Category / Fiction

Sarah Schiff This is the story of how I fell in love with the characters he played rather than the man himself, of how I was seduced by a dream, a man who I thought could bend the world to his will and bring me along for the action. When I was the one he […]

Kathy Fish My mother said, This is the world we live in. She said, If I had a dollar for every time that door slammed. She said, You’ll understand when you’re older. She said, You have to pick your battles. This is called taking one on the chin, she said. This is called compromise. This […]

Cara Dempsey When the first one falls out, you swallow it on accident. By the time you feel it on the back of your tongue, it’s too late. The little thing is sharp, scratching at your throat all the way down and cutting you all up inside. It’s hard as—and then the guilty thought strikes […]

Lindsay Fowler I knew two things about babies: that I should submit their pictures to contests, and that I should always support their necks. I could never remember that second thing. The baby screamed in its cradle the moment my phone began to ring. This happened so often that I thought about changing my ring […]

Sara Lippmann We go to Eric Frank’s house after school. Eric’s mom lives behind the high school parking lot and she has an open door policy. The basement latch is left unhinged—it’s like a troll door—or else, the key is kept under a rock, honor system. By now, the honor has spread to include seniors […]

  Kelly Magee 1. Weather If the sun is out, remind the cute girl you have just met that you once heard that sunlight is best absorbed on the wrists and back of neck, but when she challenges you on this point, immediately lose confidence and take it back. You’ve already turned your wrists over […]

Samantha Memi You know what I mean, don’t you, when you get up in the morning and walk through to the kitchen, tousle-haired, yawning and scratching your bum, and in the kitchen the man drinking coffee and eating toast isn’t your husband, and the children playing with their Coco Pops aren’t your children, and the […]

Tyler Barton What stung about my father leaving was he took the dog but left me. Those two actually lived on the streets of York that long weekend leading up to Labor Day, 2005. They spent each day at the dog park. I can show you the bench they slept on. Friday, Saturday, Sunday. They […]

Kathryn Kulpa If you thought the clothes you put on in the morning would be the last ones you’d ever wear, you’d choose them more carefully. I would have. Last seen in a purple t-shirt, jeans, and black Chuck Taylors. May or may not have been wearing a rainbow loom friendship bracelet. Not, for the […]

I’ve tried the Internet—”1967 near Arcata, California, missing girl”—with no success. I tried a newspaper search in the online archives of the Humboldt Public Library, scrolling through months of headlines. Train wrecks, storms, mudslides, car accidents, house fires. No missing children. Surely it would have been more than local news.

Zachary Doss You begin to suspect your boyfriend might be cheating on you. There isn’t any one thing—you don’t catch him red-handed, don’t find any sexual text messages or smell any strange cologne. It’s just a nagging feeling you get that you can’t ignore. He has, for example, started going to the gym more often. […]

  Trouble Katie M. Flynn The cyber crimes he’d committed hadn’t been as bad as the BuzzFeed piece suggested, but when she read it, her heart palpitated in a surprising way, knowing he was probably cyber stalking her while they went on a series of bland dinner dates followed by gelato, a walk, a fumbled […]

James R. Gapinski Sharon’s lover is a smoke cloud. Or maybe black mist is a better descriptor. He doesn’t smell smoky, nor is he dry and suffocating. He is moist and dense, like a blackened fog. He hovers in the living room—barely moving, barely wafting—but Sharon remembers a time when his inky dew would dance […]

Angela W. Gilbert Carina is born four weeks early under the shade of a California Lilac on the side of a fire road in the Santa Monica Mountains. Her father and mother were lost coming back from a picnic in the canyons, a hike her mother insisted on taking. “It’s our babymoon,” Anastasia said. “I […]

We built them in every plaza, large packs of horses and our favorite presidents and the founders of our cities. They reminded us of our history, kept us grateful and proud to be who we were. They were beautiful to look at, and powerful and strong, and we picnicked in their shadows.

In the mornings he rose before five, whether there was school or there wasn’t, ringed by the cold walls of the cave, pale light, sharp air. He walked quickly through the forest to the stream, where he stripped off his shirt. It took him five seconds to wash his hair, face, feet, and under his arms. An hour and a half to walk the eight miles to school. Where he was with me.

Think lacrosse and plaid, spring break and date rape, trust funds and bong hits. This is Chaz Reems from a distance, and he half knows it. He’s the Democrat’s dream of the Young Republican. He’s white and ripped with a Prince Valiant haircut and he’s covered in high-end brands: Polo and Nike, Abercrombie and J. Crew. He calls Hunter, his best friend, “Bra.” They both belonged to The Bill Cosby Sweater Club at their high school, but after the group was disbanded “in light of recent events,” Chaz and Hunter needed a new excuse not to come home after school on Tuesdays, so one of their mutual friends, Kenyon Rudd, suggested they all infiltrate the Young Republicans.

Cathy Ulrich The Magician’s Wife After the magician cuts his assistant in two, he runs off with her bottom half. The magician’s wife is at home washing dishes. The magician is a man who has never washed his own dishes in his life. His wife has been washing his dishes since he left his mother. […]

My dad went to visit Uncle Fred in prison. Bald, skeletal and sitting in a hospital bed, Uncle Fred looked like a gambler spreading out a four of a kind. “I’ve won, got away with murder,” he said.