When You Say It Straight Out Like That

Joan Hill Edith Willoughby used scraps of newspaper and clear tape to mark her possessions. In her shaky scrawl she wrote her daughter’s name, Sarah, and tore it from the edge of an article about a mother who drove her minivan into the ocean with her three children strapped inside. Edith’s plan was that when… More

A Few Cans of Beer

Robert Earle Even earlier than Charlie across the street, Jack headed for the postal facility in North Philadelphia in his ‘61 Dodge Polara—the only good thing he ever got from his old man although it was ugly as sin. He had a grimy but trouble-free drive right past where he grew up in Roxborough, a… More

Unforgiving

Ree Davis The hospital is getting smaller in the car’s rear window, as if I have the power to shrink its sprawling brick monolith and close off its merciless little rooms. Doves huddle around the empty cupola. Deserter, they say. Tall windows yawn open like mouths echoing the birds. Deserter. My daughter’s Cadillac is a… More

If You’re Listening to This

Benjamin Roesch Luke found himself in a small room with no windows. There was porn of all persuasions. There were tissues and baby wipes. There was Jergens almond scented lotion. He selected a magazine called Studs and flipped its glossy pages, past men in chaps and thongs and cut offs. They were oiled and impressive… More

Who Has Time for Stars?

Benjamin Roesch The holidays, as usual, had played her for a damn fool. Had plied her with deep fried turkey. With gravy and greens. With her daughter’s big eyes and the promise of Santa! With the temptation of Dale’s annual felt box of something shiny. With glitter shirts and midnight kisses. But now it was… More

Blaze Orange

Sam Neis The lawns are green and damp and deep. The trees rise up dark-trunked from beds of pachysandra. Back behind their hanging leaves the houses sit in greeny dapple-light. In some yards plastic toy cars and scooters lie abandoned. The greenest lawns though, bear no trace of children. That is too much work. One… More

Little Miracles

J.S. Simmons The ad in the back of the paper claimed she was twenty-three. As she climbed the stairs and smiled, chin lifted toward the landing, Jack saw the lines in her face, the gray strands at the crown of her head where roots showed beneath the bleach job. He tried to tell himself it… More