genre: Fiction

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 »



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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »

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:


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


By Shanyn Fiske   

Sometimes, when the children are especially troublesome, Meilin tells them about the Red Guard who sliced open a girl’s neck and poured salt in the wound.

The House Wren

The House Wren

By Jennie Rathbun   

It was a Sunday morning in late May, toward the end of the warbler migration. We had just come in from a bird walk at the cemetery in Cambridge. We hadn’t seen many birds, because I was unable to get Maeve out of bed early enough, but I have learned to hold my tongue when… Read more »

Full-Service Fat Girl

Full-Service Fat Girl

By Richard Downing   

                                                                                              — Columbus, Mississippi,1973     For a long time now she has referred to herself in the third person, almost as if she were being interviewed by Barbara Walters. Except that she will never be interviewed by Barbara Walters, because she – not Barbara – pumps gas for a living. And because she –… Read more »

Once We Were Young

Once We Were Young

By Vanessa Nirode   

Part 1: Satan Drives a Tow Truck   My tomato red 1980 Ford Pinto hatchback speeds north on the QEW toward Toronto. The year is 1991, before Google Maps, MapQuest, iPods and cell phones. I am driving because I am the only one who can operate a manual transmission with ease. And the car belongs… Read more »

Wild Things

Wild Things

By Jaimee Wriston Colbert   

Where I am, I don’t know, I’ll never know, in the silence you don’t know, you must go on,    I can’t go on, I’ll go on. Samuel Beckett, The Unnamable   Loulie peeks out at the old woman from her position on the floor, her head between her knees, her legs scrunched up between… Read more »

SHORT SHORT<br/>Hallways


By Bryan Carvalho   

I remember being in a hallway, at the end of that hallway was a corridor, with the option to go left or right. If I went left down the corridor at the end of the hallway, at the end of that corridor, was an elevator. If I went right down the corridor at the end


By Valerie Miner   

You glance out the window at the tranquil spring evening. Three stories down to the glorious almond blossoms and purple magnolias dazzling the campus after long dreary rains. Northern California heaven.

Laurie Foos

The Secret Eater

By Laurie Foos   

At first the blue girl was nothing but a rumor, a whisper.


By Estela González   

Magali and I crossed the street to the Richardson’s. Nine o’clock in the morning: a good time to get rid of things.

Jerry Whitus

A Psalm

By Jerry Whitus   

He would put in just south of Jacque Rosier Baygall, where she’d put in, and paddle downstream one-and-a-quarter creek miles to the sandbar

Gary Percesepe


By Gary Percesepe   

Gabrielle pulls up to a Conoco gas station. “I need to use the restroom. You need anything?”

Amrit Chima


By Amrit Chima   

The daughter waves a hand in front of her mother’s face, fascinated—and alarmed—by the half visible irises

Sean Conway


By Sean Conway   

Not that it mattered now,
but the kid had this coming a long time.

Rehabilitation Wing

By Sean Gandert   

The Tech didn’t notice new patients any more.
This hadn’t always been the case

My Mother’s Daughter

By Patricia Ann McNair   

My mother was a toucher. She tapped her fingers on my wrist, and even though I was sixteen, not really a girl anymore, I loved it, the feel of her pink touch. Such small hands. You couldn’t help but notice.

Mister Lucas’ Punishment

By Jim Meirose   

Guts and glory too; at the trial in the box he said No, no, no. But, he lost.

You stole that truckload of sombreros, Mister Lucas! cried the Judge.

The Fall

By Susan Muaddi Darraj   

Hell, yes, it was a bad winter: first, Riham’s father gets sick with pneumonia. Two weeks at Greater Memorial, and they’re talking about putting him on a ventilator before he finally looked at a bowl of grey oatmeal and said, “I’m hungry.”

The Hat Salesman

By James Anderson   

The Hat Salesman takes a breath before continuing.

That’s when she says:

“Look, you’ve got this whole Woody Allen thing going.

Winter Loon

By Susan Donovan Bernhard   

A hawk banked in the gray daybreak, head hunched, eyes darting beneath a cross of wings. What could it see? Nothing scampered or skittered along the ice, nothing gamey or meaty worth a closer look, nothing with fight.

Shotgun Summer

By Liza Ketchum   

They asked for a story about a “First.” First what: Kiss? Too embarrassing. Date? Forget it.

The Uncomfortable Millionaire

By John Brown Spiers   

Claude Charles is an uncomfortable millionaire. He works hard to hide what he calls his “creeping suspicion—that something is not right.”


By David Low   

When Emily Wong moved to Manhattan from Poughkeepsie, she started to freak out on elevators. It began at Saks Fifth Avenue.

Table Rock

By Vincent Craig Wright   

The moon glaring above Table Rock’s got me thinking about our field trip up there in ninth grade and falling in love with this girl I never knew before.


By Steven Huff   

Wayne and Abby kept an open package of sleeping pills just sitting around the way another couple might keep a dish of exotic bitter candy that appears to be for anyone to grab

The Hudson

By Steven Huff   

Before I became her darling I towed wrecked machines down the river behind my rowboat. Any kind of wreck you’ve got.