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

Has Anybody Seen My Gal?

Sutton Strother When her father died, Granny couldn’t afford a casket. She refused everyone’s money, and in the end, when she could think of nothing meaningful to do with the ashes they brought her, she poured what was left of my great-grandfather into the kitchen trashcan. “He’ll get where he’s going, anyhow,” she told us.… More

Conditioning

Dusty Cooper Shotgun shells rolled on the floorboard of Tarot’s pick-up, clanking across the bare metal as he navigated sharp curves. The trip up the mountain hadn’t been so bad. The trip down threatened to pull the axle apart. He’d bought the old truck from a man outside of Tempe, AZ. The seller’s ad was… More

Still Life with Infidels #1

M. David Hornbuckle The interior design of the cabin on the lake has not been updated since the early 1970s or maybe earlier. The carpet is orange shag, and the furniture in the living room is yellow vinyl. Taxidermied creatures inhabit many corners, stare out from every wall, and augment countertops. Ryan and Gabriella are… More