Archives

ashley naftule

BENJAMIN ORR IS SINGING ON THE CORNER OF THOMAS & MCCLINTOCK by Ashley Naftule

Pennies are spilling down my throat. I can feel the copper pieces smelting as they pass through my lungs, pooling at the bottom of my guts. Something cold and sharp is waiting there to greet them. It takes some effort to peel my head off this hot pillow. I’ve never slept on a pillow this big before: it’s as big as the bean bag I had back in my dorm room days. My cheeks are burning and a strange scent has hooked its fingers into my nostrils, like the way a cooling pie on a window sill can hoist cartoon

Read More »
brad baumgartner

TO BE OR NOT TO BEFUDDLE by Brad Baumgartner

Drowned out, like an ant’s ear drums (having not yet “ears to hear” in order to “listen and understand”), as it sits, uncertainly, on a twig placed atop the crevice between a washing machine and a dryer, is our consciousness of Consciousness. The twig is also a razor’s edge, on which the ant balances itself, and in which lurks the seed of the failure of gravity. On one side of the razor’s edge the ant enacts faith upon its future, knowing in full measure that it will not fall if it maintains (via will) the clarity of balance. On the

Read More »
william falo

THE RESCUE by William Falo

The sirens wail and I howl along with them. My human sleeps. I lick his face and feel coldness. Why doesn’t he get up? I bark and lick. He doesn’t pet me. Something is wrong. My tail hangs low and I whimper. I spin in circles, but not happy ones. The door is banged open and two men come in with a bed on wheels. I stand in front of my owner and growl. “It’s okay.” One says while the other one grabs me. I am small. He puts me in another room and shuts the door, but I stick

Read More »
jason graff

A LEER FOR A TOOTHACHE by Jason Graff

Katie just wants to rip it out. A length of string, some fortitude or, even better, a burly man in uniform, a marine or naval officer would do. Clearly, it was the eye tooth on the upper right side of her mouth that was the trouble. Why shouldn’t a stranger pull it out? How much better would a dentist be than some twine, a golf cart and a driver with a heavy foot? She sips her iced coffee through a straw whose tip has been stained by her lipstick. She knows she wears too much but “they” say men like

Read More »
babak lakghomi

I KEPT LOOKING FOR IT by Babak Lakghomi

After working as a dish washer, my sister found me a job that paid more than the minimum wage. Every morning, I had to wear a wetsuit and dip my hand deep into a pool of sewage for a sample. Sometimes I had to get into tanks and wash off sludge from filters with a hose. Otherwise, I mostly sat in a control room full of screens with the other operators. I kept an eye on pumps turning on and off, numbers changing on screens. I had only dropped out of college in the third year, so this was the

Read More »
troy james weaver

CALCULUS by Troy James Weaver

Calculus, 8:00 A.M.—Concentration is already an issue, even when I’m on my meds, and this asshole named Martin, who knows where I sit and why, was in my spot when I came running into class five minutes late. I took a seat in the back, deciding it was a waste to even try to pay attention. It was spite on his part, no doubt, a power play, him just being his dickhead self, probably because I’d fucked him within the first week of class then ghosted his ass, like, man, I don’t owe you shit, get it? And like most

Read More »
danny swain

I AM A WRITER by Danny Swain

I make up symptoms to get unnecessary hospital treatment. Because I’m a writer. I don’t bathe for years and scratch smiley faces in the dirt on my body. I photograph the faces and send them to random strangers through the post. Because I’m a writer. I drink booze until my soul intrudes on the secret meetings between God and Satan. Because I’m a writer. When my dog died I had sex with it. Because I’m a writer. I hang out with tramps who I only speak mock Chinese to. Because I’m a writer. I traveled forty miles west and tried

Read More »

RELAX INN by J. Edward Kruft

Pat sat in his boxers on the edge of the bed, digging into his ear with a Q-tip. When Barb finally turned off the hairdryer in the bathroom, he called to her. “I sure wish you hadn’ta done this.” “What’s that you say?” asked Barb, entering the room in her slip. “I said,” he emphasized, “I wish you hadn’ta done this.” “Oh,” she swatted the air, “they’re nice enough folks.” “I don’t even know why they’re staying here. They got that goddamn travel trailer just sitting there, wasting away.” “Well, they’ve been on the road a long time. Mitzi said

Read More »
nick farriella

NOOSE TATTOO by Nick Farriella

When my uncle showed up at my door unexpectedly, he had a noose tattooed around his neck and carried a long rope bundled up in his hand. Over the few days he lived with me, he’d toss the rope over the counter when coming in the door. He’d sling it over his shoulder out in the yard when doing what he called, “Jailareobics;” propane tank bicep curls, cinder block shoulder presses, push-ups with his feet three stairs up. When I said, “Uncle Frank, what’s up with the rope?” He said something about casting his own judgment, that the rope was

Read More »
williard-flash-flood

THE FLASH FLOOD by Gregg Williard

The flash flood made it impossible to drive home. She had to leave her car in a Walgreens parking lot and walk the rest of the way. Later she heard that someone was washed away when he left his car. She’d been guiding her boyfriend home, trying to avoid the worst streets, though she didn’t know what was and wasn’t impassible and could only describe the google street map of the area. He made another turn but couldn’t see the street sign. Then his phone died. Before it gave out he thought he saw something big and white bobbing in

Read More »