genre: Fiction

Peeping Tom

Peeping Tom

By Abby Frucht   

First of all, he wasn’t. It was only because they had no mother and father. She had a dad and he had a mom, that’s all, which lumped him and her together in Tom’s mind as if he and she had something to learn from each other. The time would come more kids had just… Read more »


Three Short Pieces

Three Short Pieces

By Sonya Larson   

    The Request For his funeral, my father is requesting Get Down Tonight. “Not to listen,” he says. “To shimmy.” He’s off the couch and moving his hips. In the lamplight his belly barely jiggles. “Like this, but with a shroud.” Suddenly he scares me. Making jazz hands like that. He’s young still– a… Read more »


Beats, Balls and Bases

Beats, Balls and Bases

By Ben Berman   

Beats We pulled into the drive-thru hoping for some cheap and greasy late-night combo to stave off the inevitable hangover but found, instead, a homeless man humping the intercom. And without missing a beat Sam leaned over, rolled down my window and asked, hey, you want fries with that? *** The man turned around and… Read more »


Deceased

Deceased

By Dariel Suarez   

In the fall of 1982, when my father was nineteen years old, two military guards came to his home in the middle of the night and told him he was under arrest. They read his name from a creased document, assuring him there had been no mistake. My father told my pregnant mother not to… Read more »


Joyce and Roger (Novel Excerpt )

Joyce and Roger (Novel Excerpt )

By Eric Charles May   

Part 1 Joyce Johnson and Roger Pratt were both raised in the same neighborhood on Chicago’s far South Side; however, he was five years her senior and they did not run in the same circles of classmates and friends. They did not actually meet until the first year of Bush 43’s second term, when they… Read more »


The World on my Shoulder

The World on my Shoulder

By Cal Setar   

It all started with bird shit. Well, I guess you could say it all ended with bird shit, but then what’s the difference, really? An end is just a beginning in disguise, after all. I’d just gotten off the phone with Mom. She was worried that them not coming in to see Shawna’s apartment when… Read more »


Wednesday is Trash Day

Wednesday is Trash Day

By Vasyl Makhno   

And even when Cimmerian snows hung on white threads, tying together the sky and the Earth, and even when spring rains washed away the dirt off his windows, and more so, when squirrels gnawed at the window frames, and jumped off, falling downwards – never did Eugene feel such confusion as he did that Wednesday.


What you Owe

What you Owe

By Adeola Adeniyi   

White folks give us money on the subway. It was a mid-July Friday afternoon today at two and me and my homeboy Terrell have been on the uptown platform for the 1 train at Columbus Circle since eight holding up signs saying, “A dollar from y’all can help send our black asses back to Africa,” and they’ve been dropping fives and tens into our plastic jars ever since then.


Homecoming

Homecoming

By Laura Dzubay   

You wouldn’t have seen the girl in the ditch unless you’d been looking for her, but John Carter was looking for her. She was right where she was supposed to be, down in the crook where the grassy slope off of 24 dropped away into trees, mostly hidden at this hour of the night in darkness and weeds.


Housegirls

Housegirls

By Shola Olowu-Asante   

This is how we sleep: three in a bed, in a dust-grey room with a single window, fused shut, where cracks as stark as lightning forks run amok along the walls.


Her Korean Heart

Her Korean Heart

By Frances Park   

In years to come, Honey, once Hanhee, would recall it as a Kodak moment circa 1960, that morning when they stood on the 500 block of Potomac Avenue facing a cluster of red brick apartments, their backs to Mount Vernon Boulevard and their only luggage, his gold-buckled black trunk, on the sidewalk, so jet lagged they were beyond sleep.


Coffin Birth

Coffin Birth

By Leah Damski   

It was raining the day I performed my first burial cleansing. I remember because it hardly ever rains in Jerusalem and because once you’ve cleaned a dead body and prepared it for burial, you can never unsee what you saw.


See Andrew Run

See Andrew Run

By Nahid Rachlin   

Andrew had been happy that morning at the prospect of the job interview. But now as he drove away from the office where he was interviewed he felt sad with a strange echo running through his mind.


Jamie Wriston Colbert Interview

Jamie Wriston Colbert Interview

By Patricia Ann McNair   

JAIMEE WRISTON COLBERT author of Wild Things Interviewed by Patricia Ann McNair Solstice Consulting Fiction Editor   (From Patricia): In Jaimee Wriston Colbert’s fifth book, Wild Things, we readers are lured into small communities and shadowy places close to the murky Susquehanna River in Upstate New York. Here we find ourselves moving through the book’s… Read more »


Marjan Kamali Interview

Marjan Kamali Interview

By Joanne Carota   

MARJAN KAMALI author of Together Tea Interviewed by Joanne Carota   Carota: You have lived across the globe–Kenya, Germany, Turkey, Iran, U.S., Switzerland, and Australia. How have your global experiences influenced your characters? For instance, in Together Tea mother and daughter, Darya and Mina, shift into Persian-American familial roles. How do you think their relationship… Read more »


Elizabeth Searle Interview

Elizabeth Searle Interview

By Aqueela Culbreath-Britt   

ELIZABETH SEARLE author of We Got Him Interviewed by Aqueela Culbreath-Britt Solstice Intern, Lesley University MFA Student   Aqueela: Much of your fiction seems to incorporate major headlines; how do you decide which headlines you will write about and why take on such controversial topics? Elizabeth: I was raised on News- my Dad was a… Read more »


A Visitor

A Visitor

By Tim Benjamin   

He tells us the story over dinner. We called him Andrew, because he didn’t remember his name. He tells us this: he says that in 1925, there’s a fire at Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum in Marylebone Road, London. The results, he says, are as one might expect. The London Salvage Corps, a sort of reaper… Read more »


Search for a Martyr

Search for a Martyr

By Roberta Hartling Gates   

(1) Kaltenbrunner document Reading SS-Obergruppenführer Dr Ernst Kaltenbrunner’s report dated June 29, 1943, we can tell, just from its turgid style, that he labored over it. Writing may not have come to him easily. But the drinking didn’t help either. Sitting there in his big Berlin office swilling champagne and French brandy from morning till… Read more »


The Chaiwalla

The Chaiwalla

By Mariya Taher   

As Anwar the chaiwalla gazed out over the bazaar, over the tops of wooden carts full of fresh okra, spinach, cauliflower, and tomatoes, he saw a blinding white light coming towards him. Behind this light, the shadow of two beings, one shorter than the other, followed. As the images came closer, Anwar distinguished the light… Read more »


On a Night in Shelby County

On a Night in Shelby County

By Michael Mark   

Thirty years later and I still come undone when I think of that night. It’s like a ball of moonlight jammed in my vest pocket, about the diameter of a quarter. If I take it out and set it on the table, then I’m going to have to explain it, and that I cannot do.… Read more »


The Last Lonely Planet

The Last Lonely Planet

By Christopher James   

  There is a moment, in the midst of a long-distance flight, when I feel like I’ve been buried alive. This allegorical, final act in a Verdi opera, is especially faithful in the cabin’s darkness, long after the complimentary pretzels and movies, when cramped and punished bodies have escaped in pressurized sleep. The flight attendants,… Read more »


Hawaii

Hawaii

By Mardith Louisell   

My radiators didn’t heat, my toilet gushed, the washing machine rattled. Next it would be my stove. That’s how it had been in my sister’s house as she was dying from a brain tumor. The toaster, dishwasher, refrigerator, every appliance that could malfunction did, as if in sympathy with her forty-one-year-old body. The weather, too,… Read more »


Unknown Caller

Unknown Caller

By Tracy Robert   

“Good evening, ma’am.  Yes, can you hear me?  Good evening, and once more, good evening.  We have great news for you.  Great news, indeed.  You have won our sweepstakes, chosen from a pool of valued customers, and the prize is something very wonderful.  Something of which you have perhaps dreamed.  If you choose to claim… Read more »


Salisbury Beach

Salisbury Beach

By Sean Conway   

Our father, Charles Hartley II, hanged himself in the attic in the spring of 1977. I was five years old. My brother Kelly was eleven. May 25th: the same day that Star Wars opened, though I didn’t make that connection until later. My mother had taken the two of us to see the movie toward… Read more »


A Tender Age, 1968

A Tender Age, 1968

By Marie Manilla   

Itty Bit, fourteen, stood in her bedroom in the tiny orange house tapping her fingernail against the doorframe: tap-tap-tap. She eavesdropped on Auntie May who was visiting her mother. “But it’s your purpose, Baby Girl,” Auntie May said. Itty Bit could only see the back of Auntie’s head. Her mother sat on the sofa. “I… Read more »


It Feels Good To Be Moving On

It Feels Good To Be Moving On

By Elizabeth Terzakis   

I go into the programmer’s office at Stanford and propose my project. The programmer rubs a finger over his mustache and beard, his brown eyes off-focus behind round metal glasses. I can tell he spends a lot of time in his head. The office is a mess. The desk looks like a giant block of… Read more »


Masterpiece

Masterpiece

By Karan Madhok   

Most bodies in this country are shrouded by a gold silk sheet and cremated; some are shrouded in white and buried under a cross or facing a holy land; a small number are even left atop high towers to be shrouded by starving vultures. But Dhiraj didn’t want to go that way; his shroud –… Read more »


Sea Wall

Sea Wall

By Lesley Mahoney O'Connell   

Poor Theo, everyone always says. But there I was in my wetsuit, wading knee deep in the frigid ocean, blindly feeling around to retrieve cut-up pieces of my limited-edition world map that had hung on our living room wall before my brother destroyed it. I must have looked like a madwoman, holding up laminated fragments… Read more »


One Day’s Worth

One Day’s Worth

By William Auten   

This is a picture of two men. I have believed for so long that this one photo explained certain details for me. I found it loose in a box buried at the back of the top shelf of the storage closet in my parent’s old house many years ago when I was a teenager snooping… Read more »


Cat Calls

By Gregory Wolos   

We’re sorry; you have reached a number that has been disconnected or is no longer in service. If you feel you have reached this recording in error, please check the number and try your call again.   When Tyler drifted into consciousness, eyes still closed, there was a peaceful, dark moment before the stab of… Read more »


The Favour

By Nola Schiff   

Eric calls: Big, big favour love. Can’t tell you on the ‘phone.  Meet for lunch today?  I’ll come down.  Club at one.  Call me at B.H. if you can’t.  Okay? She can never say no.  That’s her trouble.  Damn Eric. One o’clock.  Bloody worst time to meet anyone in the BBC club.  The crowd at… Read more »


Butler

By YZ Chin   

“All of us had English accents,” said my Grandfather in an English accent. Ooloovus. “That was how we learned, you know. From the British.” Grandfather was known to have been employed by the colonizers as a butler, the only one anyone had ever heard of in the middling town of Butterworth, Malaya. But he wasn’t… Read more »


(Novel Excerpt):
Some Peculiar Errand

By Jessica Lipnack   

Old familiars, the milky sconces and glass lanterns dangling from blue-and-yellow plaster buildings, greeted me when I came up to the street from the Métro. Can buildings greet a person? They’re inanimate, I thought, but also behave as mirrors for memory, now projecting mind-shots of the last time I was here, him reading the paper

Night Vision

By Kim Suhr   

Brad hadn’t slept more than three hours at a stretch since he’d dropped his duffle in the entryway of his grandfather’s house and started his period of “reintegration.” With the old man in rehab for a broken hip, Brad could sit in the plaid recliner for hours at a time, watching war coverage on TV,… Read more »


Stripper Pants

By Jonathan Escoffery   

My brother has a prostitute living with us. She came home with him one night and never left. I don’t know her name, but there are a number of her traits I have picked up on. First off, she steals. She sneaks into my bathroom at night to steal toilet paper—uses the whole damn roll.… Read more »


Flight

By Douglas Cole   

I drove east, northeast, heading for my father’s house.  In the Cascades my poor vehicle labored and slowed to a crawl, but I kept moving through the waves of midmorning and the crickets buzz and the smell of pine needles baking on the ground.  A warning light on the dashboard came on.  The engine was… Read more »


THE GLASS GIRL

By Laurie Foos   

Last night the glass girl came again to my door. For three nights I’d heard her outside, the scrape and clink of her footsteps. At first I’d thought some of the neighborhood teenagers had been playing a game of ring-and-run when I’d gone to the door and found no one there. They played all kinds… Read more »


The Sudden Change In Weather

By Ian Randall Wilson   

On Friday, following a cold night, the thermometer outside the Theatre District branch of Peoples Bank read 90° at 9:03 A.M.  Mayor Bloomberg was on time for the taping of his weekly address.  Zwakker awoke in his hotel with the radio tuned to a Christian station demonizing Islam; he changed the time before he located… Read more »


NOVEL EXCERPT from
At the Center of it All

By Marjan Kamali   

“At The Center Of It All”   “I would like it,” Baba said at breakfast, as they ate fresh naan with feta cheese and homemade sour cherry jam, “for you girls to be the next Madame Curies of this world. I would like that. Or even writers,” he smiled at Roya. “Like that American woman:

NOVEL EXCERPT from EINSTEIN TIME

By J. Spru   

1967   The voices were like yeast.  They pervaded my whole universe the way yeast pervades a loaf of bread.  Sometimes God spoke to me directly, sometimes it was Satan, Lucifer, the Devil.  If they told me there’d be a plane crash there was, an earthquake, yes, and if they told me to cut myself,… Read more »


THE SMELL

By Ruth Mukwana   

Dark clouds gathered and metamorphosed the sky from bright blue to dark gray, almost black. I feared the prison guards would herd us into the rusted trucks and ferry us back to the prison, foiling my plan to escape. We had just arrived at the farm, a two-hour drive from the prison facility in Masaka… Read more »


Meyer’s Falls

By Michele Cacho-Negrete   

Jan rummages through her purse, actually a crammed tote bag, for her wallet with her driver’s license, vowing she’ll never try to cash a check at a strange branch again, but this one was next to the car parts place that had insisted “cash only” once she got there.  She’s banked at the branch across… Read more »


Horror Movies

By Donna Gordon   

The mother and daughter are sitting in the darkened theater, the blue light of madness around them.  They are watching a horror movie.  Blood-curdling cries escape from the monster faces, a good makeup job. The opening scene is always the same–perfect–all-American, someone mowing the lawn or sunbathing in the backyard–till something sinister happens.   When the… Read more »


From My Time in the Language School

By Tom Whalen   

I notice I have not spoken much if at all about the administration of the language school or its director. This is not because I am in utter fear of her, but because to me she seems in a sense, how shall I put it, airy, inconsequential, almost trivial, a factotum in the administrative chain… Read more »


Nettles

By Sarah Colwill-Brown   

Kel had been waiting for Ando for half an hour, sat outside the chippie on the kerb. School bus had been and gone and Kel hid behind the wheelie bins while it went past. She spat on the tarmac and inhaled again. Spit, smoke, blow, spit, smoke. You always have to spit after you tek… Read more »


What Lies in Ambush

By Brett Riley   

2nd Lieutenant Woody Bullock sat with his back to the wall, watching two old soldiers converse near the picked-over catering table. To his nine o’clock, a set of double doors led to the hallway and its bank of elevators. Near the doors, Bullock’s old friend, 1st Lieutenant Dan Johnson, greeted new arrivals with the same… Read more »


Satisfaction

By William Petersen   

I’ve always been a superstitious man. Even the horoscope in the Tribune or the fortune cookies at Wong’s Happiness Cafe can give me pause, and God knows how hungry I was for change that night at the Zebra Lounge when Bobby Smythe got shot. Bobby was in town for two weeks. And every night, I… Read more »


The Negro Claim

By Kim McLarin   

Chapter One (Massachusetts, December, 1850) He couldn’t read well, that was the problem. Sure, he knew his letters well enough, thanks to Harriet. He could make out each and every one from the first to the last if he tried hard, could even wrestle into sense the bitty-bit words like “all” and “the” and “so.”… Read more »


From The Theater of the Invisible Guests

By Alan Davis   

I know well what I am fleeing from but not what I am in search of.  | Michel De Montaigne   When Ben murdered Evelyn, only a few blocks from where I lived, and I went out of my mind to figure out why, I came to understand that anything lived but not written down… Read more »