from the world. Mile after square mile of dense Pennsylvania forest stretches out beyond the hedgerow, a four-mile dirt road separates us from the nearest town. My father is on the front porch staring into the woods.

“Perfection” by Molly Seale (2017)

“Perfection” by Molly Seale (2017)

The MUSE has spoken! Molly Seale’s essay, “Perfection,” is a winner in our first-ever Monthly Muse writing prompt on Childhood/Parenthood. Find the complete list of winners and finalists here and check out this month’s prompts here and share your own musings.


Perfection

by Molly Seale

 

My aunt sits across from me. I have settled in the one rocking chair in her home and my eighteen-month old toddler is climbing onto my lap. “Nurse, Mommy! Nurse!” he demands. He’s weary, always so after a car trip. His eyes are heavy, he longs for the comfort of my breast. “Do you mind?” I ask. “Oh not at all,” she smiles as I lift my shirt and he, my baby, latches on greedily, sleepily, gratefully.

My aunt – Golda is her name – smiles gently, watching me, watching him. She is silky and soft, fragrant and old, so old. Yet she curiously observes the two of us and I venture, “What was your son like at this age?

“Apples” by Laura Maynard (2017)

“Apples” by Laura Maynard (2017)

The MUSE has spoken! Laura Maynard’s short story, “Apples,” is a winner in our first-ever Monthly Muse writing prompt on In Memoriam. Find the complete list of winners and finalists here and check out this month’s prompts here and share your own musings.


Apples

by Laura Maynard

 

When babies die, people bring lasagne. They  bring bread. They bring pie.

They arrive, single file, wearing dark colours, with empty words and full hands, trying to lessen the void that hangs low in my belly.

“Thank you for coming,” Daniel says. “She’s not really eating much yet.” He unclenches his fists to receive the plate.

He stuffs the casserole dish into the freezer. Bits of snow chip off and fall to the floor. When the whispering voices cease and the front door closes, dishes smash against the walls.

There comes a time when Daniel stops throwing things and begins to cook. The scent of apple pie wafts upstairs and into

“Taking Our Time” by Jonathan Segol (2017)

“Taking Our Time” by Jonathan Segol (2017)

The MUSE has spoken! Jonathan Segol’s essay, “Taking Our Time,” is a winner in our first-ever Monthly Muse writing prompt on In Memoriam. Find the complete list of winners and finalists here and check out this month’s prompts here and share your own musings.


Taking Our Time

by Jonathan Segol

 

“Attention: it is now 11:30.  The park will close at midnight.  You have thirty minutes to leave the park.”

The three of us–Roger, Billy and me—could leave this park in two minutes, in any direction.  It’s a small neighborhood park.  But after those instructions blare from the loudspeaker on the golfcart-sized vehicle with its headlight pointed at us, we agree it might take us longer leave to the park.  Thirty-one minutes at least.

“Ice Lessons” by M.K. Sturdevant (2017)

“Ice Lessons” by M.K. Sturdevant (2017)

The MUSE has spoken! M.K. Sturdevant’s essay, “Ice Lessons,” is a winner in our first-ever Monthly Muse writing prompt on In Memoriam. Find the complete list of winners and finalists here and check out this month’s prompts here and share your own musings.


“Ice Lessons”

by M.K. Sturdevant

 

I’m running next to the lake, leaping and punching through the fog. It’s spring, freezing cold. Heart pounding, I gasp it, I spit it out once more, to let him know that now is a good time. There’s nobody around. Now, Dad. Come now! There are merely millions of shadows, flickers in high-rise windows to the west. I pause on my path, and not even a gull flaps. I can only hear the lake breaking, shifting ice all around, and I hear the plates rolling slicing and shattering little by little: his steady crackle. He is the line being drawn, from here to Benton Harbor, a noise drawn deep under Sister Bay, a shift in the light over Milwaukee.

I’m walking home later, trying to figure out what he was up to, what he wanted to say. I worry I didn’t get the message.

Dad and I go grocery shopping sometimes. He’s so funny about cereal. He mixes up about four different kinds in his bowl. So I ask him,