Fiction

The Dark Knight (Matthew J. Andrews)

All the Batmans gathered for a reunion, to reminisce about their time behind the mask. They drank late into the evening, sharing stories about battles and adventures. Across the bar, another man drank alone, stealing occasional glances at the heroes. Late in the night, there was a disturbance: two men at the pool table nearly […]

i started watering my bell peppers with monster energy (Shelby Rice)

and six of the seven flat out died in the garden, but one sprouted a snapback and won’t shut up about monster trucks. the old me would have found it annoying but i’m kind of lonely in my miserable studio apartment, so we’re getting along fine, kyle and i. a week in, i asked if […]

How To Win A Staring Contest (M. Price)

(of course the fireplace is for show he filled the flue with cement instead of fixing the spalling brick the house was built in ‘79 was not made for such conditions resigned by lighting small fires under hidden cigarettes swallowed mouthwash daydreamed about cutting the long orange extension cords of our neighbor’s back-up generators spit […]

A Backward Gesture (E. Nolan)

Alan made me listen to the whole album backward in his room before he’d let me leave. “There it is again,” he said, pointing to his computer. “Howie roard zoern. That’s backward for, ‘Do it, Alan. Do it.’” “No, it’s not,” I told him. “It’s backward nothing.” Alan started doing his little backward dance to […]

Sign of the tines (JR Walsh)

The menu read aloud. “Dreamy beetles, covering thighs. A peloton revealed. A creamy offal delicacy ensnares release with larval supremes. Malaise recommended.” The menu always paused here. Sometimes he winked. This day, a scowl. The patrons were puzzled. Malaise was their favorite. “Or. “Stabby stubble, feats of beetle. These zigzagat gines define elegance. Co-starring papas […]

The Sponge (Paul Rousseau)

This lady’s wife disappeared last night and she is walking downtown, asking people if they have seen her. “Have you seen this woman?” she asks, outside a sports bar. She shows a picture of her to a group of people wearing jerseys. “That’s a sponge,” someone from the group says, authoritatively. “Like a dish sponge.” […]

The Wave (Sean Cunningham)

The wave is not coming. The wave is not coming. The wave is not com― no, the wave is never coming. I have to get this into my head. I am walking through town desperate to scream about the wave, but it is not coming, so I can’t. I am convinced that the wave is […]

Stain (Rosaleen Lynch)

I tried to saw the ice cube in half. Ever done it? You’d know what happened. You might even have nine fingers to show for it or less. Don’t ask why. Did they ask you? Did your Mom ask why you used your Dad’s old rusty saw? Or why ice, for fucks sake, why ice? […]

Portrait of a Sheep On the Occasion of Its Extispicy (Rebekah Devine)

The bārû peels back my gut & probes my entrails. By oil lamp, he extracts my liver and bowels and places them beside me on the table. At the king’s behest, the bārû searches my innards for omens. He scours each part for grooves, spots, oddities, inquiring of my bladder about the fate of the […]

Let Down Your Hair (Bethany Holmstrom)

There’s that familiar pull, when they climb up. You’d think she could easily sense the fluctuations — estimate the weight for each, like a carnival guesser — but it’s so subtle, in her mind. Almost indistinguishable.  They send her missives in response to her remarkably detailed profile: Hi.  Hiya.  Hi how’s your day? Hey hows […]

Ginger Beef (Natalie Warther)

My husband was still on his 5pm call, and I didn’t want to disturb him with the sound of the blender, but I really needed to make dinner because it was already six thirty, so I brought the blender into the hall closet and blended the squash right there in the dark, next to the […]

The American Matryoshka Doll (N.D. Brown)

Across the room, a mother runs her hand over the top of her daughter’s braided hair. The daughter’s eyes are closed. She’s whimpering into her mother’s coat-padded lap while smooth jazz plays and sanitizers hang as a reassurance for the non-sick people sitting in the peach-colored Illinois emergency waiting room. Beside me, an old man […]

Bootlegger’s Fire (Travis Cravey)

Buck rode slowly up from the creek towards the clump of oak trees, There was no discernible path, but Buck had ridden it enough to know what he was looking at. Miles from the nearest road, mules were the only good way to get here. And he would be walking back, leading, so he enjoyed […]

Past Miller Street (KKUURRTT)

Driving through the suicide part of town. The part that we don’t talk about because it hurts too much or just enough or maybe we’ve chosen to have forgotten because it’s easier that way. The mortgage was cheap when we moved here out of the city. Everybody was doing it. Cept no one told us […]

The Dog Who Only Said “Bastards” (Alexander Evans)

He said it for the first time on a Tuesday afternoon when the neighbor kids were running in the street. The man said what did you say? The dog was silent. He’d said his piece. The man took him to be checked. Any other words? asked the vet. Just the one, replied the man. Weird. […]

Dandruff (W. A. Hawkins)

I see myself on the FaceTime call: tired, pale, and a little balder than I like to admit. Slumped in my desk chair—the chair I lugged into this studio apartment; the chair where I work and masturbate and eat lunch and occasionally fall asleep. Now, I also use it for talking to my sons on […]

Revenge is best served with coffee (B F Jones)

You wake up, with coffins in your head, you shake them off pat the turf of happy thoughts over them, squeeze the pillow over your face, have several drops of that stupid plant-based thing that’s meant to help but doesn’t, you toss and turn and toss and turn, read some news and the coffins become […]

Scars (Mitchell Nobis)

Russell—barefoot in jeans and a threadbare t-shirt (“Pobody’s Nerfect!”)—welcomed in the delivery guys who grunted and worked the new table through the doors. “In the dining room, please.” They removed protective wrap and polished. They stepped back, looked to Russell to make sure it was where he wanted. Russell pulled needle-nose pliers out of his […]

Whose Nightmare Is It? (Constance Malloy)

cw: suicide The beauty of the internet is that you can find a tutorial to aid in your own demise. That’s what 15 year-old Sally Baker did. In a minute forty-four flat she learned how to tie a slip knot from a YouTube video titled How to Tie a Slip Knot (Step by Step Tutorial). […]

The Day The Corner Store Clerk Mistook Johnny for a Dinosaur Mutant (Sierra O’Brien)

Neither of the clerks turn to look at him as he pushes through the front door of Alfie’s, and the rusty bell above the doorway clunks lifeless behind him. “Where’s the juice?” Without looking away from the television behind the counter, one of the clerks points toward the coolers in the back of the store. […]

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