Category / Fiction

Doesn't Feel Like Work

Elizabeth Bevilacqua We taught our baby to be a maître d’. She’s trained in hospitality. She was born on a golf course. Emerged from the womb in a vest and bow tie, stood right up, and began to toddle around taking people’s gin and tonic orders. Our friends and family say, but how can you […]

James Brubaker   1. An Afternoon at the Sauna January 13, 2017 A nice, long sit in the sauna gets the toxins out. This is important, especially after a day at the office. I’ve seen people do any number of things to stay clean inside—heavy exercise, fad diets, fasts, drinking gallons of water a day, […]

Matt McDonald Wednesdays the boys are released for Free Fighting. Five minutes, in the courtyard, guards in towers. No weapons, maiming, deforming, or finishing. The rules do not explicitly mention broken bones, and maybe a dozen of the three hundred know the word maim, and there is always at least one cracked nose, arm, leg, […]

Jennifer Kircher Carr It was the time of night when the drinks blurred together, and out on the makeshift dance floor of the backyard wedding, David’s daughter, the bride, danced past with the groom, and David’s ex-wife Annie twirled past him with her new husband. The way she smiled at the husband made David walk […]

Amorak Huey Inspired by Patrick Ryan Frank Weary traveler in hotel bar at the fade of a sweltering day. Call him Don. Tad. James. Robert, Rob for short. Doesn’t matter. Salesman or consultant or some shit. Doesn’t matter. He does what we all do: enough to stay alive. The woman in the green dress at […]

Gwen E. Kirby If you believe nothing else, believe that I never meant to run over our cat. There were other things I did, things I’m not proud of, but what marriage ever ended smoothly? I’ll say upfront, in the spirit of total honesty, I shouldn’t have written “bitch” in poison on the front lawn […]

Victoria Melekian “Bedroom closet, top shelf.” “Garage.” “His darkroom.” “Wedged in the car trunk. What? He likes travel.” “Most of him, sprinkled over the rose garden; the rest, in an hourglass I use in the kitchen for three-minute eggs. It’s very unreliable. But then so was he.” “Tenth hole at the golf course.” “Nightstand. Though […]

Shasta Grant Julie and I spent the summer of 1989 in her basement watching soap operas while her mother was upstairs dying. Friends and neighbors delivered casseroles and baked goods, ringing the doorbell and interrupting our shows. Julie would run up the stairs to the back door, taking the offered dish in her hands. If […]

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 […]