I hurry down the sloping street towards dealers who stand like raptors, eyes glowing in the half light of nightfall. The wall behind them is covered in gang graffiti;
. I had an aunt and uncle whose lives were perfect. They sent the most beautiful Christmas cards every year. They came in thick envelopes with stamps from foreign
After I moved to Oregon, away from California for the first time, Granny came up for a visit. This was a few years ago and I was still living
The girls had heard from the boys that the boys were looking for the girls. Outside English, History, Spanish class. Inside the gyms, stables, dormitories. For one week only, they
The bark of the apple tree is black; alone in the garden, black. It cuts into the winter like calligraphy. The winter paints white dogs yellow and makes the
Bronson invites everyone to a drag bbq on Saturday night. Mada and Kalale are not really that down but they’ll go. Paul wants us all to have amazing looks. I
In a distant future in which humankind has colonized the universe, Dr. Jan Sangan, a veterinarian specializing in extremely large alien organisms, goes spelunking in the bowels of a creature
Jane lives with her mother and a stranger in a white house by the sea. Red roses with blossoms the size of a baby’s head grow wild over the
A recently-divorced 70-something took 20 minutes of my 23rd year. First, he called me an idiot savant with regards to my schoolwork. Then his eyes met my ears: “If
Four days in Goa nearly killed me. It started the morning my bus arrived in Mapusa and I didn't see my uncle Quinton waiting for me. A swarm of
Mom and I pick him up from T.F. Green in Warwick. He’d left us at 195 pounds but now he’s around 165, face skinny and honed, chest puffed up
She wanted to see the sea lions fed, but when they arrived it was just past noon and the trainers were leaving the ring with empty buckets. The air
I was in line at Trader Joe’s, waiting to pay for my groceries. My headphones were on and I felt disconnected from my surroundings. I watched people interacting around
This is the way he walks: north on Grace to College, east on College to Manning, south on Manning to Dundas, then west on Dundas back to Grace. It’s
At the top of her journey, Johanna cracked a lager. She was thirteen and thinking of the beautiful sea. The smothering western sea. The concrete stoop leading down to
It wasn’t assault, exactly. Or maybe it was. Either way it happened quickly. It stopped. Tree-scales scraped barkily against the cotton of her tee-shirt. The boy was walking away.
One drink in and she was laughing. It felt like she hadn’t laughed in a long time, but she was always laughing one drink in, and she drank more than
My mother was a haenyo: she dove into cold waters for seaweed, abalone, sea urchin, and other things. My fifth year of elementary school holds my first memory of
The summer after my first year at the new school was homage to the skateboard. Girls walked right up to the edge of the wooden ramps to watch us.
“The world don’t want you to do that.” Cheese Watkins’ daddy says this through two inches of Plexiglas, holding a sawed-off up to the small gap where the money is
Ines was worried if she got a flat tire now or if she ran out of gas she would never make it from Sicily, useless island, to Argentina, the
“O, Lord, help me to be pure, but not yet.” –Augustine of Hippo I cut through the field behind Joey and Shannon’s house. Ice lined the creek, splintering off,
The donkeys are eating the barn. They’re bored, poor things. They are eating out the shape of a donkey, of a dull, sulking herd of donkeys, until at last,
Peter took a plate from a stack of fresh plates that a waiter had just set out. The plate was warm. The breads at the front of the buffet
Dad yelled at the same boxy TV he’d been yelling at since 1976. Traktor Chelyabinsk didn’t score in the first two periods. Kuzyetznov hadn’t played well. I had moved
Route #3S to 18E: Simple. Shove double-roll toilet paper to the back of a shelf, loosen the blade from a utility belt and break down a box in seconds before
Furo Wariboko awoke this morning to find that dreams can lose their way and turn up on the wrong side of sleep. He was lying nude in bed, and
I stopped eating meat when I was sixteen years old. It was more or less an instant process. Many of my friends were espousing the benefits of tofu, and
ONCE I dated a boy named courage. I should have kissed him a hundred thousand more times. . THE BOY named courage told me, “I wanted my life to
*translated from Korean “H, do you remember me?” a man on the other end of the phone asked. His tone was cautious, as if he hoped I would remember
*translated from French The house I grew up in is like a tree house, only without the tree. It’s as cute as can be, and whenever you look at
Excerpted from The Murder of Halland Translation by Martin Aitken 1 The night before, we sat in the living room. I had a coffee; he drank a beer. We watched a
There are about two hundred million migrants roaming the planet at any given time, including those who move from one place to another by choice and those who are
Excerpted from God Has No Grandchildren Translated from the Korean by Kang Sunok When Eun-jae called, I was jerking off in an attempt to lift my spirits. I was
1. Scale From his window seat on the plane he looks out over the ocean, which looks like a tangle of lines in this light. The light makes the
A month after they married, Kevin found a job. “What a relief,” he said, and everyone agreed, though it was only a year-long contract. It meant relocating to Indiana.
Magda sends her ex to me and he shows up showered and clammy. Magda is six foot in work heels and billed herself as Jessica, as in Rabbit, way before
translated from the French by Adrianna Hunter People were “bridging” Ascension Day with the weekend and taking the Friday off. Neither Juliette nor Olivier was working. And the children didn’t
On the street a man reached out and touched my father's shoulder. “Sir! Hey Sir! Sir!” he said to my father. When my father turned to face him the man
I am cleaning out my father’s office. A room frozen in time since his accident. His cell phone still on the charger, papers still in the fax machine where he
Hi. I’m Charles. So. You love the biz, I love the biz. Welcome. Cut… Too smiley. You don’t have to be so nice. Again in, 5…4…3…2… … I’m Charles.
During the war they spit and shit and peed in a metal container with rubber clamps at its sides as the turret of their tank scanned the burning fields
I Four girls were crowded around Linda with a phone receiver pressed to her ear. Their faces were excited and free in ways she had only ever experienced secondhand, and
 Like this, in darkness, and the world that lived within us is a palace made of glass. SAADI YOUSSEF At night only the sky glows. It lights up houses,
First the town was because of the port, people brought things and then other people left with other things. But then very quickly other ports opened, and these were bigger
After the abortion Sam and I end up at the Weeki Wachi, an amusement park with real live mermaids. We park our truck and get seated in front of this
Listen- Buffalo Bill has a secret. He’s dying. All day, too many times to count, he finds a way back to our travel wagon where I witness his struggle
It's a one-piece I found from one of those Halloween shops that are suckers for people like me who haven't found the time to go out of their way
Al gives me zero. All day long he sits glued to his armchair, drinking glass after glass of V-8 juice and making a mess with his crackers. The crumbs
Like a penny into a fountain, she fell from the top deck of a cruise ship into the black Caribbean. Tink, poor Tink, prepubescent, precocious, ten-year-old Tink, the most
Sophia read something on the internet about people who were in love who engraved their names on locks and attached the locks to bridges and then threw away the
You feel sick about it. You don't say it in the letter, but you are annoyed with your boyfriend for not recognizing a deal even though you made it
“I think we need it. All of us,” she says, serious for a second because that’s what divorce does, but she doesn’t let it linger, “we’ll go back to France,
Ormond enters by stairs leading directly from the street. He raps hard against the heavy wooden door. Or perhaps he only walks along the corridor, studying the faces that peer
Tuesdays they go to Ikea for lunch. Mac and cheese for Winston, fish for his mother. Afterwards they walk through the showroom. “Or else you get fat,” Winston’s mother says.
Winner of the 2015 SLS MTL Flash Fiction Prize Clap taps my shoulder; rubs my hair and calls me baby; holds her breath under the covers before coming up for
I try to be quiet, but there’s always a little dog that can’t help running through their room, his little toenails tapping the floor and the door creaking with wooden
The first time I smoked speed, I felt my lungs expand so wide that they took in an entire tropical sea filled with miniature sea creatures that swam up and
Dad was standing in the bedroom doorway, a large, shiny petrified fish labored under his right arm. “Take Dolores, son, and give her to your mom.” “Really?” “She always loved
When the old coot with the nicotine-stained teeth asked the question, I knew we were headed back to the good ol’ days. I have no problem with that. I love
It is the morning of the Spring Blossom Ball and — while it it is true that I may yet snap an ankle waltzing in the dress rehearsal, or
“Looker,” Peggy said as I hustled Gilligan’s order to Jailbait, our 16-year-old grill chef and the boy Peggy slept with off and on. Peggy had a thirteen-year-old son and a husband who’d turned funny after his return from Gulf War Number 1.
After driving Daddy home as gently as I could, so as not to jostle his aching noggin, I asked Guy about their night together. He said it had gone fine, but then I reminded him that I’d sent him with a purpose in mind.
I still haven’t finished my screenplay, and I have to admit I don’t know how. Why is my life important enough to write a script about? Why is anyone’s?
After a time, the figure settled back down into his former place, became one of the bodies on the floor, unable on the one hand to discern a path in the jigsaw, unable on the other to force what will he did possess upon them. Then again, perhaps he had been afraid his warm gap on the floor would close.
"Water? Coffee? Tea?" the receptionist asked. I asked for water. She returned with a small bottle and a rocks glass on a wooden tray. She set the tray on the coffee table in front of the couch, poured the water from the bottle into the glass, set the glass down on a coaster then left with the tray and the empty bottle.
She slid off the counter and in front of her mirror began applying my lip gloss to her beautiful, wide mouth with its curling, upper lip that now looked like a beckoning finger. She wore a sly expression, watching me watch her. She placed the tube of lotion I had given her with her pile of things. I didn’t say anything. I was unsure what tone to take.
Plus, there was something so unexpectedly exciting about being together that we wanted to explore it without everybody watching. So we kept it quiet and, as I say, for two months, we'd been going strong.
'Have you seen a doctor?' I pointed at her hand. Girija shook her head. 'Ratni brought some herb oil from the village. She applies it for me every day.' The thick, green-brown fluid in the re-used Old Monk bottle near the stove looked foul.
For ever so long, Iskren Syeveratz had watched over the island's elders, who without their offspring were like oysters without pearls. The octogenarian grandfathers and grandmothers sat in front of their stone houses looking out at the sea for the return of their children from the foreign lands, until they were petrified and turned into dust.
The other part is that he’s such a fucking terrible imposter. In life, Ingrid Lynn was a poet, so she thinks in terms of metaphors. She can say that he dances without grace and inflects the letter r in a way that conflates meaning. She says his eyes are dead. She says he gets whole stanzas wrong. She says he’s an automaton.
By protocol, he should have called security. But Andy ran down the utility stairs instead to stop her rattling the door, her feet planted apart. A flash of white showed up her shorts, her legs spread to pull the door handle, before she straightened to wave him down.
Tiny knew lots of people like Francine. Some people could talk forever telling all they knew, trying to get out what was wrong with them. But it wasn’t her problem. The ones that looked vulnerable were everyone else. They all looked like porcelain thems. Like they were fixing to break.
The Invisibles The tour bus pulled into the lot and Arnold put his Playstation on pause. Now I must represent my country, he thought, snickering, as Ambassador from the
A NIGHT DRIVE I had been looking after a phonograph for my friend’s girlfriend. My friend’s girlfriend and I were very close; in fact, it was in my bed
The wind rushing in through the windows blows our long hair into our faces. It’ll be tangled when we get home but we feel too good to care. We’ve been out dancing at a club in Hollywood. Used our fake IDs to get in. Mine says I’m from Florida. The bouncer knows they’re fake but he lets us in anyway.
WHITE BONE PINE .The woman said she was looking for her son. This was after Mr. Lee, cigarette seller and realtor to the western valley, looked her up and down.
I wasn’t the least bit surprised when I received a mass email from Caitlin bragging about the start of her book tour. You have to understand that Caitlin Morrow is
The Riviera descended the dark mill hill and in its lights were geese waddling out of the way, some hissing, wings spread, waddling quickly, and we pulled into the mill parking lot. “What the fuck?” said James, stopping the car.
I don’t know if I ever expected them to come back, but the night was long and loud and to this day, let me tell you, I can still see our mother exactly the way she was the next morning as she unfastened our seatbelts: her eyes bloated into garnets as she squeezed us both to her chest, asked if we were hungry—a new shade of lipstick on her that I have never seen since.
Hello. Excuse. Excuse me. Do you have bourbon? I don’t know what kind. What does the bottle look like? Let me see. Let me see. Oh, anything. What is the rocks?