Category Archives: Fiction

The Last Man in Manhattan by Daniel Goulden

Photo of waves with city in background
 

  It’s not hard to sneak into the Manhattan Exclusion zone if you know what you’re doing. The Coast Guard mostly looks for the guys who don’t know what they’re doing—the ones who rush past Spuyten Duyvil with some loud-as-shit electric motor alerting everyone still living in Riverdale of their presence. It’s good when these guys get caught. They love racing down the flooded streets of Manhattan, usually drunk, disrupting the wild, but still fragile ecosystem bubbling up from below the waves. If you know what you’re doing, you know to launch your boat from … Continue reading The Last Man in Manhattan by Daniel Goulden

Another Fall by William Cass

Photo of open book on leaves
 

Rose sat on the front porch, her custom at that dwindling time of day, watching. She tucked a strand of gray-white hair behind an ear. Her rocker squeaked against the floorboards. Light had fallen near gloaming. She tugged her cardigan around her girth. Not much happening in the old neighborhood. The lady across the street took in laundry from her side yard. At the two-family house a few doors further down, a young couple potted a plant together on their second-floor balcony. A little girl Rose didn’t recognize peddled by on a bicycle with training … Continue reading Another Fall by William Cass

Still Life with Black Pants and Peppers by Christine Tucker

Aerial photo of building
 

  I left my body, my home, and my life at 5:14 p.m. on a Tuesday afternoon in May, just as the peonies outside turned their faces upward and smiled their brightest smile. One minute I was cutting up peppers and onions for a stir-fry, and the next minute I was on the floor clutching my chest, trying to catch a breath. It took no time at all, and it took forever. My grandmother came to get me. She was still her tiny, red-headed, no-nonsense self. She held out her hands and picked me up … Continue reading Still Life with Black Pants and Peppers by Christine Tucker

Missing by Ruth Spack

Silhouette of truck against cloudy, dark blue sky
 

  I found my calling on a bleak Sunday afternoon in the fall of 1958, standing at the edge of a fetid swamp, questioning why bad things happened to little children. It was the day four-year-old Billy Flynn disappeared. I was nine at the time, living in Pawtucket, Rhode Island with my mother and grandmother, in the kind of friendly neighborhood that was pretty common back then. That afternoon had started innocently enough, in the Flynns’ backyard, right after Halloween. Decked out in Stetson hats and feathers, a bunch of us boys were playing Cowboys … Continue reading Missing by Ruth Spack

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