Category Archives: Fiction

Angry by Alan Brickman

Photo of two old hands holding each other
 

  Marie moved her mother Florence into an elder care facility only two months ago, but still got lost trying to find it. It was an incongruously red brick institutional building dropped into a suburban neighborhood of single family split levels and ranch houses, all on tree-named streets like Birch or Willow that formed no recognizable grid or pattern but were rather a random and meandering tangle that was impossible to navigate. She left her house late, and was now even later for being lost, which would add yet another level of tension to this … Continue reading Angry by Alan Brickman

Erik and George by Ty Phelps

Photo of doll
 

  Erik awakens full of pain, lying in a hospital bed in a propped position, his throat sore from the tube that snaked down into his mouth and nose, his limbs heavy and bruised. His head feels like it belongs to someone else. The lights are low in his hospital room and he hears the soft whir of machines. No one is in the room with him that he can see. Panic floods his heart as he remembers the accident: the whirl of lights, the spinning crush of metal. And ten-year-old George, his son, in … Continue reading Erik and George by Ty Phelps

Serenity by the Sea by Virginia Watts

Photo of orange suitcase on beach
 

  Today is Nora Richard’s seventy-fifth birthday. She sighs, blows her nose, rests her head back against the scratchy, cheap couch that came with Apartment 205 inside Serenity by the Sea, an assisted living community she and her late husband moved into six years ago. Another long day stretches ahead of her like a superhighway to the moon. Mornings are the worst without Harvey brewing eight cups of Chock full o’nuts drip coffee instead of two cups because a full pot of brewed coffee really makes this place smell like home. Harvey’s baritone voice talking … Continue reading Serenity by the Sea by Virginia Watts

How To Survive The Buffet by Jessica Mendoza

Photo of party guest's hand holding food
 

  You’re twenty. Fresh-faced. Everyone else in this writing cohort is watching you, rubbernecking, wide-eyed, pale. They can smell the blood in the water. They know you are going to say something, you must say something. Silence is not an option. The woman who submitted the piece is proud of it. Proud. Admittedly, her prose is clean, precise, purposeful. She has her MFA. She’s earned it. She uses it to write about people whose suffering she could never begin to comprehend. Her little scrap of prose chronicles the murder of a fictional anonymous boy in … Continue reading How To Survive The Buffet by Jessica Mendoza

Betelguese by Stephanie Coyne DeGhett

Photo of twisted building in fog
 

  What the sky chart would indicate is that he and his dog, Bella, are looking at is the constellation Orion. But what he sees is the Frozen Butterfly, one of the constellations his sister taught him. Jack had contemplated bringing his daughter out to stargaze with him, maybe do a little storytelling to his grown and unsettled girl. But she was reluctant in the cold, so it’s just him and Bella—named for Bellatrix, the constellation’s third brightest star. He’s looking at it now, picking it out in the Butterfly’s wing. The first time he … Continue reading Betelguese by Stephanie Coyne DeGhett

Cats by Christine Tucker

Black and white photo of baby hands holding adult hand
 

  Hey, son. It’s your Mama. Hope y’all are doing good up there. I’m callin’ cause I’ve got a little problem here. So, did you hear about that storm we had a couple days ago, that derecho? Well, none of us had ever heard of one before, either. It was a perfectly nice day and then the wind starts a blowin’ and sounding like a big ‘ole freight train. The trees in the front yard were all bent over double. I’m telling you, it was like the end of days—I never heard such a noise … Continue reading Cats by Christine Tucker

Speechless by Peggy Schimmelman

Photo of open-beaked bird
 

In the small Appalachian town where I was born lived a squat, bowlegged, hairless doctor. Some called him a quack and a dope fiend, but in 1954 he delivered me on his dining room table, spanked me ‘til I cried, and thirteen years later laid his cigar in an ashtray as his flabby fingers probed my pubescent neck while he peered through Coke Bottle lenses down my throat, past my recalcitrant tongue, exploring the mystery of vocal cords that refused to function. I cringed at his questions, so on point that I wept, as one … Continue reading Speechless by Peggy Schimmelman

Sliced by E.H. Jacobs

Photo of scar with staples
 

Jared lies in bed, propped up by his arms folded behind his head, a two-day stubble peppering his face and neck. One foot dangles off the side of the mattress. Dark, wiry hairs spring out of his leg, exposed by pajama pants hiked up mid-calf, bunched and wrinkled like old parchment because he doesn’t believe in ironing pajamas. You’re just gonna sleep in them and wrinkle them anyway. Besides, no one’s going to see them. No one except Lisa, who’s in the bathroom brushing her teeth with the door open. He half-smiles and says to … Continue reading Sliced by E.H. Jacobs

Like Savion by Bess Wiley

Photo of person on beach
 

He’s in one of my rooms. I pay attention to it now, because his window is closest to the nurses’ station and faces the automatic doors I push my cleaning cart through. I see him as soon as the doors breathe open and the negative pressure ruffles the gown’s paper against my clothes. Everything’s faster in here, no time to catch up on anything or anyone, other than the dying. I stay out of everybody’s way and clean wherever they aren’t. When I peek in his room, the machines and tubes are still at it, … Continue reading Like Savion by Bess Wiley

Maan Singh Gabbar by Reeya Banerjee

Photo of sunset
 

    It was about 2:45 a.m., and Sherin George sat miserably on a ratty sofa in a cabin in rural Uttarakhand State in North India. She was exhausted and wanted nothing more than to lie down and sleep, but she forced herself to stay awake. She was waiting for a knock on the door. She was hoping to hear it soon. It would be much easier to proceed with the plan if it happened before her boyfriend came home. Earlier that night, around 9 p.m., Richie had left, after whining petulantly for a half … Continue reading Maan Singh Gabbar by Reeya Banerjee