Category / Fiction

Small Explosions

Dana Cann   A dream lingers. Death marches. The world sleeps. Except middle-aged men with enlarged prostates. He turns the knob on the stovetop. The starter clicks—once, twice—and the flame bursts, like lungs pushing air through closed lips. When he was young, a freshman, there was a fire in his dorm. He woke to smoke […]

The History of Silk

Gary Fincke   During the summer after seventh grade, when we were alone for an afternoon, no chance of being caught, silk was what we sought in Ted Needham’s older sister’s room. We held her silk and named girls we knew who might be slipping off the slick things we touched: Negligees, panties, lace-trimmed slips […]

Michelle Bailat-Jones In America people say, easy come easy go. In America people say, don’t waste your breath. Here, though. Sofia closes the door to her apartment at the end of the day and the silence wraps around her like a sweater a size too small. Soft, but pressing. Against breastbone, against stomach, a band […]

An Imaginary Number

Siân Griffiths for Gwendolyn That night, she danced with aliens. They spoke to her in math. In school, she was learning multiplication tables and isolation; she understood whispers as sound waves measuring the distance between planets. School math was rote. Alien math worked on another logic, requiring no memory. Their three-step time altered her heart’s […]

Ellen Rhudy   She was a dead man’s child, she would have been half-ghost, half-human, she never had a chance. I told Tom he couldn’t come to the appointments, so I sat alone while the nurses gelled my stomach. She looked healthy on the sonograms, but I carried her with dread. There are ways of […]

Dream House Dorothy Bendel @dorothybendel I choose a shiny gold mini-skirt and hot pink tank top and Sarah asks if Barbie will be cold but I say it’s always warm in Malibu, the sun shines all day, every day, and Sarah says that sounds nice and I say I wish I could live there as I push the […]

Four Inches by Cheslea Graham

After Charles Bukowski Chelsea Graham I was deep inside a dream about Zakk Wylde and Jason Mamoa when Dan woke me with his wailing. I pulled open the dresser drawer. There he was, nestled among my perfectly feminine phalluses. He clung to a mint-green vibrator like a life raft. Dan was once six foot four […]

How to Become the Voice of Your Generation

by David Joseph When you’ve been out of college for longer than you’d been in college, apply to colleges for an MFA. To your in-laws, MFA stands for Might Fly Away. To your Lyft driver, it stands for Massages: Fucking Awesome. Politely clarify, you’ll be studying creative writing. “Yeah, man,” your Lyft driver says. He […]

Binary Code by Michelle Ross

Michelle Ross The park ranger had been condescending.  He wouldn’t talk to a group of men that way, the three young women agreed.    They liked running the paved National Park road that cut an eight-mile loop through desert vistas studded thick with wormy saguaros because it was pretty and hilly and, most importantly, got […]

The Bargain

Emma Sloley   She is so much smaller than she looks on TV. She can tell they’re all thinking it, because they seem emboldened now that she is here in the flesh and not just some idealized projection in pixels with the power to sideline them. These men are nobodies, even though they are busy […]

X Names

Marta Balcewicz When we were thirteen, Beth invited me to her stepfather’s home for winter break. The house was on the Caribbean island where her grandparents were born. Her stepfather paid for half my airfare. On our first day on the island, a storm came by, knocking down the power lines. When it was over, […]

Kim Magowan My husband’s colleague at the university, a languid guy named Bill, teaches me a new word: contronym. It’s a word that means both itself and its opposite. “Give me an example,” I say, and Bill says “Cleave. Splice.” If one can fall in love with a word, I do. Bill tells me about […]

The Wherewithal by Benjamin Woodard

Benjamin Woodard The spirit in the wall shrieks when I try to hang a photograph of a ship. He cries like an angry cat until I free the nail from the plaster. Spirit blood drips from the hole, but since it’s invisible, I can’t see a thing. “I didn’t know you were there,” I say, […]

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 […]