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Fiction

Fiction Issue #29

Gaw Gaw

By Loan Le
 
 

On Halloween, the veil between the living and the dead lifts. That’s what Dad tells me every year, as if I need to be reminded, as if I can ever forget. Today is special….
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Fiction

Fiction Issue #28

Wanting

By Noelle Q. de Jesus
 
 

Through this long summer, I’ve been desperately and quite pathetically in love with Eloisa Tuason, our neighbor from down the street. From the start, it’s been more than infatuation. Any man, married or not, can pass a woman on the street and think she’s gorgeous, and by the time he gets to wherever he’s going, he’s forgotten her….
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Fiction

Fiction Issue #27

The Waiting Moon

By Thomas Benz
 
 

Jarrett wakes with the disorienting sense that he has missed something, that there has been some lapse and he must try to figure out what’s gone wrong. Passengers are wearily lining up in the aisle, jostled by the accustomed roughness of the old rails. The street and buildings out the window are upscale, mildly forbidding and unfamiliar…
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Fiction

Fiction Issue #26

Winter Rose

By Vi Khi Nao
 
 

When it rains, which it hasn’t. At least not lately. But when it rains, which can be in the Spring or Fall, Nicole’s nipples become alert and her vulva swells up with clouds of feelings and illusions….
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Fiction

Fiction Issue #25

The Tall House

By Amanda Rodriguez
 
 

All the unmarried women in town lived in the Tall House. We called it that because the house rested high up on long stilts. There was never any danger of flooding, though….
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Fiction

Fiction Issue #24

Victory Garden

By Brent Fisk
 
 

When I’m working in the garden in the heat of August, ripping out the plants that failed to thrive, I think of my grandmother under her straw hat, her small trowel in her hand and a red bandana knotted at her throat. She was partial to shade-lovers—hostas, creeping Jenny, and coral bells…
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Fiction

Fiction Issue #23

Fly in the Ointment

By Nathan Leslie
 
 

Happiness is a place called Fawn Lake. Happiness is the rose-laden trellis by the pool, the gentle burbling of the hot tub; the pool dangles over the lake improbably. The sun glows delightfully—neither too hot nor too distant. Perfect sailboats dot the lake, their sails blowing in the ever-so-slightly wafting wind…
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Fiction

Fiction Issue #22

Sons

By Caitlin Hamilton Summie
 
 

When I was eight, my father woke me in the middle of the night to watch a calf being born. I woke to the rolling, rich sound of his laughter, then boards creaking as he climbed the stairs. Before I could drift back to sleep on my warm, soft feather tick, my door opened. I smelled the cold air on him, a whiff of manure, and sat up in bed…
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Fiction

Fiction Issue #21

June was Fierce, Simple

By Jessica Bryant Klagmann
 
 

It was really going on Thursday. Pietro went out in the middle of the night, not to see the stars but to water his plants. He wasn’t aware of the stars, not yet. He tripped over the hose. He swore the way his mother had taught him. As he sat in the dirt, smacking dust from his slacks, he looked up and noticed that indeed there were stars, many of them…
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Fiction

Fiction Issue #20

The Record We’re Writing

By Tyler Barton
 
 

The Sunday after all this happened, the Gettysburg Examiner reported that Austin Harris flipped his go-kart six times. I was thirteen then, sensitive to nothing but myself, but now I wonder: why even include the number?…
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Fiction

Fiction Issue #19

An Unknown Place

By Evan D. Williams, with illustrations by Meredith C. Bullock
 
 

It was the afternoon of the first moon landing and John D. Hinepaw Junior hunched in the loam of his backyard. He searched for chewed leaves on his bean plants and found none and then he blinked toward the fence posts now soft with lichen and resolved he would take no chances with the rabbits this year….
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Fiction

Fiction Issue #18

How I Found God in the Laundromat

By Sam Gridley
 
 

Actually He was a little white-haired Jewish lady. But therein lies the tale. As a twelve-year-old I scorned the ritual of becoming a man. The religious part of it, I mean, which included meeting each Thursday with the assistant rabbi to study my Haftarah portion, the verses from the Prophets that I would chant at my Bar Mitzvah….
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Fiction

Fiction Issue #17

Perigee

By Marie Curran
 
 

The beauty catches in my throat as we pull onto the road to Asher and Moira’s farm, my husband beside me and our daughter in the backseat. It’s thirty minutes from our home in town, but we have not visited in months. Asher’s zinnias and onions, ripening pumpkins, and Moira’s pecking hens in a meadow of goldenrod meet us on the narrow dirt road up to the old farmhouse…
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Fiction

Fiction Issue #16

Visiting Sarah

By Rebecca Fishow
 
 

My sister Sarah meets me at the San Diego Airport. I am transit-tired, unwashed. I smell my sweat mixing with the thick hibiscus air. She pulls up in her pimped-out Altima, its rims shiny, windows tinted opaque, luring people into caring who is inside. She steps out of the car and onto the curb…
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Fiction

Fiction Issue #15

The Minister

By Eric Barnes
 
 

When someone dies in the North End, there is a funeral. Many people attend. It is our only communal act. There are really no other reasons for a crowd to gather. There is a church downtown that still has a minister, an older man I see sometimes near the corner store or near the church itself, where he sweeps the wide steps leading up to the entrance…
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Fiction

Fiction Issue #14

We Have Commandeered Our Bodies to Science

By Jacob Guajardo
 

We are confined to a room day and night while the doctor runs tests, while we run out of stories to tell each other. We do not remember arriving. We remember only our lives before and not this room. Today the doctor hammers a bottle of lotion against his palm until it hisses, then gives up….
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Fiction

Fiction Issue #13

Brother’s Keeper

By Sandra Hunter
 
 

He is walking. He is about to turn the corner. She is at the window waiting since noon, since last year’s announcement on the church noticeboard, last month’s update, last week’s email, waiting for her temporary Sudanese, temporarily in her living room, her kitchen, her guest room, temporarily so grateful to her American family…
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Fiction

Fiction Issue #12

Get Gregory Out

By Genevieve Plunkett
 
 

Patty met Gloria through one of those little paper tabs that you have to try to tear upward, so that you don’t lose part of the phone number. She had never liked introductions by phone—all those disembodied shifts in tone, the liftoff of questions that never seemed to settle—but she had taken the number…
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Fiction

Fiction Issue #11

Say Uncle

by Robert Earle
 
 

As my father parked at the strip mall on Germantown Pike, a man walked in front of our car toward Filbert’s pharmacy. He was shorter and heavier and his hairline had receded more, but he looked like my father…
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Fiction

Fiction Issue #10

The Tale of How I. I. Settled the Quarrel with I. N.

by Srđan Srdić
 
 

I wished to be left alone, I felt the need to add and subtract, to perform these operations. I felt I could no longer bear it, I packed and left, they didn’t make any trouble. They seemed not to care, one left, another came, as elsewhere….
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Fiction

Fiction Issue #9

Persistence Hunting

by Dave Essinger
 
 

My running shoes have hardened into new shapes since the last time I wore them, and they’re stiff on my feet. The half mile to Andrew’s house loosens them a little, but they don’t stop sliding on my heels. Maybe it’s my feet that have changed, though; maybe my shoes are the same….
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Fiction

Fiction Issue #8

Butchering

by Amanda Pauley
 
 

Mom is as stunned as a hog after the first bullet when I tell her that Ray won’t be over until after Thanksgiving dinner. I say it to her in between the scraping sounds she makes sharpening her knife. She doesn’t put down knife number five but turns around with it in her hand to stare at my large belly I’ve draped a pink cotton babydoll blouse over…
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Fiction

Fiction Issue #7

In the Bodies of Beautiful Fish

by Michael Minchin
 
 

When Quinn Meyers looks up from his cutting board, there are more fish moving along the conveyor: fat salmon, already gutted, or half-gutted, messy from the machines that cannot slice the fins neatly enough or strip the pink membrane from the cavity with the delicate swipe of a blade.
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Fiction

Fiction Issue #6

The Goddamn Caped Canaveral

by Hubert Vigilla
 

Dylan Cape emerged from the marquee tent to Strauss’ “Also Sprach Zarathustra.” The horns blared and the timpani thundered like daybreak and creation. Through the shimmering, rising heat Dylan surveyed the crowd gathered along the security barricades. Ten thousand strong, he was told, and all eyes on him…Read more

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Fiction

Fiction Issue #5

The Buddhists

by Shannon Reed
 
 

“The Buddhists have a saying,” Tim said, “that when something breaks, it is to distract us from the beautiful new thing that is being born.” His hands draped loosely, calmly, over the steering wheel. He smiled slightly, the wrinkles at the corners of his eyes deepening, but did not look at his wife…Read more