Category Archives: Fiction

The Joplin Room by Anne-Marie Yerks


The woman walking into the lobby wore a brown skirt, white tights, and a pair of clogs. Her name was Shellay—she-lay—and she had a Polish last name that was hard to pronounce. She said she was a librarian and had a nerdy, unkempt look about her: Stringy hair that was dry on the ends, a pasty complexion, and a long thin nose. She wore glasses, of course. All librarians should wear glasses. Hers were a pale shade of rose. She wasn’t from Ohio, as Darcy was guessing, but from Oregon. “I’d like to stay in … Continue reading The Joplin Room by Anne-Marie Yerks

Memo to Right Brain by Will Conway

ink doodles on notepad

TO: Right Brain FROM: Me SUBJECT: Annual Evaluation Your full Annual Evaluation Report will be sent shortly but I want to go over some of the highlights briefly. First of all, thank you for finally returning the questionnaire. Frankly, Corporate was getting a little peeved at the delay and hadn’t bought your excuse that it spontaneously burst into flames. Chumsworth said he saw you rummaging through the piles of clutter on your desk muttering, “It was just here…” Be that as it may, we’re glad you returned it although some of the executive team didn’t … Continue reading Memo to Right Brain by Will Conway

Encounter by Lori Franklin

Neon lights reflected in teacup

Her car was still sprinkled with debris from her recent move to the city. A misshapen yoga mat, tea towels, her boyfriend’s guitar pedals, a bedside lamp; the persisting clutter of merging lives. Wishing she’d taken off her cardigan, she baked in the afternoon sun. The air-conditioner was broken, pushing a current of hot air around the interior, and making the berry-scented freshener tap softly against the windscreen in the artificial breeze. Checking her mirrors, she signaled to change lanes. She always felt better—more insulated—driving in the middle lane in the city. The traffic was … Continue reading Encounter by Lori Franklin

Belle Isle Aquarium by Amy Kenyon

Belle Isle aquarium interior

“Mother?” Plump, magnified, younger lips open and close. “Mother?” How many years must she hear it? Mother Mother Mother. How many years already? The lips are those of a luminous fish suspended in water when it ceases to swim back and forth. A fish that hangs in eerie silence, mouth dropping open and then locking upward as it takes in water before pumping it back through the gills. Breathing. Once, as a child, she visited the aquarium at Belle Isle. Nina held her hand as they moved slowly through the large gallery beneath an arched … Continue reading Belle Isle Aquarium by Amy Kenyon

The Peninsula by Christi Craig

campground with RV

Bobbie Ellen leaned against the wall of the arcade at Minnow Lake Campground and squinted at Nick Baker. The first wave of a thick Oklahoma summer had sent her inside with the rest of the gang, where the dark room and A/C kept them all from drowning in the heat. Not that being inside offered much relief, since Nick hogged every inch of cool with his seventeen-year-old self as he stood in front of the air conditioner and worked his usual game, Primal Rage. He dropped fifty cents into the coin slot and played another … Continue reading The Peninsula by Christi Craig

City of the Dead by Caleb N. Humphreys


The view from the bus station was disappointing. All I could see was the traffic on Calliope. That, and the bottom of the Causeway, all concrete and metal, darkened by decades of weather and exhaust. The fall air was saturated with car fumes and diesel: a smell that always gave me a headache.  I sat, as patiently as I could, on a metal bench that was peppered with rust and dried bird shit. I waited and hoped that Mary remembered I was coming. Eventually, I saw her working her way towards me, weaving between the … Continue reading City of the Dead by Caleb N. Humphreys

Date Night by Nicholas A. White

3d movie goers

I haven’t seen Dave this excited in months, since before our son left for college. “We’ll see a compressed version of Arnold’s life,” he says, sprinkling his fingers like falling fireworks. “Can you imagine? You’ll love it. It’ll be like one of our movie dates, but better.” “Well, okay,” I say. “I guess we can go.” “It sucks for Arnold having leukemia and all,” Dave says, checking his phone. “But there’s nothing we can do, you know?” We first learned about the Deathwatching app while dropping our son off at his dorm back in August. … Continue reading Date Night by Nicholas A. White

The Trapper by Alex Lowe

black bear in woods

Sometimes he dipped his popcorn into his coffee. He only did that when the popcorn was burnt. Today, it was the coffee that was burnt. The popcorn was soggy. But it was breakfast. The same breakfast he had eaten every day for most of his adult life. Popcorn was cheap. Coffee was cheap. Milk never agreed with him anyhow. The sun still was not up, but the sun always rose later in Mississippi. When he lived in the city he never made it awake before the sun. But that was many years ago. Now the … Continue reading The Trapper by Alex Lowe

The Space Where You Were by Nina Denison


It was like one of those dreams where you’re trying to reach someone in a crowd and you keep glimpsing the back of their head before they’re swallowed up by the thick humanity. The crowd is impermeable— you try elbowing your way through, but it closes in on you again and you find you haven’t advanced. You’re panicking. You have no voice. It wasn’t a dream, though, and I didn’t need to use my elbows—I just couldn’t get to you. You kept disappearing around corners, into rooms, your shadow bending all over the wallpaper and … Continue reading The Space Where You Were by Nina Denison

A Bald Spot by Karol Lagodzki


When the sun catches it right, Lena knows her hair resembles strawberry cotton candy. It trembles on the slightest of breezes, struggles to lift, never dissuaded by the obstinacy of follicles for long. It’s persisted like this for years. Lena’s mother sits on the bleacher just one ahead with her bald spot camouflaged by product and effort. Mom’s scalp supports not one, but two devices designed to lend the appearance of body and fullness. The first—a standard thickener from a squat, purple jar. The second is turf—plastic fibers in a spray. It’s not too dissimilar … Continue reading A Bald Spot by Karol Lagodzki