Category / Fiction

Chelvis by Elaine Chiew

Elaine Chiew Death by a thousand cuts could sum up a man’s whole life, in one way figurative, in another literal. How pointless can one life be amongst a billion others? I tell this story about Chelvis—short for Chinese Elvis—not because I knew him well, nor even because the story is true, but because he […]

Sarah Layden When Facebook Memories recirculated last year’s Trick-or-Treating moment with my children, I cooed, revisiting the older one dressed as Hawkman, the younger one in a hand-me-down Batman costume. “Junior Birdmen,” I’d posted, then chased them to the Schmidts’ for those coveted Tootsie Roll banks. The pic was fine, even adorbs. Then it hit […]

Ghost Stories by Julia Dixon Evans

Julia Dixon Evans When Peter and I get home from the hospital—our daughter’s not dead yet, but it’s not like she’s going to be alive again—the first thing we realize is we forgot to pick up her sister from the sitter. “It’s okay, right?” I say. “I mean, this isn’t about her or us, it’s […]

Do No Harm

Margaret Adams At 3:17 pm EST Ben McKinnon walked into the Emergency Room at County Hospital and announced that, in eight to twelve hours, he would die. The staff at County were used to people walking in from the street and hollering tidings of their own impending doom, but not with such unnerving calm, or […]

The Girl Dies at the End, Kathryn Kulpa

Kathryn Kulpa That’s why people remember the story. That’s why we still tell it. The girl dies at the end, because that’s what girls do in stories. The girl dies because she’s lonely. The girl dies because she’s bored. Because she wanted more from life than this small town. The girl dies because she left […]

Maggie Nye The Witches of Suburbia think all women’s bodies are beautiful except their own. They don’t eat that, but you totally can. They really want to be inclusive, but they don’t know how to find friends who are different from them. Like you can’t just walk up to someone and be like, Hey, I […]

Croc Farm by Ryan Bradford

Ryan Bradford You can see it from the highway: a painted crocodile—fifty feet tall—beckons us into its mouth. The hot peal of desert wind makes the croc’s hanging saliva look refreshing, like we could hold our hands out and wait for it to drop. “Borrego Crocodile Farm.” Cassie stretches, revealing a bellybutton jewel and damp […]

The Butter Fridge by Samuel J Adams

Samuel J Adams Babysitters came and babysitters went and if we needed one babysitter to go away faster than another we showed them the butter fridge. Our parents were gourmet bakers and cookbook authors and maddened hoarders and so quite naturally they overstocked our basement fridges with sticks of butter: Irish Butter, Minnesotan Butter, Belgian […]

Smile, Lisa by Lynn Mundell

Lynn Mundell Sitting Lisa del Giocondo has bunions, is prone to depression, and is unfashionably thin for the 1500s. She does have beautiful skin, as though lit up from a candle within her. And her hair is an interesting, brooding cloud around her long face. Perhaps that is why the painter asks her to sit […]

When the Mothers Wait, Lindsay Fowler

Lindsay Fowler When the women bring their mothers, their mothers check everything for lumps. They run their hands over the upholstery in the waiting room and over the creases of every grease-thumbed magazine. When the women pull the magazines from their mothers, burying their faces in the feature article on p. 32, their mothers walk […]

Miranda Gonzalez “Woman stabs man over custody dispute,” The Albuquerque Journal headline reads. “Man in critical condition recovering from knife wound sustained while attempting to pick up his child at the five-hundredth block of Cedar Street at approximately 12:00 a.m. Wednesday morning, APD reports.” In a picture above the article, a single-story stucco house sits […]

The Aluminum Piano, Carolyn Oliver

Carolyn Oliver Prudence Mayweather was vomiting when the Hindenburg sailed over our high school. I was holding back her hair. The lavatory windows were open to the mild October morning, and I could hear the swarm of the airship’s engines mellowing the crowd of our classmates and teachers into awestruck silence. Friday morning’s paper ran […]

The Portrait, Alyssa Quinn

Alyssa Quinn A man in Wisconsin flew fake airplanes on a computer in his basement. There was a joystick on his desk, a green screen draped across the wall, many maps with vectors sketched in pink and blue. He broadcast his flights live, and people, lots of people, watched. He established a fan base. There […]

Let's All Go to the Movies, Jean-Luc Brouchard

Jean-Luc Bouchard The man working the concession stand was very ugly, and when he saw me standing by myself he gave a smile of solidarity. By attending the movies alone in the middle of the day, I believed I had already laid bare the quality of my life, but he still felt it necessary to […]

John Nardone You are a student in a prominent low-residency MFA program and an aspiring writer. Your work has been published or is forthcoming in 4 a.m. Fiction, Millennia, and Intersections, and you have served as an editor and book reviewer. You are also the co-host of the literary podcast You Are Not Alone. You […]

Superheroes of 2030 by Caleb Tankersley

Caleb Tankersley When we felt the call, we gathered, Earth’s mightiest in the underground lair. This purple guy with issues soared in from across the galaxy, tried to wipe out half the population. We heroes fought like hell, got ourselves pretty banged up, some of us barely alive. We prevailed in the end, as we […]

Microfictions by Noa Sivan

Noa Sivan The American Dream They are eleven people living in a one-bedroom apartment in New York City. Childhood friends—kindred dreamers—refugees of a civil war. At night they sleep head-to-toe on the bed, couch, or floor. In the morning they joke as if they didn’t hear one another scream.     Whole and Perfect The […]

Today's Lesson in Modern Economics, Michelle Meyers

Michelle Meyers As you know, today our class was supposed to discuss the 2008 economic recession and the subsequent bank bailout. We were supposed to discuss liquidation squeezes, credit default swaps, toxic assets, and the real estate bubble. We were supposed to discuss the Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns and Sallie Mae and Freddie Mac. […]

An Ocean This Big by Christine Hennessey

Christine Hennessey Raquel is not a marine biologist, but she can tell right away that the whale washed up on Bellhaven Beach is dying. It’s late winter and the wind gusts, cutting through her coat as she walks along the shore. She doesn’t notice the whale until she’s almost on top of it, which seems […]

Work-Life Balance by Patrick Walczy

Patrick Walczy We’d seen previews of his dancing at the company holiday party, clucking and sliding on the dance floor with his girlfriend, but now, in his cubicle, he gave us a full dose. Kept shouting, “Yes!” Kept kissing the framed picture of his girlfriend. Heads popped over cube walls to see if he was […]