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Fiction

Fiction Issue #72

The Woman in the Novel She knows it’s her. The hair color might have changed, a few mannerisms subtracted and added, but it’s her. He wrote her. He was her guest, and he wrote her. She feels violated. She tells people this. I feel violated. Some are sympathetic. Others pretend it. Only her husband actually […]

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Fiction

Fiction Issue #71

Wild “It’s impossible not to remember wild and want it back.” — Mary Oliver “You know,” Bets says, parking a wad of Bazooka in her cheek. “The road goes both ways.” She brushes a coat of Pink Lemonade high-gloss enamel on her big toe, sunglasses perched on the tip of her nose. Earlier, at Walgreens, […]

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Fiction

Fiction Issue #70

The Magician’s Doll  When he was thirty-six, the magician took a wife—a plain and plump and doughy thing, because no one could possibly accuse him of being vain. On their wedding day, he made the water jump in heart-shaped arcs, and the flowers grow in gold, and even took credit for the brightness of the […]

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Fiction

Fiction, Issue #69

Sisters of the Sacred Well The years of the pandemic, Colin’s mind followed the seasons: a whisper of renewal in the spring, hot streaks in the summer, desiccated thoughts in autumn, and white silence in winter. By the second summer of his bursts, we ceased hoping for rational time with him. We are not in […]

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Fiction

Fiction Issue #68

My Ghost Alessandra has been living with me for almost five years, and I’ve never been happier. In the morning, she likes to walk barefoot on my creaking floor, caressing my old bones. I love it. At lunch, she eats in the kitchen, with my curtains closed and light filtering from behind. I always keep […]

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Fiction

Fiction Issue #67

Final Molt Andy boils the cocoons and unravels the silk because he doesn’t feel bad about killing the pupa. “It’s not even a real bug at that point—the body is basically deconstructed, a chunky organ soup,” he says. I’m not convinced this means silkworms are immune to pain since organ soup doesn’t mean the worm has […]

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Fiction

Fiction Issue #66

Final Communion A biplane tails a shimmering string of text: The world is ending. Another, I hear, in Montana creates a font of clouds. Someone reported they added finally, but the letters dissolved before it could be confirmed. And I don’t believe it. That’s just what we’re all thinking. Finally. Finally, it’s over. In Michigan, […]

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Fiction

Fiction Issue #65

Field There was a girl who loved to play in a field. Every day after school, she would go to it and hide herself in the long waving grasses. The girl didn’t need any playmates, not when the grass welcomed her with each rustle and the wind soothed her with each murmur. She talked to […]

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Fiction

Fiction Issue #64

Four Paintings Jane could not stop thinking about her daughter’s painting. In the center of the canvas sat a large dog, a good likeness of their Golden Retriever Buster, except this dog’s coat was powder blue. Beside him on an unmade bed knelt a young girl wearing a hunter green jumper and red high-top sneakers, […]

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Fiction

Fiction Issue #63

The Empty Vessel The summer they drowned the hornet’s nest, I built my first urn. For months, the hornets had been at work, and now their nest hung in the oak tree round and smooth, like the bulbous heart of some prehistoric mammal. The nest frightened us yet still, I could not repress my fascination […]

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Fiction

Fiction Issue #62

Looking for Jimmy When I stuck the picture to the edge of the mirror, Maggie called me weird, which isn’t anything new, really. Seriously, B, that’s fucking morbid. I didn’t tell her what it was, its place in history, or that I’d found it in one those old glossy magazines in the basement that she […]

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Fiction

Fiction Issue #61

did it hurt when you fell one          He stands on top of the diving board but never makes the leap. Other swimmers crowd forward, a bouquet of monochrome spandex scalps. He pays no attention to them. His eyes lift toward the moldy ceiling beams and dusty floodlights, a contented smile wreathing […]

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Fiction

Fiction Issue #60

Flowers for Allen   My husband has a pocketful of pocket atlases, baby teeth and baby aspirin. They clank to the music his pants make when he shuffles and frictions against metal handrails. There’s dried blood on the teeth and he knows which tooth belongs to which kid by the grooves and faded Sharpie dates […]

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Fiction

Fiction Issue #59

Hannie’s House   Victoria So I get a call from the neighbor next door to mom—I don’t recognize her name or know for that matter how she got mine because I haven’t been able to bring myself to visit mom’s house since the last time we argued and that was so long ago—and she says […]

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Fiction

Fiction Issue #58

Golden Boys Two years ago, when Wei Seng told me that he was getting married in Melbourne, I had shrunk to the size of a mouse. He said, “We’re signing the marriage papers at the registry office and I’m back in the office the next day. There’s no reason for you to fly eight hours […]

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Fiction

Fiction Issue #57

Diorama And so it was, from the day he left us. I didn’t want to, but I ended up counting days, as if the numbers might add up to something more than gone, like some kind of miraculous equation resulting in next month’s rent. It wasn’t so easy, even when Jack was here and employed; […]

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Fiction

Fiction Issue #56

Deadheading Freddie Fortune would’ve been fourteen the day my brother and his friends burned down the Dairy Delight. Sam poured the turpentine and Noah dropped the match, but Mr. Martin started the fire the afternoon he smiled too long at Freddie over the ice cream counter. “A sweet treat for a sweet boy,” he’d said, […]

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Fiction

Fiction Issue #55

Gone from the World by Talbot Hook Finally. He had forgotten just how many times he’d put his name in, but now — relief. Freedom. He had finally done it. He immediately turned off the screen, and went to the fridge for a beer, pausing for a moment, the afterglow from the television blaring happily […]

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Fiction

Fiction Issue #54

to my love, a portrait by Nicholas LaMendola “Aema is fourteen. Maybe that means something to you. Maybe that’s all I have to say by way of introduction, maybe that’s enough for you to see her as she is. In my defense, I tried to go further than that, I tried to delve deeper into […]

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Fiction

Fiction Issue #53

Revelations

By Blake Johnson

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Fiction

Fiction Issue #52

Curtain Call

By Bari Lynn Hein

 

On Friday afternoon, Simone saw the first sign that things were getting back to normal. Liesl and Ryan argued most of the way home from school about something absurd. Which one of them had been the first to do something or to say something or… Who cared?
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Fiction

Fiction Issue #51

Alfred’s Feast

By Chuck Radke

 

Eventually, Alfred said, they all stopped coming, even the son, who was nearing seventy himself and had the dull wife with asthma. At the other end of the building, in the library, preparations were underway. The ladies from the Purple Hat Guild always did such a nice job…
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Fiction

Fiction Issue #50

Return or Exchange

By Iris Litt

 

I finally got to the desk of the Bureau of Husbandry in the huge Riverside Mall after waiting in line for over half an hour. The figure behind the counter had a completely blank face, as blank as the faces of the robots who personned some of the other stations…
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Fiction

Fiction Issue #49

Judas Sheep

By Bill Bruce

 

Like most everything else, they arrive by boat. It’s morning. The plank lowers. They trot naively onto the dock. Fear and uncertainty are met by the presence of a single, stoic figure in black. He reassuringly calls them to attention. The discordant chorus quiets…
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Fiction

Fiction Issue #48

Coming Home

By Prisha Mehta

 

There is a room painted yellow and a crib painted white and a child in the crib with a sputter of freckles that will fade and mellow as she grows. There is the scent of baby powder, the rock of distant voices. Her eyes are closed…
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