Category / Fiction

Foreword to the English Edition by Sacha Idell

Sacha Idell Junpei Nomura was the author of three short story collections: Field in the Dark, Grapes, and After the Moon, the last of which received the prestigious Yomiuri Prize in 2007. He was, additionally, the translator of two volumes of John Cheever’s short stories, the author of the ornamental gardening book Hedges, and a […]

Valerie Nieman Lourana opened the door to the sweepstakes parlor to check the skies. Robbie as he left had warned her again about the winter storm. “We’re under a warning come midnight. Get yourself home—it’s gonna be a bad one,” he told her, not that she couldn’t tell from the empty seat at every machine. […]

A Woman of Color Walks Down a Path

Emi Benn The path down the hill is right by my apartment, so it seems safe, though it’s obscured by trees. Sometimes coyotes lurk around. When the back door’s open, I can hear people trudging up it. Once, I heard a couple screaming at each other. A neighbor warned me never to walk there after […]

Girl in Glass

Aimee Parkison Take me out. Play with me. I’m shivering. You can flip the switch to make shadows go. I shudder, waiting to roam. The glass fills with light. Piped-in air smells of candy, girls trembling after misted showers spritz us with moisturized perfumed waters. Hot air vents blow-dry our faces, hair, and bodies, coated […]

Girls in Windows

Carol Guess and Aimee Parkison The girl in your bed1 isn’t in your bed. She stands on one leg2 while she steps into her skirt.3 Slides her skirt up her thighs,4 around her waist. Glances at you as you glance at her.5 The girl in your bed stands facing the window,6 blinds pulled tight, like […]

Sarah Beaudette My first friend on the island was unlikely, in the sense that we met because my boyfriend had recently gotten her pregnant. The night before I was supposed to take the ferry to meet Jack on the island, he drunk texted that he’d been sleeping with not one but many girls in my […]

Vanessa Cuti Find in the wreckage these gifts: a die-cast car, a snow globe stamped with the name of the city I was leaving, cheap lettering smudged. The girl in duty-free wrapped them for me, so find nearby this tissue and ribbon. Ignore my wedding rings, which might just as well be tin, and whatever […]

Dave Housley “Beep beep.” Coyote feels the adrenaline kick. His legs steady, eyes focus on the horizon. He looks left, then right. “Beep beep.” The roadrunner is getting closer. Coyote’s fingers are actually tingling. His mouth waters. He looks left, right. Left. Right. Can he actually hear the steamroller churn of the animal’s legs, or […]

Michael Parker But why do we have to dress up like cops, I asked Run. Because we’ll make more money, he said. I met Run at Mattie’s. He was from Perquimans also but I never knew him, nor his people. Years later, after he died, I was back home for a funeral and met one […]

Shark in swimming pool Scorpion in shoe Icicle I choose cotton over nonflammable polyester I fail to adjust my bike helmet straps according to the instruction manual I forget to knock on wood Shoe stuck in train track Bike wheel stuck in tram track Truck swerving to miss squirrel Meteor Javelin Lawn dart Brian Finger […]

One-Sentence Stories

Red Heel Strut Katrina Byrd @ovenhot On a recent day in early April, a short, brown-skinned woman with a large Afro, a funky strut, and an attitude as real as her love for feathers, entered a shoe store just as a bald man in blue jeans pulled a gun from his back pocket and pointed […]

Victoria McCurdy Swipe right. Swipe right. Tinder. Bumble. Be unable to remember which, but this younger, generically handsome boy whose face reminds you of a Playmobil figure has driven from the suburbs tonight to meet you. Stand about awkwardly untill you are seated at a table in the loudest section of the bar. Order wine. […]

Tara Laskowski The children found the Ouija board buried at the bottom of the game bin. Their teachers were too busy arguing about peanut allergy restrictions and setting up Reading Circle to notice. No one could remember later if it was Tommy or Susan or Jamal who unearthed the box, crushed and tattered and smelling […]

No Sleep, Julia Dixon Evans

Julia Dixon Evans Theo’s night terrors began when he was a toddler, but this is the first time it’s happened when I’ve tried to sneak a man into the house overnight. What if, when we’re sleeping, we are the purest versions of ourselves? What if, when he’s sleeping, Theo is the purest version of himself? […]

Star Bar

Jan Stinchcomb I started going to this bar because it makes me twenty-five, but not twenty-five in the nineties, twenty-five in the seventies. The regulars are characters from the movies I grew up with: Travis Bickle pre-crazy mohawk, Theresa from Looking for Mr. Goodbar, Bobby from The Panic in Needle Park. Everyone is on edge, […]

From: The Rankin’s Trailer Court Handbook for Love Making

Steven W. McCarty This above all else: Don’t have sex with a woman whose husband is in town. This is not to discount adultery entirely, as monogamy is the refuge of the insecure, but at least let him be a truck driver or a timber worker who is trimming the fringes of the Monongalia National […]

Erica Peplin We were sitting in a booth at our favorite diner when I suggested we do the questionnaire that was supposed to make people fall in love. My girlfriend said it was a bad idea because the questionnaire, featured in a popular article, was for couples that were not already in love. I told […]

Bridget Callahan I like you. I like your jawline. I think you are cute. I think about you kissing me. Pushing yourself against me in an alleyway somewhere, your fingers running under my skirt, coaxing. Hungry for that undefined want. Americans spend 110 billion on fast food every year. America sells enough pizza every day […]

Jaikbreak

Rebecca Fishow The husband and wife are in prison. The prison is warm and dark, like the inside of an animal. The prison guard is a little sick girl who will probably die in a matter of weeks. Already the girl is bedridden. She hardly speaks, but she has complained of terrible headaches. She does […]

Matt Tompkins By the time my aunt arrived at the hospital, my uncle was dead. They’d rushed him from his office where he’d been working late. They said it was a massive heart attack, which you couldn’t say was totally unexpected: He smoked box upon box of a particular brand of fat, black cigars and […]