Category Archives: Fiction

Word Play by Colette Parris

Photo of old red typewriter
 

  “I’m going to tweet about this, and I need every single English-speaking celebrity on the planet to retweet my tweet. This is monstrous.” We are stopped at a red light. Devon, my husband of ten years, looks at me indulgently and says, “Good luck with that. Also, not sure monstrous is the right word here.” I emit a low growl. “People have seriously got to stop butchering the English language. I’ve already written the tweet in my mind. Listen.” Devon makes his fake “deep-thinking” face, causing me to roll my eyes. “Actual meaning of … Continue reading Word Play by Colette Parris

The Tree by Betty Moffett

Photo of hole in tree's bark
 

There’s this Tree. It’s a Cottonwood. It’s been there longer than forever, a gentle, generous tower on the long green lawn in front of the dorms. Three decades ago, when I was still teaching at the college, I recruited a few of my students to help me measure its trunk—not in feet but in arm-spans. It took six of us, holding hands, stretching our arms, and pressing our faces to its rough bark to complete the circle around the tree. I invited them to imagine what the tree had witnessed—protests against Vietnam, intense games of … Continue reading The Tree by Betty Moffett

Pesthouse by Katie Anderson

Photo of rooms filled with sand
 

  The first year of the pandemic lockdown was the worst for Frankie and PJ. Most of their time was spent worrying about the health of Frankie’s Mom and then PJ’s Mom and then as it turned out all that worry was for nothing because they both died anyway. Due to the pandemic there was no funeral service, but both moms had been fiscally savvy and left considerable sums of which eased the pain a little. Not surprisingly, PJ’s mom went first. Her smoking and general laziness made her a prime target for this strain … Continue reading Pesthouse by Katie Anderson

Seagulls by Clyde Harkrader

Photo of seagull on railing
 

It will be a year, he says. The sun behind her covers the barman and his wall of drinkery in rosey light. A ceiling fan stirs fry-oil and lemon around them, but she still feels slick with sweat on her face and arms and between her thighs. She wishes she had chosen a different dress, or had put her hair up, or that they had chosen to eat at a more comfortable distance from nature. She sips her pina-colada, nods her head, and listens to the lazy waves. He takes a gulp of rum punch. … Continue reading Seagulls by Clyde Harkrader

Monarch by Kris Faatz

Photo of butterfly in windowsill
 

  Delia López plans to win her school’s “Make a Buzz!” contest. She figures she’s leading so far, at least in the fourth grade. On a warm Sunday afternoon in early February, she walks to Elk Neck State Park with the boxful of bees she made over the weekend. She’s going to activate the bees in the park and get a ranger to sign off on how many she has, so she can add that total to her contest scoresheet. Her teachers have explained how important the contest is. Without it, they said, there wouldn’t … Continue reading Monarch by Kris Faatz

Going Up by Andrea Lynn Koohi

Photo of spire on tower
 

The summer I worked as a tour guide at the CN Tower, it was the tallest free-standing structure in the world. One thousand, eight hundred and fifteen feet tall. On my first day there, I shadowed a colleague as he delivered the elevator speech I’d soon be memorizing—perfectly timed for the fifty-eight second ride. Halfway through, a blonde woman knelt by the boy at her side and gestured toward my colleague with a snarky smile. “You see,” she interrupted. “This is why you stay in school.” My colleague gaped at her while the rest of … Continue reading Going Up by Andrea Lynn Koohi

Totality by Rigel Oliveri

Photo of sunset in clouds
 

They knew exactly when it would happen. Not just the day and the hour, but the minute. The very second. Even before they knew it, it was still destined to happen at that precise moment because it had been—quite literally—written in the stars. Like god had wound up a big clock a million years ago and all people needed was to learn to tell time . . . Mrs. Robbenault talked like this because she was excited. The whole town was excited. There were t-shirts for sale and signs in the store windows. Every morning … Continue reading Totality by Rigel Oliveri

Collection Day Winton Place 1995 by Rachel Lippolis

Old photo of slide
 

Sylvia wished she saw anything but houses when she looked out her bedroom window. A field, a lake, or the foggy moors of Wuthering Heights. Or if there must be houses, let them be stately. Like Pemberley or Brideshead. Misselthwaite Manor, with its secret garden. Not the plain cape cod homes that filled her street. Only a narrow driveway separated the postage-stamp yards. These houses were like her own: two bedrooms, one bathroom, and low ceilings. Sylvia preferred reading books about faraway places, about people whose names were exotic like Helmer and Katrina. Of times … Continue reading Collection Day Winton Place 1995 by Rachel Lippolis

Regarding Your Time-Off Request by Sean-Taro Nishi

Silhouettes of people walking
 

To: Team Members From: Jill Valentine, MENTOR Re: Time-Off Requests Dear Team, First off, how lucky we are to still be thriving in this economy! Because not everyone’s so lucky. Some people are out there sleeping under bridges and rubbing sticks for warmth. Does this mean the world is rigged? Absolutely not. The world is fair, and if you Googled the word fair, you’d see that we’re the leading pioneer in fairness. And yet, some of us don’t realize how lucky we are! Now, we’ve always given you a lot of leeway because we’ve found … Continue reading Regarding Your Time-Off Request by Sean-Taro Nishi

The Chair by Sue Allison

Abstract photo of chair with part of arm hanging over it
 

My mother had a chair that when she sat in it, she was invisible. At first she put it in a corner where she would be unseen and could not be found and where she would hide from our rambunctiousness and our needs and our growing for hours. But then she put the chair in the middle of the living room or the dining room or the hall; we never knew where it might be. It was her Christmas chair. It was blue. When she was in it, we couldn’t talk to her, and though … Continue reading The Chair by Sue Allison