Story: James R. Gapinski

flamingos

Plastic Flamingos Some teacher loses a kid, some chimp is throwing poo, the bear’s hiding in his cave again, and the stupid tiger won’t eat. It’s a lot to deal with, but at least it’s manageable. Police officers are combing the “Small Mammal Adventure” area for the kid; I tell the primatologist to order more … Continue reading

Story: Sophie Joelle

daddy

Trigger Warning: [sexual abuse] Daddy The neighbors float about our home as if it’s their own, and no glass is ever empty. My mum tends to stay amongst the party for an hour or so before retreating to her bedroom. She doesn’t relish the attention like my father does, and she doesn’t drink. She says … Continue reading

Story: Sean Higgins

points_in_space

Points in Space Rusty wanted to stay in 4th-grade Geometry class forever, until the triangles between the stars burnt out and jagged quadrilaterals dropped from the clouds like dead seagulls. Things were fuzzy at home. His mom went missing three days ago, and he slept on the couch at night while the weather channel droned … Continue reading

Three Questions: Alan Bray

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We featured an excerpt from Alan Bray’s The Puppet’s Tattered Clothes (Bartleby Snopes Press, 2014) in February. He was born in 1954 in Detroit, Michigan, the only child of a sales representative for a railroad and a schoolteacher. He grew up reading books, which at that time, meant adult books, as the availability of children’s books was … Continue reading

Story: Robert A. Kaufman

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Pocahontas The sirens wailed and the students exploded in smiles. They yanked out their iPhone4s and Samsung Galaxys and zipped up their bags. A voice on the loudspeaker: Good aft-uh-noon! We have reports that the tor-NAY- do that’s blowin’ thru North Texas’ll be blowin’ close t’us here. So [beat] as uh safety per-CAUTION, please follow … Continue reading

Story: Ron Riekki

riekki

Trigger Warning: [Suicide] The Absolutely Perfect Death of Harry Houdini We were looking for a song on the radio to kill ourselves to. My tape player wasn’t working. Otherwise we were going to kill ourselves to Dokken’s “Alone Again.” This was back when that song had meaning for me. I think it had meaning for … Continue reading

Story: Jennifer Genest

side work

Side Work 1988. The most popular song, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” by Bobby McFerrin, was what my manager, Scott, would sing, ad nauseum, whenever we had any sort of gripe. This was funny to me, at fifteen at my first job—a waitress at a Deering Ice Cream and Family Restaurant in my home town in … Continue reading

Three Questions: Michelle Bailat-Jones

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We featured an excerpt from Michelle Bailat-Jones‘ novel Fog Island Mountains (2014, Tantor Medida) last fall. Her fiction, poetry, translations, and criticism have appeared in a number of journals, including The Kenyon Review, The Rumpus, The View from Here, Hayden’s Ferry Review, the Quarterly Conversation, PANK, Spolia Mag, Two Serious Ladies, Cerise Pressand The Atticus Review. In 2013, her … Continue reading

Story: Renee G. Rivers

whatsinaname

What’s in a Name? “How will you take his name and continue to teach? Teaching in the inner city is hard enough without dealing with that name.” Mom was right, but there were a lot of balls to juggle: finishing graduate school, finalizing the house deal, planning the wedding, interviewing for jobs, and yes, rearing … Continue reading

Story: Kristen MacKenzie

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Ting One thought of the flavor, and my tongue is a terrain that doesn’t fit human dimension; it’s the Bonneville Salt Flats, the Sahara Desert poised at that moment when the first rain starts to fall, soil prickling, heat shimmering, thirsty. It’s summer 1996, and I’m in Jamaica beginning a marriage that would match the … Continue reading

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