Fiction

CHASE by Frankie McMillan

Mr Whippy here and there, up the street, down the street, swerving his pink and cream van to avoid a dog, Mr Whippy his face emperor white, hunched over the wheel wondering what dogs want with Mr Whippy. Mr Whippy glancing in the rear vision mirror, kids still chasing him on bikes, their heads ducked under the handlebars, a mother jogging with a baby on her hip, ice cream, ice cream but Mr Whippy is wrecked, days leaning out his window, handing out cones with the perfect pointy top, pulling on levers, eyes squinting in the bright sun. his ears ringing. Mr

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MR. DUBECKI’S SECRET MENU by Kyle Seibel

Mr. Dubecki is the first person I tell about the people humping in the men’s restroom because he is the franchise owner slash store manager for one thing, but also because he’s the only other person here after Greg went home sick and Rocky’s brother picked him up early and the new girl who’s training on the window would only get in the way, so she got cut and Mr. Dubecki said he’d come by to help me close.  Near the end of the shift I go to clean the facilities and what I find is that it’s a four-legs-under-the-stall

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THE WEIGHT OF LIGHT by David Luntz

The weight of light can be measured by my Uncle Kev’s death. But before that, some memories: it’s family dinner and Uncle Kev’s explaining how the bread mashed in his ex-boxer’s sixty-year-old fist represents Pangea and the glass of red wine in his fingers the Tethys Sea. He’s telling us about the earth’s history, Wegener’s theory of continental drift, orogeny, extinct volcanoes, dragonflies in amber, and trilobites. Mom and dad tune him out. So do I. I get enough of that kind of shit at school. But Uncle Kev doesn’t care. He’s relentless, a natural fighter, and won’t stop until

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LUCID FIRE by Coleman Bomar

I’m dreaming that our bed is engulfed in flames, but in the waking world either your body lies draped across my torso, or I have a fever, or we forgot to turn the oven off, or someone dropped a burning corpse between us, or we have too many sheets, or I can see the future, or our bed really is engulfed in flames, or God came back when we were sleeping, or global warming works faster than they say, or a Republican tweeted, or there was a gas leak, or the neighbors can tell we aren’t just friends, or I’m

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ON BUILDING A NEST by Stella Lei

My mother’s house always looked halfway to collapse. She had paid copious amounts of money to build it this way—its perpetually slouching walls, its staircases that jerked into corners before snarling to the next floor. This was because she preferred things that existed between one state and another. Her philosophy was as follows: you cannot determine something’s worth before it is finished, and most everything finished is bad—corrupted by greed, or rust, or the general incompetence of its maker. And so the house lurched across a river like a lopsided Fallingwater, its unending rush lulling her to the edge of

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FULL OF HOLES by Luz Rosales

Kylie fingers Martina under the bleachers after school. Martina is warm, and moist, and slippery, and when she cums against Kylie’s palm, she moans so loudly that Kylie thinks everyone on campus must have heard. She hopes this is true.  “I’m so proud of myself,” she says, and Martina laughs her scratchy laugh. Martina doesn’t come to school the next day, doesn’t answer Kylie’s texts. The day after that, she’s found floating down a river in pieces. *** Several of their classmates attend her funeral. They crowd together in the church, sniffling, and holding each other, and pretending to cry.

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SPEECH CAPABLE by Elias Chen

Changliu and her sister were huddled over the kitchen counter. Between them lay an unopened bowl of instant ramen, shrink wrap intact, the container propped upright on a folded kitchen towel. Changliu and her sister looked directly into the smiling face of the man printed on the lid. The image was animate, blinking, shifting his shoulders, his lips parting now and again like he was about to speak but waiting for a cue. It was their idol, Xiao Tan. What was supposed to happen? After they opened the package, Xiao Tan was supposed to launch into a ninety-second monologue from

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Monologue of a pirate ship that doesn’t have a figurehead, or maybe it did, long ago, but it’s hard to tell now because its bow is encrusted with these ossified clam shells and barnacles, which, during a storm, scuttle about and open up and scream, as though they had mouths. by Jiaqi Kang

I only ever wanted to know how it felt to have the wind beneath your feet, eager to hoist you up to where you needed to be, hands outstretched, palms faced upwards and fingers laced together, inviting. As a sapling I watched children do that, paid special attention to the one at the bottom who was always getting a faceful of leg, ass, and hand as his friends used him to clamber over the wall. I was friends with the wall. My roots were entwined with the bricks at its foundation. We’d come up around the same time, the wall

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MISSIONS by Ali Raz

Mission 1   We weren’t in any particularly good place, just a parking lot without any cars. Part of the lot had been flooded and now resembled a pond. It was only a matter of time until A, high on soda, stripped out of his clothes and plunged in. The others encouraged him with maniacal hoots of laughter. I ducked over to untie my shoelaces, squeezed a tube of explosives from inside of one, and proceeded to attach it to the underside of A’s Toyota. I waited for two hours to be out of sight before I dialed The Number

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NOSEBLEED WEATHER by Marilyn Hope

Twelve-year-old Tibby Wallace takes the winter with him when he dies, but it’s an act of rage. Summer scrapes through the valley overnight. Pollens convulse, lakes flood. Hundreds of snowshoe hares wear their December-whites in the sudden verdure; easy prey for owls, foxes, Mazzie Mako’s feral cats. Soft, torn bodies everywhere. Tibby evokes eight-foot-tall stalks of hogweed from every ribcage, furious and toxic to the touch. But it’s the yarrow that spells murder to me and Cricket. “Never seen anything natural grow in such straight lines,” Cricket says, studying the row of rusty blossoms that slit across the town limits

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