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Fiction

Fiction Issue #47

Watchtower

By Shane Inman

 

Right after it happened, I assumed I’d always remember the look on Ethan’s face the moment just before the ice swallowed him. But a decade was a long time and cast shadows on old memories…
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Fiction

Fiction Issue #46

Portrait of a Marriage as a Young Thing

By Kathryn Ordiway

 

When it’s trying, Liv reminds herself that everyone says the first year is the hardest. This helps. She imagines the three hundred and sixty-sixth day of their marriage as a rosy winter day, fresh snow on the ground…
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Fiction

Fiction Issue #45

Girl Country

By Jacqueline Vogtman

 

The farmer was driving a deserted county road in the early darkness of fall when he found the girl. He was on the way home from burying his wife. His brother sat in the passenger seat, and it was he who spotted the girl first: a shape moving on the side of the road…
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Fiction

Fiction Issue #44

This is How You Get Off Food Stamps

By Claire Robbins

 

1. First you will need to get on them. This is easy: move out of your mother’s house, live in a patched green army tent on the wrong side of town. Get pregnant. Forget who the father of your unborn child was but remember the shape of his nose…
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Fiction

Fiction Issue #43

What Does a Nine Year-Old Know?

By Carley Gomez

 

“I’m a lesbian,” Tim’s nine-year-old daughter Sammy told him. She had a ponytail and a loose tooth that she flicked over her lip with her tongue as they stood in the aquarium in front of a tank of seahorses…
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Fiction

Fiction Issue #42

Pool

By Stanley Delgado

 

Mom told Wendel it was like swimming in saliva, it was so warm; he would love it—absolutely love the pool. She knew he was on summer vacation, so he couldn’t say no…
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Fiction

Fiction Issue #41

Last Sympathy

By Nathan Alling Long
 
 

SANUS DREAMT a bomb exploded just outside his apartment building. He heard the detonation, then saw the window shatter, the ceiling crumble, and debris scatter across the floor. He lay there naked, feeling the dust settled on his skin…
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Fiction

Fiction Issue #40

Vernix

By Joe Baumann
 
 

The neonatal nurses couldn’t remove the vernix from Evan’s skin. They tried hot water, scrubbing with their hands through the squeaky latex of their gloves; they soaked washcloths, scratching them against his pink baby body, at first with a delicacy reserved for afternoon tea…
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Fiction

Fiction Issue #39

How It Ends

By Rosanna Staffa
 
 

Stiff chairs, pens scratching. We sat at a large table, budding playwrights in summer clothes and fresh haircuts. The mentor looked tiny and mysterious, with beautiful black hair and delicate skin. I was afraid of her. She was terribly smart and famous…..
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Fiction

Fiction Issue #38

Next of Kin

By Sarah Freligh
 
 

Richard Nixon is dying. The radio in Sophie’s car burps to life with this news, then mysteriously quits. A short in the electrical system, according to her brother Kevin, something tricky and too expensive to bother with in a car this old….
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Fiction

Fiction Issue #37

Honey Bee

By Casey Lefante
 
 

You lift your scalpel, stare at the speck in front of you. You feel kind of bad for it. One minute, it’s living its life in a sweet little colony, making honey and shit, and the next minute, it’s dropped unceremoniously onto a tin plate for a fifteen-year-old to dissect…
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Fiction

Fiction Issue #36

Here, There Be Dragons

By Jillian Merrifield
 
 

Dana and I are on this party’s shitlist, I can tell, and I’m pretty sure that it’s mostly about me. The host is the building manager of the high rise that Dana works in downtown, and he was so pissed to see that she’d brought an unsolicited male plus-one…
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Fiction

Fiction Issue #35

Laura

By Florence Sunnen
 
 

I wake up to the phone ringing, and the sun wedges itself between my lids. I peel my cheek off the notebook page I fell asleep on. The ringing comes from underneath a pile of clothes. The light is deep; it is the afternoon. I dig around for the phone and answer…
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Fiction

Fiction Issue #34

The Lady of the House

By Constance Renfrow
 
 

The noises upstairs woke Marla again. Her phone would read, she knew, 2:08 a.m.—the same as it had every night for a week. She pressed her face deeper into the bed sheet—the pocket of air beneath the covers warm and unmoving, safe…
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Fiction

Fiction Issue #32

The First Task of Letting Go

By Christine Linn
 
 

I. Corporeality of action. The first task of letting go: righting bodies. If I found you, I would lift your one hundred and forty-two pounds of gangle easily. I would lift those one hundred and forty-two pounds of boy-smell t-shirts…
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Fiction

Fiction Issue #31

Small

By Erin Seaward-Hiatt
 
 

The first mortuary gig was a rush thing I’d agreed to after my dream job of designing indie album sleeves stopped panning out. “Well, you get to honor families’ last wishes for their loved ones,” people say. “How honorable is that?” Really, designing headstones is just a lot of convincing people not to opt for the Papyrus heading…
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Fiction

Fiction Issue #30

The Italian Dance

By Emily Alice Katz
 
 

Outside the sanatorium library, Evie spies a notice for a theatrical gathering. The announcement is written neatly on thick vanilla card stock. Sunday afternoons from two o’clock to half past three, it says. The words slope across the page from left to right. English letters, not Yiddish. Evie calculates: only four days to wait…
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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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