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One-Sentence Stories

 

Downsizing
by
Mel Waldman

A few weeks before Thanksgiving, the senior managers of the Bronx medical center where I worked informed the clinical director of mental health (me) that my department would be phased out—obliterated—and I had 2-3 weeks to tell my patients to seek treatment elsewhere and refer them to clinics with long waiting lists for admission—a few months to a year; but after the downsizing-a swift extermination and a pretty package of annihilation covered in sweet-scented holiday wrapping paper that destroyed the last traces of hope for my patients—and after they cried and shrieked and howled in endless ululations across a vacant labyrinth of darkness and despair, they vanished from my life and I from theirs, and I’m still struggling to find a new home for them and me; I’m searching for another medical center where I may continue to treat my lost patients trapped in poverty and constant upheaval, experiencing a daily debacle, and buried in the deep snow of trauma, invisible and dying in white, claustrophobic coffins of psychological and physiological panic, existing now in the dreamscape of my psyche and soul, hanging on and tethered to the memory of their therapist (me) until we reconnect face-to-face or vanish forever.



Sleight of Hand
by
Eric Bennett

I distract you with details: tell you how great the fukusa sushi was, how boring the speakers were, and how the airplane pilot was a midget, and then, like when you try to eat a bowl of soup when they give you a pair of chopsticks—I laugh like that.



A Simple Guy
by
Michael Estabrook

I can’t leave you alone I’m sorry but I simply cannot leave you alone I know you would prefer that prefer being left the hell alone by me we are getting rather old after all enough of this sophomoric adolescent behavior enough of me putting my hands on you enough of me kissing your perfect lips so endlessly like I love to do yes I wish I could honor your wishes your innermost and private desires and leave you the hell alone but well I am a guy simple as that a simple guy and you are still an extraordinarily beautiful and desirable woman the most extraordinarily beautiful and desirable woman I have ever known and I simply cannot leave you alone never have been able to and never will.



The Phwoah (Part II)
by
Jesse Tangen-Mills

The Phwoah forward feuilletons of flippant cosmic pornography: photons fucking.



What Planet Are You From?
by
Brad McKay

We dug and dug for hours hoping that our alien overlords would grow bored and leave or get tired so we could escape, a ruse that would only work if they fell for our story about how we keep all of our cheeseburgers and beer buried in the back yard.



I am no more nor less than:
by
Stevie Edwards

a feral cat scavenging for food in alleyways, a tree bending toward sun, a kite in wind praying for tethers, a poet searching books for sleep spells.



Untitled
by
Daniel McDermott

Elephants and alter-boys never forget.



Ever-MORE
by
Pamela Gay

As soon as a relationship was underway, she’d say “I WANT”—some called her greedy; others called her needy.



Untitled
by
Patrick Carberry

The driver’s name was Brian Anthony Nettleton; he had three older sisters who knew a lot about him—but not everything.



Untitled
by
John-Franklin Dandridge

I can’t remember if I named all the animals I caught as a child, or just the ones I bought at pet stores...



Empathy
by
Jesse Tangen-Mills

They looked at us looking back at them like they were Martians.



They've Opened Up Another Much-Needed Cupcake Shop Around the Corner
by
Rachel McKibbens

There's something about a grown-ass man in a fancy uptown suit standing in line for a red velvet cupcake that makes me wish I'd known his mother 37 years ago, back when he was still a gooey little fetus, so I could push her down a spiral staircase.



Food Fact
by
Mike Topp

Two glasses of orange juice contain more Vitamin C than one glass of orange juice.



Communication
by
Zach Wolff

Sometimes I say things I don't mean, sometimes I mean things I don't say, and sometimes, like this time, I mean exactly what I say, and it feels so damn good.



Ned and Niles
by
Neila Mezynski

Walking side by side, an occasional brush of hands, noticeable only to the initiated; so many secrets, like me.