No Names

Alexander V. Bach The rules they had talked about for a while included that he be in the same room, that they both make the choice and that they would have no contact again with the man selected, which helped with the last rule–no names; he didn’t want any way for them to know each… More


Michelle Bailat-Jones This is the season they use fireworks to scare the starlings from the vines. The season of hot afternoons and crisp evenings, when her lower back will stiffen with chilled sweat as the sun disappears from the rows of grapes to be harvested. She lives with the men, but apart, separated by a… More

Hotel Coyote

Simone Martel Driving into Coyote, it’s a straight shot between fields of dusty tomato plants, but the gold tower she’s aiming for is still miles away and the rattling pickup won’t go any faster. “So forget your scheme. Turn the truck around, come back and do some real work.” She hears her dad jeering, sees… More

On the Common

Dan Forward The fading fall made the city came into a more vivid focus. The cold breath of oncoming winter lent outlines to the environment, a sharpness indiscernible in warm months. Every brick in every façade could be counted with ease, every branch of every tree–now bereft of the motley foliage indicative of the onset… More

Monitoring the Situation Closely

Kris Saknussemm There’s something very important to be said for investigating problems as completely as possible before you reach any conclusions. I was reminded of this the other day when an old friend e-mailed in from his latest post in Latvia. Clive was born to be a hotelier—actually born in a hotel, trained in London… More


Ryan Millbern Taylor sat in the corner of the bar at the Holiday Inn in Galvin, talking to a man who called himself Sydney. Her pockmarked legs were crossed, her top foot bouncing to the beat of “Papa Was a Rolling Stone.” A strobe light pulsed in one corner and shot up into a rotating… More


Jessica Johnson We left a day before my 17th birthday, just when the sun began pumping hazy orange light into a humid Friday morning. Mom was rushing from one room to another, making sure we didn’t forget any small toys or dishcloths, while Dad and I stuffed our sleeping bags into the U-Haul and Keith… More