Well, Certainly
Brad Watson

I would like to go at least one entire day without some kind of head injury.”.

 

She Likes to Watch Them Die
Daan Kogelmans

Being laughed at by the beautiful girls all her life, none of the villagers ever suspected why ugly Johanna always brought so many flowers to the darkness of her house.

 

Neo-Noir
Ryan Ridge

There’s the slant of the shoreline and the lights of the oil derricks reflecting off the black water like a miniature city and when I arrive to make the cash drop at the dark edge of the pier I’m struck by two things at once: 1.) The vast creeping loneliness of LA at night, and 2.) A blackjack to the back of the head.

 

His Life
Sophie White

He lived his life to the beat of old Billy Squire tunes.

 

Caveat Emptor
Maria Romasco-Moore

I was getting a sample at the cheese counter when the pretty girl who worked there in a white smock and a hairnet said to me we have a special offer today buy any two Sunmaid dairy products and get three wishes granted free, but I just speared another cube of cave-aged gruyere on my toothpick and said no thank you because I have read fairytales and I know that those deals are never as good as they sound.

 

Intruder III
Neila Mezynski

In between softly blonde; laughing kids grieving lady, he don’t know.

 

Divination
Mike Dressel

In the palm reader’s chintzy storefront window there is a toddler at play, and I wonder what future she envisions for him.

 

Life at the Lower End of Mediocre
Erin Britton

My life began when I found a shoebox full of gay novels and a twelve-inch sawed-off broomstick on the top shelf of my father’s closet.

 

A Story for Children
Andrew Morris

If I could raspberry my own tummy, thought Arnie the Circus Boy, I don’t think I’d leave the trailer all day.

 

A Few Words About My Father
Kevin Brown

They say a picture’s worth a thousand words, and I burned all his pictures years ago.

 

A letter, written when you were five but left with strict instructions not to be read until you turn twenty
Jon Trobaugh

Dear Bobby,

Please understand that your mother and I tried our best to pull you from behind the birthday mule before the gnats bit his pus-filled ears and before little Betty Conner screamed because another child had worked bubble gum into her uneven bangs, causing the mule to panic, his muscles to tense and his kick to fly toward your soft, beautifullyveined head, and understand too that apologies sometimes bloom years after their incidents.

With Love,

Dad

 

A Misunderstanding
Katya Apekina

I thought it was Fall, but really it was a dead tree swarmed with cardinals.

 

Bath Time
Donora Hillard

She grins, sizing up the vagabond.

 

Fat Man in Suit
John Savoie

Double-breasted rows of faux buttons bulge like the swollen teats on a farrowing sow.