Fiction

Sapling (W.A. Hawkins)

In my dreams he is dead—when I wake he’s been dead twenty years—but in my dreams, we’replanting a maple sapling in our backyard. I’m maybe five or six. A thin, wiry thing. I sometimeslook up the address on Google Earth and study the tree’s canopy covering the tiny yard. A still,quiet tire swing hangs from […]

EVAPORATION of a Feeling (David Yourdon)

The thought had arrived in my head a few days earlier, and I couldn’t shake it.  “I’m worried that I’m going to eat my own teeth,” I said. “That’s why you dragged me out here?” said Valentina. “It’s not so unpleasant.” I gestured at our surroundings: wet leaves pressed against plastic chairs, warm holiday lights […]

Female Trouble 2000 (Gwen Hilton)

I’ve been waiting all my lifeI’ve been waiting for some real good porn Something with meaningSomething fulfillingI’d like to make my shame count for something Car Seat Headrest – Not What I Needed When I was young enough for it to be sad I got caught shoplifting. I had been shoplifting since a lot earlier, […]

New Spring Green (Rebecca Ackermann)

When Ceci arrived at our school, she was wearing a green t-shirt with a little green cricket embroidered on it, and corduroy pants printed with brushes dipped in red and blue paint. Her socks were dotted with fluffy white clouds, and around her wrist she wore a scrunchy the color of boardwalk mustard. Each item […]

Okay I Believe You (Lindsey Peters Berg)

“I mean, we kind of always knew he was a predator, right?” Jenna sits across from me, drinking her third double IPA. I’m wearing no makeup and she’s in all black. “Well. Did we?” We’re on the patio of a bar located halfway between our apartments. We both Lyfted here, certain we were going to […]

A Good Way to Go (David Luntz)

No howling infants in front. No kids kicking the back of my chair. I’ve won the air travel lottery. To top it off my seatmate is pure pulchritude: freckles, thick auburn hair and gem-shaped nostrils. Her tank-top says: “I’m the imperative. What’s your tense?” I don’t normally initiate conversation with strangers. But, after the plane […]

From “Kissing William Davis After Eating Grandpa: The Unbelievable and Totally True Diary of Margaret Fairchild’s Journey as Part of the Donner Party” (Leigh Chadwick)

December 31, 1846 It’s New Year’s Eve and the pneumonia finally swallowed Grandpa whole. Dad found him when he went to the lean-to to that morning as he was bringing Grandpa his breakfast, the last of Roger’s right foot, boiled down to a thick broth, since Grandpa wasn’t taking solid foods well. The broth was […]

Man of the Crawlspace (Max Hipp)

I sleep under Becca’s shotgun house with the possums. Last night a baby hung from a joist by its tail and watched me until the mama came over and hissed.  Her slippers whisper and rasp overhead as she hums “All You Need Is Love.”  She screws the rent-a-cop twice a week until he snores like […]

The Thagomizer (Steve Gergley)

When I was eight, the stegosaurus was my favorite dinosaur. When I was thirty-eight, I started browsing Wikipedia during my morning deuce to learn one new fact each day. When I was thirty-eight and forty-one days, the stegosaurus was the featured article on the Wikipedia home page. After reading the entire article, I finished up […]

Three Strikes (Kirsti MacKenzie)

He’s a reliable fuck but he’s never once made me cum. Don’t get me wrong, he’s handsome. Broad-shouldered, blue-eyed, scruffy and sandy blond. His suit is strange for this sports bar. Loose tie, razored collar under a clean jaw. Aftershave, lots of it. Stronger than stale beer, sweaty drunks, this popcorn machine. I’m reaching for […]

In This House (Ryan Napier)

In the fall of 2019, L. moved to California for a postdoc. The rent in the Bay Area almost made her turn it down, but she remembered that she had a friend from undergrad who was in a PhD program there. L. emailed the friend and asked for advice. The friend, it turned out, was […]

Lost & Found (Max Steiner)

Last they heard she’s in a phone booth outside Wendy’s calling interstate. Says she quit her Thorazine. Something about Matthew 5:14 and she needs to spread her light down I-80 out east. Her love-yous go straight to voicemail. $2/day keeps her name in the local classifieds—**MISSING**, page 6—until her folks are behind on water and […]

The Golden Light That Keeps Us Alive (Daniel deRock)

Puffin was the slowest kid on the cross country team, but he did have a triple black belt or something. Coach gave him that name because he wasn’t a good runner and had some form of asthma. Coach would say, “Look at him go, huffin’ and puffin’.” It was funny because he was the biggest […]

Yes (Sarah Daly)

I was an undergraduate when he stayed with us twice a year.  He had been my father’s student and would often come over to our house. It was unusual for him to mention any of his students, let alone invite any to have dinner with us. But my father had praised him for his quickness, […]

Horror Show (Keith J. Powell)

Mom was a saxophone prodigy who fled home at eighteen to become a Hollywood scream queen. In her first role, she played the mean girl captain of the high school fencing team, who unsuccessfully uses an umbrella to attack and parry against an undead maniac swinging a machete. You know the scene, I’m sure. The […]

Like Some Kind of Tear or Portal— (Aaron Burch)

One of the first times I told her, I used the word aperture. I said it kinda looked like, or at least reminded me of, the old camera that my grandfather gave me the year I got into photography. I have since self-corrected, I’ve told her I don’t think it’s quite like that after all, […]

Spots (Matt Rowan)

Spots were dotting things in a peculiar way, all of a sudden.  Wouldn’t you know it? The cause was man-made. It was made by one man in particular. His name was Jeremy, but most people called him “Spots” on account of his spots, which people thought he’d been born with, or at least, that they’d […]

Flash (George Oleksandrovych)

The mirror speaks in strange syntax; subjects and verbs scattered like Scrabble tiles after an Epileptic seizure. The rosé tinting her brain, hazy like a vintage Insta filter as she slurs something incomprehensible at her reflection.  Too tipsy for a bathroom this pretty.  Glossy azure tiles, gold-leaf fixtures on a dreamy onyx countertop. The kind […]

Get a Stumble Going (Michael McSweeney)

A well-known home exercise equipment startup, the one that made those dumb commercials you probably saw, laid me off two days before my birthday and I felt reckless. I felt reckless and also panicked because the money fears were back. I thought about the shadows of financial insecurity and how like a child they made […]

The Asshole (Brooke Kolcow)

Here comes the asshole again. His sphincter is puckered just ready to blow. His hemorrhoids look painful, swollen, like probably he can feel his heartbeat in them. And some of us roll our eyes because here we go again. The new guy, Ian, asks, “Is that a walking asshole?” We smirk at each other because […]

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