Category Archives: Fiction

Catalogers of the Galaxy by M.X. Wang


 

Later, when asked to speak about what happened for the second time, Harlen recalled that it was in fact a single object, faint and blurry one second, close and vibrant the next. It hovered overhead: two blazing parallel rods, about a hundred feet across, connected by a transparent, egg-shaped disk that expanded and collapsed like an inflating and deflating balloon. There was a lot of pressure, as if giant hands were pushing down on his shoulders and scalp. “As soon as my knees gave, the pressure left and what I saw changed. I mean, I … Continue reading Catalogers of the Galaxy by M.X. Wang

The Hairy Man by Laurie Billman

salmon
 

It was midnight of our last night in the cannery, and all twelve of us who had been assigned the fish house had been working since seven that morning. All day and into the light-filled night, we had been cleaning fat salmon as they slithered out of the tin chutes directly from the salmon boats. White fish bellies were burned on my lids when I closed my eyes, and my ears sang with an exhausted hum. When the warning bell rang, down slid silver salmon, spilling, wet and shiny, onto the long, wooden tables. We … Continue reading The Hairy Man by Laurie Billman

Home Schooling by Sydney Blair

illuminated illustration
 

Del was in the kitchen, opening the bottle of wine his second wife Catherine had given him earlier in the day. The cork kept splitting, the sign of a true amateur, he thought, except that he was an amateur in few areas of his life these days, unless you counted the endless pursuit of happiness—or rather, the achievement of that happiness—as one such minefield. But perhaps this time happiness was just around the corner, in the literal and figurative form of Juliana. “What are you doing?” Juliana’s voice drifted in around the corner of the … Continue reading Home Schooling by Sydney Blair

Between Lanes by Stephen Poleskie


 

Off to my left the dark current of the Hudson River rushed downstream at 65 mph, a magnificent sight, but at the moment my mind was concentrating on the tail lights bobbing and weaving in and out of traffic in front of me. I was somewhere in the middle of the pack, an anonymous group of motorcycle enthusiasts who met on summer evenings on Eighth Street in Greenwich Village to ride out together. Being, more or less, one of the regulars, but never the leader, I would hang around, chatting and ogling the passing chicks, … Continue reading Between Lanes by Stephen Poleskie

House Hunting by Lee Foust


 

The first thing you need to do is case the neighborhood, check out all of the streets in the area, walk around between the buildings—imagine yourself passing by these same sights every day. You have to be lucky too. You have to imagine yourself coming home to the apartment, wanting to go back, night after night, yours for better or worse. You don’t want to be driven out sooner than you feel like going. You have to be prepared for what it might do to you, how it might make you feel. You have to … Continue reading House Hunting by Lee Foust

Phoenix by Juditha Dowd


 

“So, what do you think?” said Don. He’d hoped Alison might bring it up this time but she was staring out the big windows toward the marina, one of several on Venice Island where they were staying. He followed her gaze to anchored boats bobbing in the onshore breeze. Alison came to, shifted her attention back to him. “I guess that little Cape had possibilities.” She took another sip of the Sangiovese the waiter recommended, surprisingly good for such a well-priced wine. “Cape?” Don wasn’t versed in architectural styles. Curb appeal, price point—this was language … Continue reading Phoenix by Juditha Dowd

It’s Been a Long Time by Lawrence F. Farrar


 

Wisps of early evening fog had begun to push in by the time Rachel parked her Volvo in the hotel parking lot. She switched off the ignition, leaned back in the seat, and sighed. A dark eyed woman with an almost pretty face, she checked her makeup in the rear view mirror and touched her hair with her hands. Her brown hair had been longer then; now she wore it short. Would he notice? Since taking the university job at Irvine, she had driven to San Diego perhaps a half dozen times—but had set foot … Continue reading It’s Been a Long Time by Lawrence F. Farrar

Home Sick by Erika Raskin


 

The room was humid with the scent of pine cleanser and Tierney, already sick with nerves, nearly gagged. She dropped her purse on the bed and went to the window that hadn’t budged since she checked in. Putting all of her weight into it she strained so hard a grunt escaped, leaving her feeling stupid with effort. The admonishment to try, try again was neatly countered by the definition of insanity. Another dueling dictum. The acrid stench triggered a particularly nasty childhood memory. She’d used the disinfectant to clean the dining room rug as a … Continue reading Home Sick by Erika Raskin

Hypnotized by Barbara Nishimoto


 

My first trip to California was when I was a kid. I loved the long car ride. Janie and I sat in the backseat and drank Kool-Aid from paper cups. We were in the belly of a lion. The cars we passed were hunted game. Mustangs and elk fell beneath our giant paws. If we were passed it was a wound, never fatal. Incantations and chants. We vowed revenge. When I left Chicago for Los Angeles I pretended I remembered the route in detail. Motel rooms and roadside tables and certain stretches of highway disappearing … Continue reading Hypnotized by Barbara Nishimoto

Full-Price Angel by Mariflo Stephens


 

From what Fern can tell it looks like a fight. Fern’s watching through a back screen door which makes the scene look like a pointillist painting. Grace flies across the kitchen floor at Philip, something in her hand, and it looks like she’s hitting him across the shoulder with it. Fern stands still for a minute, holding a bottle of white wine with one hand, her book bag and purse in the other. Then she goes for the door handle. “Ask him what he’s been doing!” Grace shouts into Fern’s face, jerking the screen door … Continue reading Full-Price Angel by Mariflo Stephens