genre: Fiction

Calligraphy

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

SHORT SHORT
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

ESCAPE ARTIST

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.


Maga

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

Gabrielle

By Gary Percesepe   

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


Amrit Chima

ON THE BLACK SEA, WE FLOAT

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

Pass/Fail

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.”


Elevor

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.


Dukkha

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.


THE QUIET CAR

By Elizabeth Searle   

“Ma’am? You may have to leave.”
The deep Godlike voice from the train’s loudspeaker, only live. Anne stiffens in her seat in the Quiet Car.


An American Family

By Eric Charles May   

When Clarion Woodbury was a boy, we’re talking the early 1960s, the New Orleans house of his grandmother was a not very wide, three-story building set on the northwest corner of a shady block.


House on the Rocks

By Catherine Bell   

Our house was the finest house in town, on the highest point of rocks, with the widest view of Boston and the islands and the open sea.


Eye Clinic

By Nahid Rachlin   

A brittle ray of sunlight is shining on the wall across from me. I want to say, “Cold, I’m cold,” but no words come out.


Border Dance

By Kim McLarin   

My mother is dressed and ready to leave the house, but five minutes before we’re supposed to walk out the door


Miss Guo

By Lew McCreary   

SO MANY of the girls were lost. Miss Guo would just look at them and see the truth and the future all in one glimpse.


Laugh, Run, Sing, Bark

By Richard Perry   

Quentin relieved his mother at two-thirty. Abigail, wearing an ash colored dress, touched three fingers to her cheek


The Cup of Bitterness

By Thrity Umrigar   

She is lying in a bed in the ICU, her mouth wide open to accommodate the hose of the ventilator, her bony arms blackened by the assault of the tubes running in and out of her body.


Marble

By Bruce Pratt   

I passed the early afternoon lunching with Massimo at his restaurant, Il Pescatore, which he was readying for the season.


Shadow Dancer

By Dar Thomas   

You just don’t go knocking on someone’s door and tell her you’ve been watching her for the last couple months. They have a word for that.


Between the Wounded

By Erika Sanders   

The nurse pointed down the long hallway. “He’s in room 202.” She looked Elle over head to toe. “He told me he didn’t have a girlfriend.”


0 = 1

By Elizabeth Gonzalez   

My questions never shocked you, my appeals to fact. You never ran crying from the room or shunned me when I called out your father, your book.


The Education of Aicha

By Karima Grant   

When the Cheikh called to inquire whether Aicha was in New York, Rama could not lie.


House Crawl

By Thomas Benz   

When the Carnahans moved to Spirit Island Estates, it was one of those decisions that on paper looked like a sure thing, a natural path


Real Women

By Girija Tropp   

My husband Ireland wanted me to quit as a physician and join him on a trip to Italy. I wasn’t thrilled.


The Road Kill Retrieval Kit

By Blair Fross   

Mrs. Donovan never prepared herself for motherhood. How she had become Mrs. Donovan, living as wife and mother, was still a bit blurry to her.


Knuckle Sandwich

By Sean Conway   

If there was a bright side in all of this—and Charley was certainly looking for a bright side—it was that Kate hadn’t driven off with his fingers still stuck in the door.


Salsaholico

By Danielle Monroe   

Your girl doesn’t call. Why would she? You haven’t heard from her in five days. She isn’t your girl. She was never your girl.


Hansel and Gretel

Hansel and Gretel

By Laura Williams McCaffrey   

In the light of the gibbous moon, beneath the thick boughs of ancient oaks, a girl pulled her brother from the gingerbread house, trailed by smoke that stank of burned sugar and flesh.


Totem

Totem

By Robert M. Herzog   

Cedric wasn’t drunk. Spirits from the spirits, he told himself. That was a sober man’s thought, wasn’t it? The neck of the bottle was in his mouth.


Connections

Connections

By Marion de Booy Wentzien   

Vincent and Harry have come to install broadband. Zip has convinced me we need this more than we need new kitchen cabinets. Never mind that all the cupboard doors are sprung and that the only way to shut the cupboards is with rubber bands twisted three times. Both guys are short and have buzzed hair with a slash on one side.


Look Away

Look Away

By David Sahl   

A cool, misty fog collects in her hair. Fine droplets gather and flow in tiny rivulets following the smile lines of her face. They slide from her jaw to dampen and discolor her thin blouse. She doesn’t notice.


The Kite

The Kite

By Christopher Anderson   

Dottie was pregnant. I was a math instructor at Seattle Community College. There was an Indian summer that September, not a drop of rain until the 20th. One warm and windy day I took my 5-year-old son Philip to Lincoln Park with a kite.