Filling the Dresser

When Alison arrived, her mom was sitting on the curb in handcuffs. Alison sat down on the curb next to her. She kept her elbows on her knees, her wrists dangling freely – she didn’t want people thinking she’d been arrested too. Sitting on a curb in the flashing blue and red lights made her… More

Bass Lake

Otto dipped the oars just below the surface, pulling farther away from the cabin his family had rented for the summer. The flat-bottomed boat rode over the small waves. Fir, oak, and hickory grew from the silt and rocks at the water’s edge. Aside from a few homes and summer rentals scattered among the low… More

Animal Instincts

They feared few things more than losing their dog, or their dog dying, whether by causes natural or unnatural. Sim, a third generation bee keeper, and his wife Tawnya, a design assistant, would probably rather lose their house, they loved that dog so much, and had experienced too many scares over the years. He’d been… More

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

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

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

The Search and the Kiss Met at Midnight

Jon Heath And he said, so I will call you at exactly 12:41 and you’ll answer and say you’re here and I’ll drive up sweep round and be waiting there to whisk you away and we’ll go drive around the town and see things, turning our necks and faces skywards to look at the tops… 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

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

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

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

Hurricane Season

Claire Rudy Foster Liz was a chain-smoker. She sat on the roof at night, lighting cigarette after cigarette, one off of another. She rarely got caught because she kept all the stubs in one of Pop’s empty beer cans. The section of the roof where she sat was right next to the dumpster, she would… More

The Expats

Angela Natividad As always, he saw her before she saw him: a wisp of a creature, sitting by a window with a hand-rolled cigarette, now mostly ash, smoldering between the fingers on her right hand. She was writing in a Moleskine with her left. He slowed his pace and fell across her like a ghost,… More