THE PASSENGER by Ted Prokash

Raymond pulled into a Love’s Travel Center somewhere in southern Indiana, shortly before dawn. Their routine for stops had been well established by now. Walter went inside to piss and buy snacks, while Raymond paid for and pumped the gas. Raymond was STRESSED. He was rather high-anxiety to begin with… and the mission he and Walter were undertaking would have anybody nervous. But Raymond had been prepared for all that. The problem was the mission had gotten off on the wrong foot logistically. He had planned to have his car – a 2004 Subaru Outback with low millage – all…

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THE NAVIGATOR by Kelby Losack

Because your friends are assholes, they toss us in the trunk in the sixty-nine position. They duct-taped my ankle to the steel rod of my prosthetic leg. I don’t even know how to feel about that. You think that twin telepathy shit is real? Check, one, two. Nod your head or something if you hear me. How are we getting out of this alive? One-two, one-two. Fuck. We’re going to die, huh? Check, check, one, two. If I had any memories of being in the womb with you, I think being curled up next to you in this cramped darkness…

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LITTLE CACKLES by Derick Dupre

A windy morning outside Denny’s in Carefree. Windshields and gas pumps ping with dust. Rosettes of yucca twitch and sway. Inside it sounds like a light rain passing through. A waitress saunters up to a table where three men sit. Her dirndl skirt swishes in time to the dust, and for a moment it seems like the only sound in the world. The three men are John Huston, Rich Little, and Orson Welles. She recognizes Little right away and fangirls out in front of the two older men. Oh my god I knew it, it’s him, can I have an autograph Mr. Little?…

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OUTTAKE FROM JULIET THE MANIAC by Juliet Escoria

We waited all evening for Nicole’s parents to leave, a cord of excitement running taut between the two of us. When their Land Rover finally pulled out of the driveway, we waited ten extra minutes, just in case her parents forgot something and came back. Only then did we take the rolled-up scarf from Nicole’s closet, a neat package containing a lighter and two perfectly rolled joints, the result of Nicole practicing with tobacco while me and my clumsy fingers sat and watched. We took the bundle and crawled out her bedroom window onto the roof. We pressed ourselves against…

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A BOLD NEW KIND OF STORY by Michael Mungiello

Something new… Something new… I need to do something new… Something new… Something new… I need to do something new… It will be new… It will come now… Somehow… Somewhere… I know… It will start on the next page… One time I was reading important books… It was very important that I read them… They addressed concerns…of the people…of the elites…history…art…religion…politics… I was interested in those things… People I admired were interested in those things… So I read in pursuit of these people’s interest… In the hopes that one day…a book would be written…about me…by all those I admired… When…

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LIBERTY KID by Lanny Durbin

I saw the kid’s face when he got hit by the car. He was standing there on the sidewalk with a blank look and then the car jumped the curb. Just nailed him. The blank look stayed on his face when he flew through air, stared right at me. Like he meant to do it. A party trick. He was wearing a statue of liberty costume, which, for a short moment, made the visual a little funny. He stood out in front of the Liberty Tax building a few nights a week, one of those preying fast tax return spots…

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EVERYTHING GOOD I REMEMBER ABOUT MY REAL DAD by Marisha Gene Hicks

He called his old white SUV the White Elephant. We sang “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” in rounds. We had a secret handshake. We celebrated unbirthdays. He made us unbirthday cakes. He taught me how to make cream cheese frosting. He taught me how to ride a bike in the park. He said I looked like a doll when I was born. He bought me a mountain bike. He let my sister and I rent Mannequin and Puff the Magic Dragon every time. When I was older he let me rent Repo Man. He had a three-legged dog named Lucky…

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LONGBEARDS by Chris Dankland

Before The Smiths signed the contract for the brand new house they were set to purchase, the real estate broker said: I have to tell you that in the last few weeks a few of the construction workers have sighted some Longbeards near the woods. I’m only mentioning it because you said you have a small dog. Yes, said Mr. Smith. Thank you. We’ll be sure to keep him inside the house at night. That’s what I’d do, said the real estate broker, nodding. Just in case. I’m sure that as more and more people move into the neighborhood, the…

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TUNA SANDWICH by Jennifer Greidus

He orders tuna salad because he always orders tuna salad. Today, he also orders bacon potato soup. It’s too hot for soup. He likes to wipe his pretty mouth with the back of a hand. He sneers at the waitresses and only pays attention to the ones with fat tits. One of them, Trina, is my favorite waitress. Her tits are fat. I want to tell her to cover them up. Her skirt is tight, too, and the material that’s supposed to hide the zipper is pulled too far to do its job. He’s not an ass man, though. My…

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CHARLIE by Blake Middleton

i took some adderall the other day and for some reason i decided it was time to replace my old washing machine with a new washing machine my roommate got a lighter stuck in the part of the washer where all the lent and other bullshit builds up so we were scared that the washing machine was gonna catch fire or explode i had been putting off changing it out for weeks i didn’t know how to change out a washing machine and hadn’t really felt like learning i kinda hoped my roommate would do it eventually but whatever, i…

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