Brianna Johnson | I Against I

Her mom’s idea of good music was Kirk Franklin and Beyoncé. More than once Kenzi found her mother in the living room stumbling along as she tried to “get in formation” or convince Fat Dave to put a ring on it. She even had a shrine to the singer in her bedroom, photos taped along her dresser for “inspiration.”

2017-11-29T22:54:55+00:00 November 29th, 2017|

Jaclyn Grimm | Paris, 1992

In July, the spare room on the second floor of their rental fills with flies. They try getting the landlord to do something—anything—about the flies, but they’ve only been in France a month and can’t remember how to say please. They keep the door to the Fly Room shut tight.

2017-10-30T10:50:01+00:00 October 29th, 2017|

Olivia Mardwig | Practice

After rereading it you feel a weakness that draws out of you like a low tide until there are only raised boats in the mud and incredible want. Why didn’t the character in the story predict that? What did she know that you don’t?

2017-07-17T01:57:34+00:00 July 14th, 2017|

Thomas Molander | To See Abundant o

He reached into his briefcase, pulled out an apple, wiped it on his shirt, and took a large chomp. He watched himself chew in the rear-view mirror. He ate the apple’s core too because he had nowhere to dispose of it and he didn’t want to chuck it out the window in case the client pulled in at exactly that moment.

2017-07-17T16:14:54+00:00 July 14th, 2017|

Lisa Piazza | The Beat Between

If you think I see Sibley, if you think I see Ruze, if you think I see Gran or my mom or Ms. K – sorry, you lose.  In Gran’s town, the streets don’t care if you are desperate or sad – the streets, like the dark houses, like the faraway sky, like the trees, do what they’re gonna do.  They keep quiet.  They keep calm – each intersection on auto-light: red, green, yellow.  Stop, go, slow.  Green, yellow, red, green.   Go slow, stop, go back…or go home. 

2017-07-14T18:00:25+00:00 July 14th, 2017|

Ethan Feuer | Earjob   

Under her keyboard was a faint eeee. Feeble warble weakly insistent like a dog shut outside. The eeee was deep in her laptop’s guts. Her brother Mark was on video chat, her famous and handsome brother, mouth-breathing due to his rhinoplasty and making tattoo suggestions. But she could hear it between his sentences, the eeee.

2017-07-14T17:31:04+00:00 July 11th, 2017|

Leah Bailly | Paradise, NV

I also occasionally fell into a coma. I would dream of Las Vegas past, when I was a kid, when I flew down with my grandparents and we could still go to the Sands and the Silver Slipper and the Stardust. They would spend six weeks in the desert every winter in a motel two blocks off the Strip with a pool and a large Yiddish clientele. My grandmother, a smoker not a swimmer, would sit out in the sun and trade two-fers with the other ladies from Cleveland and Cincinnati and Saskatchewan. My grandfather was interested in the sports book, the horses in particular. Once we heard on my grandfather’s pocket radio that someone had jacked the bank across the street with a shotgun. I was afraid, but to prove that we were safe my grandmother marched me over to Smiths and bought a six-pack of pepsi and she gave me a can and then drank a mickey of bourbon in the rest of it. Bank robbers never hurt little kids, she told me. Remember, this city is full of people who just want to have fun, they don’t want to hurt some little kid.

2017-07-17T01:53:43+00:00 July 11th, 2017|

Melissa Moorer | It was never like this, it was always like this

They weren’t hippies, they were monkeys. I went downstairs to get a soda and they were attacking the vending machines. It was around two in the morning and the dorm was so quiet, like another place completely, an abandoned place full of emptiness and silence, not students and all their useless noise. So empty I probably could have walked downstairs in my underwear except that it was a little creepy all alone in those great big abandoned hallways. Like post-apocalyptic zombie movie creepy especially since it’s always the girl in her underwear who dies first. So I was wearing boxers, a sweatshirt, and socks when I walked in on them. There were glass and candy and chip bags everywhere, the colors and reflected light all piled up on the floor like pirate treasure the hippies were gathering in their hairy arms. At least five of them were monkeys and I’m not sure what kind. I’m not a monkey expert and it was hard to think around the gash in my foot and all that blood. I kept telling myself they had to be hippies because that made more sense than monkeys running around the dorm, but the hair and the eyes made it difficult to call them human. The fact that they didn’t say anything wasn’t such a problem, because it wasn’t unusual for people not to speak to me, especially in the middle of the night since I got Ricky busted for dealing (I really didn’t mean to, it’s my job. Well, not so much my job now as the job I want to have next year -- RA). The small, hairy hands and bodies were probably the most significant indication that I wasn’t dealing with my own species anymore, but I try to be open-minded about appearances. If they don’t want to shave, that’s their choice and their right, right?

2017-07-17T01:51:55+00:00 July 11th, 2017|

Kristin Vuković | Barren

In Marko and Ana’s living room in Astoria hung a framed piece of Paška čipka—Pag lace—attached to a piece of creased cerulean paper. Last year when they were packing their bags to leave Croatia, Marko told Ana not to put it in her suitcase but she was hurried and stuffed everything in.

2017-07-17T02:03:30+00:00 July 11th, 2017|