Category / Fiction

Danielle LaVaque-Manty The garden was already there when Fern moved in, small but splendid, perhaps even too perfectly cultivated by the previous owner, who had departed rather abruptly, the neighbors said, for Canada. At her housewarming party, Fern admired the counterpoint the woman had orchestrated around the backyard—pink rhododendrons and blue hydrangeas, yellow roses and […]

Samantha Edmonds     This is what she remembers: • pain • disbelief • that she’d read somewhere it only hurt because your muscles are tense from nerves • opening her legs farther, trying to relax • the sounds she made: gasps, groans, moans • his silence, except for asking if she wanted him to […]

W. Todd Kaneko When I return home from the war that summer, they’re looking for the Diamond. I know this because of that El Camino out front, that switchblade stuck in the coffee table, and you standing by the refrigerator in cut-off shorts and a tube top. My two uncles wonder why I’m not dead […]

Adriane Hanson Christian looks into Jenny’s eyes, green like creeping vines. No one can hold his gaze like she can. “What’s the worst thing you’ve ever done?” Jenny asks. Christian met Jenny during a tropical storm, a party for those who hadn’t scurried inland. Screeching wind, thud of branches on the roof. The power had […]

Ashley Moore At first, they’ll stick to my lip gloss: clouds and clouds of them. Bike paths will become impossible. Jogging, too. I’ll talk to a colleague for twenty full minutes with two tiny flies attached to my lips and I will not know that they are there or that they are dead. Some version […]

Allison Pinkerton When Ashby’s older brother came to live with her again after being kicked out of the army, we were star-struck. He was hot, and, according to Ashby, he’d been kicked out of the army for not following the rules. We were the types that smoked cigarettes on our porches when our parents weren’t […]

Hillary Leftwich Remember what your mother told you. Take your plain pink panties off and put on the lace thong—yes, the one with the red bow. Speaking of red, smear that tube of red on your lips, make them pop. Smack your lips together a few times. Spray the Victoria’s Secret body perfume and walk […]

Sarah Layden The Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York is at capacity, with the 15,000 assembled chanting “Hell no, we won’t go.” Then longtime pantsuit aficionado Janet Jackson climbs onstage and clicks her heels three times. The despondent women of the Pantsuit Nation—and the men who love them—snap to attention. She’s as familiar […]

Melissa McDaniel You aren’t allowed to do work on anyone drunk or stoned, but this guy has all the right paperwork and identification, so you ignore the dull gleam in his eyes and the way his hand shakes when he signs his name. It isn’t until he’s sitting in the chair that you think, Maybe […]

Michael Compton John, son of Kat and Stacy, that nice lesbian couple everyone seems to like, so cool with Paolo, the donor dad, that they even invite him to John’s Little League games, despite the fact that Stacy’s cutting eyes reveal she isn’t so cool about it as Kat, who birthed the boy, and, they […]

Beth Konkoski A friend from college sends me an actual letter and a snapshot where she sits on a wall in front of a lion’s cage, the hindquarters and a tail glimpsed through bars in the background. Her daughter stands beside her in a sweet flowered dress, her dark hair a wave of preteen style. […]

Benjamin Brandenburg   Comments (21): NutAllergy: Name? WheresTheBeef: Yeah, this girl is smoking hot. Does anybody know who she is? Bob95432: Her names Miranda Bennett. Shes from Peoria, IL. Big6Wang9: No – that’s Stephanie Bingham, from Florence, SC. We went to high school together. No doubt about it. MrMontague: She looks kind of like this […]

Other Kinds of Freezing Jennifer Popa Rick left a bag of apples we’d picked in October in the lazy Susan of his almost-furnished apartment, the dodgy place he rented on Goddard Street, and by Christmas we discovered they were still there, but not until I’d spent the weekend fixated on the fruit flies they attracted—it […]

Charles Rafferty A man wished to become notorious, so he purchased “The Birth of Venus” at auction and burned it on live TV. People were outraged. Afterward, at the press conference, he took a long sip of his mimosa. “With great wealth comes great privilege,” he told the journalists. “Surely that much is clear in […]

Julia Gerhardt There were only four people in line for the club: a couple and two teenage-looking girls whose whimpering did not make their fake ID’s any more valid. The couple was even louder. “Would you stop being a little bitch?” the man said to his girlfriend, fingering his wallet for cash. Isabella flinched. “Everything […]

Pat Siebel This one ends with a Pacific barracuda thrashing my left calf and gnawing my tendons to dust. I was fine. Didn’t feel a thing. Our captain lauded me and the neuropathic leg I’d hobbled in on. We’d been collecting food to sell to mainland markets, our boat doubling at that point as an […]

Emily Sinclair Post a pic of yourself at a party. Post a pic of what you ate, what you drank. Post a pic of you with your friends. (There was a shooting in Cleveland. A boy, twelve. A boy, black. A boy, holding a plastic gun.) Post a pic of your pet. Post a pic […]

Kara Oakleaf The astronauts’ baseball league is forever losing balls to low orbit. A line drive sails over the right fielder’s outstretched glove; a pop-up foul arcs backwards and never drops, and the game pauses as someone retrieves another ball from a storage compartment inside the shuttle. The moon’s moons, the astronauts joke as the […]

Curtis Smith A pool in the hills. The city below. Tall buildings and a moat of smog. A smothering that made her think of stillness, yet she knew this wasn’t the case. The pool clean, a shimmering of captured light. The movie star on a raft. A naked drift, a daring of the paparazzi and […]

Leah Jane Esau When I was a kid, we had bad teachers. The teachers ate lunch in the staff room and left us in our classrooms, unsupervised. One year there was an incident: some boys started a food fight, culminating in someone throwing a textbook, which was heavier than they anticipated, and they’d hit the […]