After the Meteor

Sam Ramos The balloon drifted into the clouds and then a thousand more joined it. The pilots inside leaned out to her, each becoming ever smaller in the offing. It wasn’t that she was sad, though she was. It was life’s awful brilliance – the eternity of every single thing, small and big. A flood… More

Pulse

Nick Kimbro I listened for the fourth beat and felt how, as it passed, my entire body seemed suspended. 1-12-2011, 8:42 pm—Deceased brought in from snow. After signing transfer form, delivering officer, Deputy Desmond Fogle [#347], makes crass remark about deceased’s ‘knockers’ before surrendering Oklahoma state license with the name ‘Heidi Gordon’ printed beside an… More

Little Things Like Happiness

Robert Rosenberg Her days are structured by the repetition of small unanswerable questions: The Silver State. Why only silver? In the morning, in slippers, Asail steps down the hall, stops to check that he’s still sleeping, and opens the front door. A grey towel is draped over her shoulder. She changes to flip flops she… More

Willing

Lissa Franz Ian knew the pieces didn’t fit, but he wanted them to fit very badly, and the angrier Ian got, the harder he tried to make his anger into something that would change the way things worked. It was Kurt’s turn to host the neighborhood playgroup, and he felt uneasy as he located the… More

Sell Out

Saramanda Swigart 1. Twins, Age 34 Small One-Bedroom Apartment, East Village, Manhattan The knocking lasts an hour and forty-seven minutes. As always, the neighbors stay quiet. I lie still, listening. It begins timidly at 1:32 a.m. and ceases at 2:49 a.m., according to my bedroom clock. I keep the clock six minutes fast, so truly… More

Lap Dog

Kathie Giorgio Although she invited him to stay afterward, even mentioning the chilled-for-months wine, he left, mumbling something about having an early morning church service and he’d call her. Delly thought she was a cat person, even though she didn’t own any cats. She collected dozens of feline figurines, but whenever she went to the… More