Category Archives: Fiction

Afternoon by Katie Rogin


 

She adjusted the nasal cannula in his nostrils. She couldn’t hear the oxygen moving through the tubing. “Is that better?” He nodded, saving his breath for breathing. “The flight of stairs was a lot.” She hoped she didn’t sound condescending. “One flight—pretty fucking tragic.” He had more wind by the time he finished the sentence. “Let me just suck some of this for a few minutes and then I’ll be good.” “I’m going to unpack your stuff and open some windows.” She pushed herself off the bed that had been their bed and was now … Continue reading Afternoon by Katie Rogin

Ants on the Wall by Jabeen Akhtar


 

I calculated as my hair fanned across the scorched, crumbly asphalt: 5.5 pineapple vodkas since 12:13pm, four in the privacy of my kitchen, one and a half since I had been out in the sun, and a beer. I was a spectacle, another drunkard attempting to dance to the live jazz that had overtaken our streets. Are you ok? they all asked. Seriously, are you ok? Canned pineapple juice trickled up my throat. A pebble had lodged itself in my left earlobe. I turned my face to the afternoon sky, opalescent from the heat radiating … Continue reading Ants on the Wall by Jabeen Akhtar

A Clean-Swept Room by Raennah Mitchell


 

For days after her mother’s death, while adults move around her making funeral and guardianship arrangements, Sarah stands by walls. Her six-year-old fingertips search the wallpaper in the day care where they have placed her. Peach-colored blossoms overlay faint gray stripes. She turns away and leans against them. Across the room, other children color, drive toy trucks through a box of rice, dress in capes and felt hats. Sarah rolls her head from side to side, imagining she can fall backward into her mother’s arms, the paper flowers closing over them. The squat woman who … Continue reading A Clean-Swept Room by Raennah Mitchell

Lost in Detroit by Kathryn Christian


 

Everett’s mother sobbed loudly as he stepped onto his front porch and let the storm door crash against the house. He had to get out of that house, though. It was all full of church people and casseroles. The neighbors, too, were all patting him on the back, asking how he was doing. And Pastor Samuel had the nerve to ask him, right in front of his mother, if he was still trying to get into Kent State after high school. “No,” he said. How could he now? He wandered over towards the railroad tracks … Continue reading Lost in Detroit by Kathryn Christian

After the Magician by Stephanie Milner


 

Jessie had worked at Meyers Auditorium for six years, by then. When she had started during her fourth year in college (it took five to finish her social sciences degree), she hadn’t planned to stay that long. It had just been a good arrangement. The job paid better than others on campus. She controlled her own schedule because crew members picked which shows they worked. But in any case, she had stayed. She didn’t regret it. She liked how physical the work was. There was equipment to push, pull, and carry. Ladders to clamber up. … Continue reading After the Magician by Stephanie Milner

Treeswing by Lee Bob Black


 

“Mommy, do trees grow up out of the ground,” Waffles says, “or do they grow from the top up?” “I don’t know,” Isabelle says to her daughter. Then Isabelle takes a stab in the dark and says, “From the top.” “Do you want to know what time it is?” Waffles says, smiling. “Sure.” “Sure yes?” “Yes,” her mother says. Waffles awkwardly brings her wrist up level with her eyes, like she’s blocking the sun. She squints and studies her watch. “It’s three thirty, and ten seconds, in the p.m.” “You mean it’s half past three.” … Continue reading Treeswing by Lee Bob Black

When the Turkeys Came by Kristin Griffin


 

It was November when the turkeys came to Ridge Hill Road. Before that, there was nothing remarkable about it—just a few shingled houses that squiggled through the scrub oaks like a dropped thread. All of the properties were landlocked and none particularly appealing in that quaint New England way so the summer rental business happened elsewhere. And that was the way the residents liked it. Most lived on the island year round with the exception of Jonathan and Linda Haar who summered there. Their house sat neglected in the off-season and this agitated their neighbors, … Continue reading When the Turkeys Came by Kristin Griffin

Creme Brulée by Sara Anne Donnelly


 

About midnight out of nowhere Pete’s best friend Eddie hauled up out of his chair like a zombie back from the grave, sprinted naked across the lawn, and hurtled himself in cannonball into the middle of the swimming pool, which was filled with about 24,000 gallons of crème brulée in honor of Pete’s engagement to Shelly who Eddie had never warmed to. The screams from the guests drowned out Pete’s completely unhostly “Fuck!” as a scene crossed his mind of his best friend drowning in egg, milk, and imitation vanilla. But the crème saved Eddie. … Continue reading Creme Brulée by Sara Anne Donnelly