A single child — a boy child— of a single parent — a woman, lonely and
yes, fearful — but he needed to find his own strength. She didn’t want
her son to cling to her, and believing it was in his best interests,
she did not want to hold on.
She wanted him to become a man unafraid to take risks; unlike his
father who had been unable and unwilling to do anything lest he fall
under his own mother’s judgment.
But — there on the news. Everyday. Another child. Amber Alerts.
Innocent grins haunting you from flyers on the convenience store
windows. She always bought milk in the paper cartons so he would know:
Have you seen me?
He was her joy. Silly, though. One morning they were walking to the
school and he began draping his hands over his body; the sides of his
head, his shoulders, his hips. A swivel of them.
“Stop it,” she’d told him, embarrassed that someone might see.
He had simply grinned and said, “What? I can’t do the Macarena on the
way to school?”
And he was growing up so fast! He was no longer content with her
company; he wanted to play with the neighborhood boys. Outside. Trees.
“Chicken” when a car approached. Jumping self-made, sky-high ramps
with their skateboards.
She didn’t want to nag. But she always said “Be careful. Mijo, be careful.”
She didn’t know if she was getting through.
“There are people in the world, “ she would say, and he’d mock her and
reply, “There’s lots of people in the world.”
“You know what I mean. The world —”
“ —isn’t a safe place anymore. Somebody might take me,” he’d mimic
her frequent warnings and she’d smile and jokingly say, “and I don’t
want them to, unless they promise they’ll keep you.”
And then they’d chuckle and he'd dash out the door to be with his
friends. To explore. To risk. To dare.
She would stand at the screen door, knowing there was only so much she
She remembered the day he got lost in Kmart. They were passing the
electronics department and she told him that he couldn’t stop to play
the display Nintendo. She’d continued walking, glancing at the items
on the ends of the aisles and then she’d turned, heading to the
She'd thought he was behind her. Immediately she panicked and strode
back to electronics. He wasn’t there.
“Danny!” she called, rushing to the toy department. “Daniel! Mijo!”
There were children in the aisles, stabbing the ‘try me now’ buttons
and crashing Tonka trucks across the floor, but there was no sign of
She’d rushed to the customer service counter, asked to have him paged.
“I’m going to see if he went to the car,” she’d said, as she shoved
aside the glass door and rushed outside.
He was not there.
Rushing back into the store, she was met by the concerned faces of the
manager and the customer service clerk. No one had answered the page.
Her heart beat wild enough to confuse her. Daniel!
And then, as if a miracle, hadn’t he appeared?
Her heart beat tears into her eyes and, though she wanted to choke
him, she threw her arms about his shoulders and said, “Where were
And he had laughed about her concern. He had been in the bathroom. He
hadn’t heard any page.
Be careful, Daniel, her heart whispered. Be careful.
He had simply lost track of the time, she thought as she walked down
the block to Kenny’s house. Playing video games. Climbing trees.
Seeking a new adventure. Never thinking of a woman waiting back home.
It had to be, she thought, something in the male gene.
A group of boys played in the street and she searched for her son, but
he wasn’t one of them.
But he wasn’t at Kenny’s. “He left about an hour ago.”
Or Robbie’s. “I saw him with Kenny this morning.”
Yes, try Cesar’s. “He hasn’t been here.”
She walked home, each step an effort. Her cries throughout the
neighborhood unanswered. She had to call someone —
“Daniel!” she yelled into the night. “Daniel!”
How she got from that moment to this one, she did not know. Who chose
his clothes? He looked handsome, she thought. But he didn’t look like
he was sleeping. No, he looked sweet when he slept and lying there
against the satin lining, he simply looked unreal.
“My little boy,” she whimpered as she stared at him.
“My little boy. My little boy. My little boy,” she cried as she
collapsed into her grief. But there was one moment, when a sliver of
her anger cut through, and she wanted to scream at him — Why didn’t
you listen to me? — momentarily feeling as though he’d gotten what he
A single child — a boy child— of a single parent — a woman, lonely and
The Fringe is open to submissions of poetry, flash fiction and short stories of any genre. Stories accepted will be published online in our Ezine and also in the monthly pdf magazine.
We are also open to submissions from artists for inclusion in the magazine.
Submissions should be in RTF format or in the body of the email. Send email submissions only to firstname.lastname@example.org
Currently we only offer payment for one story selected as the feature story in the monthly pdf magazine only. The successful author will be contacted to organise payment via paypal for a $5AUD payment. Authors of other accepted stories published on the webzine and in the pdf copy will receive a copy of the pdf version of the mag the story appears in.
We are open to unpublished and previously published stories up to 40,000 words in length.
About The Fringe Magazine
Here at The Fringe Magazine we publish Short Stories, Flash Fiction, Poetry in all genres and reviews of books, roleplay games, music and movies.
Our variety seems to be hiting the mark with over 100,000 views of our Online Magazine with a good spread across all articles.
Our variety seems to be hiting the mark with over 100,000 views of our Online Magazine with a good spread across all articles.?xml:namespace>From surveys we've conducted, our readers are like most people and enjoy reading all kinds of books, both fiction and non-fiction.
With over 350 readers visiting our site each day, we listen to the voice of the masses and try and procure books in all genres to review. To date, we have reviewed over 600 books, including; non-fiction reference, music, art, photography, gardening, cooking, Self Help, architecture, design, biographies and roleplay games.
We also review fiction in all genres; Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Historical Romance, Paranormal Romance, Horror, Crime, Thriller, Comedy, Western. We also publish Author Interviews, Paintings, Sketches, Art Work, Art Work by Susie Wilson, and non-fiction articles. The only thing you won't find at The Fringe Magazine is a bad review, if we don't like something, we won't put up a review at all.
You will also find music and dvd reviews and the occasional interview with musicians and actors.
- ► 2011 (753)
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- Review:Bring on the Night by Jeri Smith-Ready
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