Category / Fiction

Couples Massage, Jillian Jackson

Jillian Jackson They were going to a couples massage. It was the first for both of them. They were newlyweds, and Amanda thought that this was just what she and Sean needed. They had trouble with “the spark” sometimes. She had made the decision to be more proactive. She bought the coupon for the massage online.  […]

by Phebe Jewell  No one asked if I wanted to be part of this family. Somebody, Mr. or Mrs. Kincaid, peeled adhesive tape off my back and stuck me on the minivan’s rear window. Two pigtails and a skirt. Not a look I would choose. But I represented Rachel, the newborn. Rachel didn’t have hair […]

Sabbatical

Gina Marie Bernard   Long ago, my grandmother embarked on sabbatical. Father has said it was because she didn’t care for all the fuss he and my uncle raised. She sat, legs crossed, at the dining room table on a morning not particularly dissimilar from any other, drinking E&J from a stained coffee mug. A Marlboro Red […]

Julia Dixon Evans

“Is she making wishes?” my daughter asks, ten minutes into her incessant, idle chatter. Her tone switches enough for me to notice, to pay attention, and finally: silence. “Who?” She doesn’t reply. Her eyes are closed. Her fingers, nails filthy and needing trimmed, press at the edges of her eyelashes. “Who, baby girl? Who is […]

Kathryn McMahon I fell for a chef who kept nail clippers in her back pocket and bit her lip when I pushed through the door. Wednesday evenings, I’d walk to The Midnight Café to watch her cook. Behind the counter, she iced lemon cake or sliced roast sirloin and danced on the balls of her […]

Second Responder by Ellie Campbell

by Ellie Campbell Mia takes her crash-test dummy and turns it over. The auditorium is only half full, her plastic victim remarkably pliant. There are fifteen participants in the class and a team of trainers. Some say they were there on the day of the attack, others say nothing.  The dummy has been injured. Hit […]

The Not-So-Secret Life of Goat Girl

by Natanya Ann Pulley     So, the last time I grew a horn, it stuck around for only like three days. My scalp totally dried out, and soon there was that familiar cracking, splitting, and Oh Shit of losing the thing onto my lunch tray. In front of the whole school. And James blushed, then […]

Great to Meet You! by David Lott

by David Lott From: Timothy Waters <waterfall@u-bettcha.com> Sent: Friday, October 06, 11:32 PM To: Paul Storey Subject: Great to meet you! Attachments: Windmills.doc; BigBook.doc Hi, Paul,  Just dropping you a quick line to tell you how pleased I was to meet you tonight—a fellow “struggling artist”! I’m sorry we didn’t get to talk more. It […]

1. Already Dead Girls Already Dead Girls are easy to write; they do not require speech or action or emotion or growth. They have been hoisted up, trussed, their hands starred out against a dark background. The men leave them dangling from ceilings or trees or hog-tied on the ground or yoked to bedposts, forgetting […]

Dena Afrasiabi   At lunch one day, Gigi tells her friends she’d been ghosted by Alan, the geo-engineer she met online. Her friends tell her they’re sorry, then chime in with their own ghosting stories, each one trying to outdo the one before: the red-headed Russian cosmonaut who used Shaylin’s hairbrush when she was in […]

Claire Miye Stanford   CRYSTALLIZATION The ice begins as a wrinkle at the edge of the lake, a threading of needles in the brush and the reeds. The slightest breeze will break its burgeoning corporeality, fracturing it into shards and then into nothing, causing it to rejoin the water, to resume that liquid shape. It […]

Kelly Ann Jacobson   Angel My father is the one who named me; perhaps it’s his fault I fell. Black En masse, we are the blank space around a black hole. Devoid of even dust, we stand stripped and wait for gravity to pull us down.  Children When they call me, they are all business. […]

Madeline Stevens   She wakes to the man cursing, the car sputtering over to the side of the road. She tries to remember his name—it’s along the lines of Paul or John, one of Jesus’ apostles, she remembers that. A medallion hangs from the rear view mirror, a flash of gold that stings the topmost […]

Plot Baby by Tara Campbell

Tara Campbell   A woman wanted to give birth because her life was too perfect. Other women had trauma, children, husbands who mistreated them. She had money, independence, serenity, but nothing to write about. The woman sat down and told herself she’d failed because she wasn’t a mother. She concentrated, holding her belly, but couldn’t […]

Joseph Moldover   The beach was a sliver of mud, and two figures struggled from the woods down to the water’s edge. The man wore boots and canvas pants, but the boy was in sneakers and shorts and his legs were already dirty. The man set down a tackle box and two rods. He looked […]

Julie A. Hersh   I walked too far in the desert one night and got lost. I came to a house in a dark patch of something else and walked closer, to its huge black gate surrounding a steel patio. It was enormous, woody, stony. I gripped the gates to get a better look and […]

This is How You Leave Him

Holly Pelesky   With a clatter. You will drop your coffee cup and the ceramic will shatter onto the orange linoleum and the shards will look up at you and you will look down at them, at the hot coffee splattered on your ankles. Don’t mop it up. Leave a note: I wanted to love […]

Joe Cary No one’s made a move yet among the hushed chatter and as we pitch and yaw something from the overhead bins caroms off my shoulder and I stare uncertain at my pen, safe in my grip, the fancy one she gave me on our first birthday together, Every aspiring writer needs a good […]

The One Who Finally Saves You

Cara Dempsey   Was I freaked at first? Shit, yeah. You know how it is. You’ve been stuck at a company too long. You were just about to quit when, suddenly, they laid you off. No way you can afford your place. So you spend weeks boxing up your life, throwing out all the little […]

Amy Stuber   It happens on the 42 bus, right after I email the woman I work for, Ellen, practically the thousandth email of the day because she requires that level of attention, and her auto-reply tells me she’ll be “traveling internationally with family for two weeks and so may be delayed in responding.” I […]