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

What Adults Do

J.T. Bushnell His attraction to her had a small current of disgust running along its edge. Tommy met her at a party through a mutual friend, Edgar, who had once almost burned down the fraternity house by spurting a mouthful of vodka at a raised match. Edgar was married now and had a job organizing… More

Girl, Interrupted

Gary Percesepe When his wife asked him for a divorce M drove down the New York State Thruway from New Paltz into Manhattan and checked into the Pierre Hotel. Catherine hadn’t been specific; it had been understood for some time that things were not working. M pouted, pleaded, tried to be charming, threw a fit,… More

Kleinhardt’s Women

Theodore Wheeler He noticed how she watched him circle the plaza fountain. Her head tilted slightly skyward, as if she wanted him to think that she didn’t notice him at all. But he was aware of her glances. She took a drink when she looked. She peeked past the curve of her soda bottle. He… More

Extractions

John McCaffrey His name was Crawford Norris. We’d spent more than an hour talking and drinking before he introduced himself. Crawford was tall and husky and looked to be on the long end of seventy. He finished the story he was telling me with a salesman’s smile, his lips parting to reveal a neat row… More