genre: Fiction

Solomon and The Shed
excerpt from novel-in-progress: Sweet Thing

By Wandeka Gayle   

I should have known when the neighbor’s rooster came in our yard one morning and crowed long and loud that nothing was set to go well that day, a sign of trouble like the old heads liked to say. I had folded and unfolded my father’s letter looking at the few words he had scrawled


By Nicholas Cormier III   

On eggshells. Bunkie scrutinizes every move I make. You left water in the sink. I get up and wipe it dry. There’s a bead of piss on the back rim of the toilet. I get up and wipe it dry. Try to get ahead of him. Start sweeping the cell. Learn a few things. Like… Read more »

Where the Beaver be Damned

By Christine Neu   

On a Tuesday evening in late July, Miriam and her lover Ted watched a storm roll in over the lake. They met at her dock every evening after Ted returned from visiting hours at the memory care unit. There, like a loyal goose, he had shared dinner with his wife, who spoke to him in… Read more »


By Jan Schmidt   

“Don’t be messin with my hustle, now,” Sandra says, her voice rough as a gravel path. We’re drilling our way down Broadway and Sandra adds, “I’m gonna push these motherfuckers into the street if they don’t get outta my way.” Nearby, a woman, long blond hair, young, wearing leggings, swoops in front of us, pushing… Read more »

Unexploded Ordnances

By Chandreyee Lahiri   

It started innocently enough—letter here, a word there—and he reasoned that Mrs. Pookutty needed the help, her English-in-retirement simply having acquired some rust since her School-Principal heyday. She probably meant to use the right word all along, the one Prabhakar had just typed. “The unexploded ordnance just lay thier, partially buried in the sand –… Read more »

A Decent Dog

By Anne Falkowski   

She used to be a nurse. At our old house, I watched her get ready each morning. She began with pulling up white pantyhose. She never wore underwear which made me think I shouldn’t either. “You have to!” she said. “You don’t have a choice.” At our new house, Mom wears underwear. Her nursing uniforms… Read more »

This Earth, That Sky

This Earth, That Sky

By Alan Davis   

The two Travelers, both women, one older, one young, together in a pickup with a camper shell where they sometimes slept. They drove the rural and snow-spackled Dakotas towards the horizon on a wintry afternoon across flat farmland blanketed in snow under the threat of more weather. “Nana, those are mountains.” “Serena, those are clouds.”… Read more »

The Poet and the Fisherman

The Poet and the Fisherman

By Ricki Morell   

She came to the island with her two slim volumes of poems and the outfit she always wore to readings. The sweater jacket that her first husband, the artist, had given her. The slightly flared jeans from that store in Soho. And the patent leather flats that turned out to be completely wrong for walking… Read more »

Interview with Helen Elaine Lee

By Helen Elaine Lee and Lee Hope   

Pomegranate by the acclaimed author Helen Elaine Lee is one of the most significant novels of the last decade. It has received glowing reviews, and it was recently chosen by Amazon’s editors as one of the Best Books of the Year So Far, at #6. How challenging it is to write with compassion on each page,… Read more »

The Burial

By Jack Driscoll   

We’d gotten hung up an extra half-day and which made us late retrieving the body. Us meaning me, and my half-brother Harlan who’d recently turned seventeen. I was three years older, and the house, for better or worse, fell to us. As did our dad’s hard-used, one-ton Chevy flatbed with the homemade driver’s side running… Read more »

Radiant Insanity

By Tina Egnoski   

Key West, Florida April 1955   In the evenings, she and Tenn took the trolley to Mallory Square. He carried the lounge chairs and a thermos of gin martinis, shaken by the rutted road. Carson carried, as ever, her desire to see the world, to be seen. By the world. Tenn joked with fellow passengers… Read more »

Back Along The Octoraro

By Breena Clarke   

Russell’s Knob, New Jersey 1866 Duncan Smoot received reliable word that there were a few remaining people at the old plantation on Kenworthy Island. They were said to be too frail to leave, were living in hovels on the place. The Kenworthy were long gone. And though they’d taken the island, the Union Army was… Read more »

The Afterlife of History

By Breena Clarke   

Russell’s Knob, New Jersey 1933 I. The homestead is noisy with bird calls. Who is the particularly worrisome visitor who is disturbing his sleep, his waking? Robert’s mother would know the name of each bird at a snap. Robert’s mother was fond of birds and was delighted with them. He feels uneasy here now, on… Read more »

Most Things Don’t Happen

By Phillip Freeman   

“I need you at the meeting tonight,” Van says. They drive through the entrance to the once luxurious golf course. A developer plans to convert the fairways and greens into housing. “I wonder what score I would have to shoot to block the sale,” Nick says. His tone is solemn. He knows such faith in… Read more »

The Rivermen

By Sithulisiwe. A. Wabatagore   

Any moment can change your life in ways you would never have anticipated. For me, it was the time I went to the rivermen. I’d gone to rid myself of my “illness,” that hefty sack of burdens that was about to sink me to the depth of despair forever. The visit to the river had… Read more »

Birds of New York

By Rebecca Pyle   

She was a package delivery woman. She took her job seriously; almost every package was a birth. A birth of something new replacing something old, or a new idea, or the beginning of a determination, or a future. Unless it was food; food was just food, in different shapes, types of desirability, difficulties of cooking… Read more »

The Dead Love Us

By Emily Shoff   

In Sayulita, the spaces are small. Nicole passes stores and cafés that would serve as closets where she’s from, and no one apologizes for not having a bathroom, simply wagging their heads, “Aquí, no,” and gesturing at some unnamed place. At night, overpacked bars spill out into the street, upsetting the flow of traffic and… Read more »

Interview with Sena Desai Gopal

Interview with Sena Desai Gopal

By Anjali Mitter Duva   

Sena Desai Gopal is a journalist specializing in science and medicine, food, and travel. She is the author of The 86thVillage, her debut novel. She was born and raised in India and now lives in Boston with her husband and two children. Her work has been published in The Boston Globe, The Atlantic, Modern Farmer,… Read more »

Interview with Jack Driscoll

Interview with Jack Driscoll

By Patricia Ann McNair   

Twenty Stories: New and Selected by Jack Driscoll is the winner of Pushcart’s Editors Book Awards, and it is easy to see why this collection is already garnering praise and prizes. Jack Driscoll is a master of the short story (although that is not all he writes) and these twenty tales underscore his accomplishment. Here… Read more »

The Most Intimate Thing

By Ann Harleman   

This piece is part of our Winter 2022 print issue, available for purchase here.

Pink Novel

By Sylvan Lebrun   

This piece is part of our Winter 2022 print issue, available for purchase here.

The Motherless Daze

By Val Wang   

This piece is part of our Winter 2022 print issue, available for purchase here.


By Rayne Weinstein   

In the mountains below Vladikavkaz, Johnny’s father splits bricks. One by one with a hammer. On the other side of the POW camp, the shards are shattered into gravel. The gravel is packed into crates, then sent in trains to be churned elsewhere into concrete. The concrete is then piped politely into bricks. The blue… Read more »

Of Tides and Melons

By Danny Leonard   

“I am littoraly fucked,” I think, standing ankle deep in the Atlantic at low tide in a thick fog, not knowing which way shore lies. Not a time for word play perhaps, but I am not yet aware of the gravity of my plight. I am maybe a half a mile from… from what? From… Read more »

Acting Out

By Aaron Tillman   

When my mom stood on her seat in front of the entire school and made a show of bowing at me after my performance, I swallowed back the urge to laugh. On some level, I knew she was performing as much from the audience as I was from the stage. I had put on an… Read more »

Big Boy

By Ian Lindsay   

I think about the lies they tell in movies based on true stories. Well, this one ain’t like that—a lie. Wish it was. In Hialeah, people said the devil came up from hell, made Angelo do what he did. His Ina thought it was because of Angelo’s skin—the only other Filipino—darker than me with bigger… Read more »

In Praise of Black Lovers

By Christian Douglass   

Robert and those who survive the following summer will ask themselves: Did that election season really happen when they were children? Are they re-writing the past to cut the pain? Then their collective trauma unclenches. That summer of romance and air conditioning happened, they assure each other, especially ones that fled North and gather at… Read more »

Living Alone

By Laura Krughoff   

Alice clicks off the radio on her desk. Her now-silent office on the 12th floor of an Art Deco skyscraper on Dearborn is mercilessly air conditioned, but beyond the plate glass of her windows, she knows the city is sweltering through another white-skied August afternoon. She cannot listen to the news on public radio any… Read more »

About Face

By Andrew Furman   

“Wait, what’s that you’re making for supper, father?” Ellen asked upon bursting into the kitchen from the mudroom, sniffing at the air like some feral creature, forgoing any prefatory niceties. Like, Hello. “Halibut au poivre,” I answered, because I figured the French might throw her off a bit, and because that’s what I was making.… Read more »

Visiting Hours

By Lew McCreary   

A WORLD lit up by the glint of snow. They drove the long drive in, up the steadily sloping hill, winding for no good reason around sweeping curves carved into the vast and open grounds. Pete Connerly drove and hummed along with the radio, finger-tapping the steering-wheel to the beat. Del Connerly imagined the view… Read more »


By John Blair   

Lee thought of himself as a fish. Fish were players; they hung out just beyond the current, in the calm eddies, and waited for things to come floating their way. When he was a little kid, his old man used to take him fishing when the weather got cool, late in the fall, on the… Read more »

Boomtown Girl

By Shubha Sunder   

There was no compound wall around the construction site, no watchman to tell the two girls they could not enter. Holding hands, they scurried behind an idle cement mixer and crouched low. Book bags rustled, tiffin carriers squeaked. Four eyes tracked skyward along the building’s length. Ten stories. A proper high rise, the township’s first.… Read more »


By Wendy Tong   

Mid-June, shimmering heat. First date. Roy’s: her choice. Daisy ordered roast chicken; Ben ordered a whole trout. “One of the most underrated fish,” he declared. After two bites, he asked for her fork and loaded up a mouthful after deftly sifting out the bones. “You have to try this.” “I don’t eat fish,” Daisy said,… Read more »

Unlike Some People

By Bill Gaythwaite   

 My aunt was coming for a visit. We were about to be neighbors, in fact. It was the summer she’d been released from prison. Chloe’s parole officer had found her an apartment not far from us in Inwood and a job too, answering phones at a law firm. This must have been 2005. Martha Stewart… Read more »

The Ghost That Shaped the Skin

By Shastri Akella   

Sahdëv was twelve when he met his first Foreign Man. He entered Chirag Ali Street, humming under his breath, nursing the straps of his backpack, and saw him sitting on the milestone that was locally called Sanam Bewafa, Unfaithful Beloved, after the Salman Khan film: it read Delhi 793 even when the road didn’t take… Read more »

The Elpenoriad

By Chris Huntington   

“Wake up! Now no more dozing in sweet sleep We have to go. The goddess gave instructions.” They did as I had said. But even then I could not lead my men away unharmed. The youngest one —Elpenor was his name— Not very brave in war, nor very smart, was lying high up in the… Read more »

The Drama Room

The Drama Room

By Elizabeth Searle   

  Former Fantasticks At silent 6AM, by the dawn’s early laptop light, I find them again: our stars. Onscreen, online– two fellow Thespians; two former Fantasticks. Blasts from my past. A boy and girl, then. And see, I’d loved, in my tortured teen way, both of them. I feel my fingers shake. Even now, in… Read more »

The Traveler

The Traveler

By Douglas Cole   

She watched as the jury came in, watched with that dream detachment that sometimes comes to people when they are in the midst of life-changing moments whether they know it or not. She watched them take their seats, and in what almost seemed a rehearsed way, they all wore the same bland emotionless expression, if… Read more »

Desserts on a Tray

Desserts on a Tray

By Brenda Salinas Baker   

This is a Mexican re-imagining of Rebecca. “Men are simpler than you imagine, my sweet child. But what goes on in the twisted, tortuous minds of women would baffle anyone.” Daphne Du Maurier, Rebecca   The morning of the funeral, I circled my childhood bedroom in a terry cloth robe. Pacing between the closet and… Read more »

This Mortal Coil

This Mortal Coil

By Angelo D'Amato   

As the choir brings the psalm to life, Fr. Daniel taps one finger on the armrest, in time to the beat of his own impatience. Seeing Samuel squirm in Stacy’s arms, and seeing Stacy rock him, ever so slightly, and seeing Joseph tap his fingers and shift his feet and adjust his tie and look… Read more »

A Gift

A Gift

By Shamae Budd   

The dirt road stretched out before him in the late afternoon sun, flat and taut like a ribbon wrapped around a present—but this day didn’t feel like much of a gift. He hated driving water trucks back and forth on these monotonous roads. He hated the mindless hours of fuzzy talk-show radio and sagebrush. Hell,… Read more »

The Way to the River

The Way to the River

By Nance Van Winckel   

LYNN People without an app need a map, and Lynn just gave away her last map. Its legend shows a hotdog for a restaurant and a bed for a hotel. The map was in her glove box where she’d never in her life kept a glove. She’d gone to Valley Hardware, intent on buying what… Read more »

Something Resembling Faith

Something Resembling Faith

By Benjamin Selesnick   

Reflections of the ceiling fan were captured in the shattered glass beneath the window frame. Dad was in the middle of the room holding a saucer identical to the one he’d just thrown on the floor. Mom was barely inside the doorframe, her legs were spread wide. She looked domineering, even though she was without… Read more »

The Tow Truck

By Mark Cassidy   

We bought a house in Colorado. The tow truck came with the house. We bought the house to celebrate our second anniversary and because my sister, who lives in Colorado Springs, wouldn’t stop nagging on us, once the notion of a second place was mooted, to get something close to her. And yes, because the… Read more »

How to Date a Drummer

By Emma Wunsch   

(Summer) In June your mother asks for the ornaments. Your brother is at work and your fat sister is useless, so you bring the boxes down from the attic. There are more than a hundred of them. Colorful balls, Hallmark Snoopys, and gluey nursery school popsicle trees hang together with invisible threads. Sweating profusely, you… Read more »


By Kendall Klym   

1 Across: preoccupied by a worrisome fixation that causes you to turn within O B S E S S E D An email, written but never sent, from Feather to Elise Dear Elise, How could you become so obsessed with somebody that doesn’t exist? I mean, we’re talking about a drawing, unfinished, made of chalk,… Read more »

Drunken Sour Cherries

By Sofi Stambo   

We didn’t own any luxury items the way normal families invested in golden or silver teaspoons, watches and jewelry. Well, there was mom’s silver teaspoon set, but it disappeared very early in the game, practically in the first weeks of the crisis. This was the official name for the time after the fall of the… Read more »