Category / Fiction

Kristen Havens The 1983 blue Volvo was exactly as advertised on the website. Boxy, long, and low to the ground. Staid and responsible. An ideal choice for a young woman worried about safety. Marla assessed it silently. She noted the metal strip running down each side of the car from front to back. She took […]

Jess DeCourcy Hinds It’s moose-building day. My ninth graders are up to their elbows in papier-mâché, wrapping pulpy newspaper around balloons, the art room awhirl with turpentine and hormones. Pilar and Dmitri knock over a gray slop bucket and kiss. I’m shaping antlers, forgetting about the other places a twenty-three-year-old guy could be right now: surfing […]

Cortney Phillips Meriwether Evelyn was sitting on the porch in the rain, talking on the phone. The rest of us stood coupled in the kitchen, clustered around trays of appetizers and bowls of dip. We were watching her and hoping she didn’t notice. When her phone first rang and she made a motion toward the […]

Tara Stillions Whitehead The day after they declare another war, Joe takes me to the river to show me how he talks to God. There is no water there, only a cement aqueduct filled with sand that soldiers like Joe have brought back with them over the years. We can’t see the base from here, […]

Samuel J. Adams The most embarrassing thing I’ve ever seen go down was at an elementary school talent show in 1985. This new kid had moved to Ohio from Vermont or somewhere, some lakefront town where people wore turtleneck sweaters all year and nobody watched TV. He was eleven, young for his grade, and homeschooled, […]

Exorcism

Corey Farrenkopf Every church diocese in the United States has an ordained exorcist on call. Most people don’t know that information, a fact Gretchen relied on. Her Craigslist ad read: Ordained Exorcist Available for Home Consultations, Group Rates May Apply.  * * * Gretchen was not, in fact, ordained. The Pope never blessed her vials […]

Steve Cushman Jill returned to our cabin in the woods with a bear cub in her arms, a purple flower behind her ear. She brought the cub inside, said he was mine to raise. But what do I know about bear cubs?   You know everything you need to know, she said. We made love in our low bed […]

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 […]