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

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

At the Beach, After the Fact

Patricia O’Donnell Four young women make their way through groups of people on spread-out towels and blankets. This is the third day of unusually warm weather for June in Maine, and the beach is crowded. They find a spot close to the water, near the line where the sand is wet, and shake out their… More

Weight

Ashleigh Eisinger Jessie stands before me, a circus mirror image of the woman I married ten years earlier. Slight and shriveled, the sight of her furthers my longing for the plump blonde that used to laugh with me, that same woman who would not hesitate to shear off her top and slacks before crawling into… More

In the News – Part 4

Alan Drew PART 4 OF 4 Read Part 1 Here Read Part 2 Here Read Part 3 Here “Everything all right, Sarah?” Roberta yelled out from her desk as she passed in the hallway. It was the next morning. Sarah thought she might be able to slip by again, not have to speak to her… More

In the News – Part 2

Alan Drew PART 2 OF 4 Read Part 1 Here She and Dominic had only been meeting for three weeks, but it had really started months before that with a journal entry she wasn’t supposed to read. Nothing about Seth’s appearance betrayed a bat wielding attacker, and Bryson, he was on his way to UCLA,… More

Brother in Arms

Daniel Frankenfield Rick and I sat in the living room, breath falling from our mouths. The television was on but no cable to watch. We needed money. We needed cigarettes, food, heat and all the other things, but mostly money. There was a Uni-Mart up the street. Rick toyed with a hand rolled cigarette until… 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

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

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

Taylor

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

Moving Limbs

Terry Sanville I hadn’t seen him for days. The seat next to me on the bus to San Fernando Junior High stayed empty. There were rumors: a fiery car crash, a crippling polio attack, the Russians kidnapping his whole family. The Sanders’ Studebaker was missing from their driveway. My mind conjured fantastic tales. But on… More