THE FUNHOUSE by Matt Lee

My first and only job during a disastrous year in New York was at the DVD Funhouse. Little storefront on 6th avenue between 21st and 22nd street. Flatiron District.  The place sold bootleg DVDs, Canadian imports mostly, with the ISBN barcodes scratched off. The first floor was for walk-in customers, people coming off the street to peruse the racks. I worked in the basement. The place stretched on forever. Pallets and pallets of junk. Crates of old Blockbuster rentals. Books on tape. Useless novelties galore. I was in charge of online sales. I turned the place around. When Victor hired…

Continue Reading...

YOUR HOUSE ON ZILLOW by Stephanie King

You died on a Wednesday. In the years since, when the anniversary falls on a different day of the week, everything feels off somehow. That dreamy, floaty feeling of a day, like trying to describe what it is to have loved – but not like that – a man who is gone. They say men and women can’t be friends, but it was never a problem. Now your wife has put the house up for sale. I guess the mortgage was too much to handle on her own. I scroll through the real estate listing like playing the world’s worst…

Continue Reading...

THE LAST BOY SCOUT (1991) by Anthony Sabourin

1. There’s Navy SEAL training where they put a bag over your head and you are on the floor and when they take the bag off you need to react to whatever situation is in front of you, like the bag comes off and it’s 4 people kicking the shit out of you, or the bag comes off and it’s one guy kicking the shit out of you then you have to go into some room and find a gun and shoot at things. Or the bag comes off and you are shoved into a tank of water. If you…

Continue Reading...

BABY ON BOARD by Natalie Warther

It’s not a lie. It’s just a sticker. A sticker that says there’s a baby on board, when technically there is not. Can you blame me? You’ve seen how careful people are around a new mother. Otherwise, they are reckless. Besides, people lie about much worse. And there is no sticker that says “Be careful, please, I have a lot of student debt.” Plus, it’s not like there aren’t important things in my backseat. The screenplay I’m writing about a boy who wants to play major league baseball, for example, and a pile of towels from my mother’s garage. Why…

Continue Reading...

ORAL HISTORY FROM THE WINSTONS OF RHYOLITE by Nicholas Russell

We all started out in boxes because we don’t actually count as people. They’re clones so, yes, they are technically people. Though it was more like a vat, suspended animation sort of. It’s really weird if he lets you see a new one. Anyway. He moved us into the warehouse not long after we could crawl. Not at the same time. They weren’t all born together. Also, I’ve never prohibited any of them from seeing where they came from. They exaggerate a lot. Yeah, but he doesn’t let us leave the compound. For your safety. Whatever. Anyway. We’re based off…

Continue Reading...

THE CELEBRATION by Zac Smith

Usually, when my week was shitty, I liked to order Thai food… I was the only one in the family who liked Thai food, which meant I didn’t get to order it much… But since I was getting divorced and living alone in a shitty apartment, I got to order it as much as I wanted… I was getting into it in a big way, basically… Since most weeks were shitty, I ordered Thai food most weekends… And I never got sick of it… Thai food is varied and complex… It can be very exciting, but also comforting… A perfect…

Continue Reading...

AIR QUALITY INDEX by Mike Nagel

Sunday morning my phone warns me that the air quality in Carrollton is low. I step outside and take a few deep breaths. I can see what my phone means. Not great. Most things leave something to be desired. Let me put it this way. There seems to be some room for improvement. Recently J showed me a graph and the line was going straight down. “Well,” I say. “I can’t say I’m surprised.” “Actually,” she says. “In this case, down is a good thing.”   Lately I’ve been drinking this low ABV cider from the Stella Artois beer company….

Continue Reading...

OPEN MOUTHED by Kwan Ann Tan

I knew I was in trouble the moment my co-worker caught me humming the female part to the last duet in La Boheme. ‘That sounds familiar,’ Lucy said as we stacked rows and rows of fragrant soap. ‘My grandmother loves that opera. She’s never seen it in person though, which is a shame. Maybe I should bring her one of these days.’ We laughed and continued restocking the shelves. It was a job that made a pair of opera tickets near impossible. The sound system crackled to life, and my faint memories of the song were drowned out by saccharine…

Continue Reading...

THE WASP by Tyler Engström

I look out the kitchen window and wonder why the flowers won’t grow. I can’t even remember what I planted, what sort of beauty I’m disappointed in not receiving. I’ve given them plenty of water. Was it too much water? I don’t know. I’ve never known. What life does water make, anyway? Anyway, a wasp comes up to the window and lands on what would be my nose, if not for the window. I lovingly watch his little hands scrape against each other. Adorable! “You look like a fly,” I tell him, “like all the little flies that crowd every…

Continue Reading...

BIG DINKY ENERGY by Josh Sherman

You really need to figure out how to stop drinking so much. You could ask your doctor to refer a therapist or join some 12-step program. But you’ve got a better idea. It’ll just have to wait until the weekend, when you aren’t busy writing marketing copy for real-estate developers. *** ‘The Mulberry Estates are a charming collection of spacious single-family homes in leafy Elgin County.’ ‘Set to rise in Toronto’s vibrant Entertainment District, the Foxtrot is a luxurious 45-storey condo tower by the award-winning Mango Development Corporation.’ These are the sentences you’re paid to write eight hours a day,…

Continue Reading...