Story: John E. Keats


A Part I watched the brunette’s pale breast escape from the vertical pressure of a clinging, turquoise strip. A high sun scalded the concrete and the crowd surrounding my apartment complex’s pool. Most of us were stuck to slimy cushions on slatted, wooden recliners. Children splashed in the water. Adults swam quivering laps. The exposed … Continue reading

Story: Gessy Alvarez


Morsels Fort Tryon Park. A troop of children swing like acrobats, slide like boulders, climb up the monkey bars and shout from the top, “Look at me!” Mami pushes the stroller. Little sister’s arm dangles from the side. She hiccups the last of her tears. I fly around them. My arms stretched like the wings … Continue reading

Story: Mir-Yashar Seyedbagheri


Douchebag David Mr. Drew hates teaching writing workshop tonight, because he has to deal with Douchebag David, or so he calls himself. The mustachioed man who shouts out Big Lebowski lines, and talks about dead mothers and Russia. He wonders, though, whether David’s stories are autobiographical, even though he shouldn’t. It’s a writer’s cardinal sin, … Continue reading

Story: Matthew Vasiliauskas


Abattoir They found his body yesterday, or was it today, they couldn’t really remember. He had been at the abattoir longer than any of them, and suddenly dropped dead while carrying a headless hog. There was something about the way he maneuvered torsos that seemed almost like an art to them. It was all balletic, … Continue reading

Story: Michael James


Side Effects The sound of the dishwasher follows her into the room. “The doctor called this morning.”   “Yes or no?”   “Come into the bedroom. There’s no light here. It’s depressing.”  “Sure. Gimme a minute?”   Her nod is a statement. She leaves the room. This will be a serious conversation. And he knows how … Continue reading

Story: Amber Simpson


Lamentations My four uncles were drunk at their sister’s funeral. No one told them not to have beer—not my grieving father or the funeral director behind bottle-cap glasses. They threw the empty cans in the bin by the casket meant for tissues. There were wet tissues in there, too, but you couldn’t see them for … Continue reading

Story: Daniel Leach


Monday You park, kill the engine, and stare at the brick façade, your hands stuck at ten and two, the car quiet as a tomb. It is time to go inside, and yet, you sit and stare, refusing to unfasten the seatbelt that is leaving a savagely deep wrinkle in your new shirt, refusing even … Continue reading

Story: Sharon Gosling


Shibboleth The cherry blossom was out in full, fat pink-and-white candyfloss blooms that swung above their heads, too high to reach. It was a Tuesday evening, after bible study: the adults were inside, sharing tea and cake. The children, still in their meeting clothes, had been let outside to play. Ruth held a stick and … Continue reading

Story: Kate Greathead


One Woman’s Trash It was one of those breakups where all your stuff ends up in trash bags, you have five minutes to find a new apartment, and once you do, the last thing you want to do is unpack those trash bags—they contain a lot of raw feelings. Call me emotionally lethargic, I let … Continue reading

Story: Amy Friedman


Two Kids, One Burning Stone After a bit of coughing, some surely genuine and some perhaps feigned to make the experience seem worse than it was for his 12-year-old son, my father turned the cigarette around and handed it to my brother filter first. “Put it to your lips, suck in some smoke, and breathe … Continue reading


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