Fiction

ON THE SUGGESTION OF ROADKILL WALKS by Evan James Sheldon

I hear an odd sound and go out front to investigate only to find my mother holding a vulture on a leash with a harness like people buy for tiny yippee dogs. There’s snow on the ground and on the pine trees by the house and I can see where they’ve been by the tracks. She’s been walking the vulture through the neighborhood. And now she’s walking it back and forth out front and it hops and waddles, occasionally flapping once or twice. It’s large enough that I bet if it really wanted to fly away my mother wouldn’t be

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PINCH FORWARD MOTION OF TUMBLING by Angelo Maneage

Now we are walking down the riverbank and we still hear a dryer. I am confused by this. My mom says you should never get wet clothes but there is a garage sale by the riverbank where they are cheap. My mom says do not buy the clothes because they will be wet. I hadn’t even bought anything yet before she told me that they will be better if they are already dry. There were barely any things to buy. My mom kept saying go on buy them then she ran the dryer and looked at me.  + Standing idle

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THE KRASNERS by Aaron Kreuter

When I think back to those days it is fear that I remember, fear that I keep returning to, fear that I cannot get away from. First there’s the free-floating, general fear of adolescence: the fear of fitting in, the fear of saying the right thing, the fear of a body under revolt. And, for the most part, it wasn’t on the school playground or the mall food court, but at Kol B’Seder, the Reform synagogue my parents joined when I was twelve, where the major battles against these fears were waged. I fell in love in those hallways, made

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CAMPARI SODA ISN’T AN AMPHIBIAN by Vi Khi Nao

In real life, the girl on the toilet is named KAY. Another girl, Vada, walks in and silently holds a gun to Kay’s head. Without making any demands. She turns to Kay and automatically offers one key to her. Vada takes a look at the key and contemplates whether to kill her or not. Vada pulls the trigger and Kay drops to the ground. She turns to the bathroom door and realizes that there is a key already in the lock. Vada walks towards the bar after exiting the bathroom. And, turns to the bartender and says, “My sex drive

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LIKE NIGHTSHADE AND PERIODONTOLOGY by Rebekah Bergman

She scheduled all her overdue appointments for the same week. She went to the doctor, the dentist, and the gynecologist. She came back with three minor diagnoses and referrals for two other specialists. It was right around this time that all science started feeling like pseudoscience, modern medicine especially. It began with the nightshade. She could no longer sleep through the night for the itching. A rash that looked like raspberry jam had formed on the back of her neck.  The allergist told her to stop eating nightshade. She was unsure if she had been eating nightshade. What was nightshade?

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HYDROGEN AND HELIUM by Peter Krumbach

I misspell people’s faces. Cup them in my palms, kiss some, give a playful tug on the jowls of others. Good evening. Never better. Burghers of landfills and oak-lined boardrooms, white-collar criminals and donors of kidneys. Calculated together, they equal a mean designed to obscure the edges. I apologize, parties do this to me. The low ceiling track lights, the shag underfoot, the heads bobbing like olives in brine. I could have sworn it was Frank. Dressed as Biff. I bend to greet the elders collapsed in mid-century chairs. Boredom, meet urgency. I bend to your aunt Wilma, who turns

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THE ROAD 2 NOWHERE by KKUURRTT

My friend Brian joined a cult. He was always doing stupid shit like that. This one time when we were fifteen he jumped off a bridge cause fucking Mike Langer dared him to. He broke his shinbone when he hit the water and spent the rest of summer in a cast. It wasn’t all bad though. Langer sold weed and gave him a half-ounce for free because he felt terrible about daring him to do it even though we were playing Truth or Dare on a bridge which was dumb on everybody’s part. Honestly, we’re lucky it came up as

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FROG CIGARETTES by Brendan Gillen

Two at a time, take the steps ’til I’m out of breath. Mom doesn’t know. Attic stiff with heat. Cobwebs like lightning. Know I’m after something important, just haven’t found it yet. Up here there’s a tool chest by the mannequin. Been around long as I’ve been sneaking up. Since I was seven maybe. The years feel like gym class. Around and around and leave me dizzy. The dust is thick and my eyes itch.  Not supposed to be up here because it’s where Dad used to come and hide. Maybe Mom thinks part of him is still up here

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A VIEW FROM THE CITY by Elliot Alpern

I see the backs of your shoulders—there you are, right there—on a bench by the harbor, where it’s windy, and where there’s a nice clear view of the monster ambling toward the city.  “Hello,” I call out. You look each way, left and then right and then left again, but not behind, and so I jog lightly to your bench, take the seat beside you.  “Hello,” I say again, this time a bit breathlessly.  “Oh,” you say, “hey, I thought I heard your voice.”  You look the same. And that’s with some years, a different haircut, a sort of quiet

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SONATA by Daisuke Shen

For a long time now, all sound has been damp. Wrapped in mildew, white-fleeced, everyone’s voices turned to mist. I am the only one not contained within this quiet—me, who has always wished to be, more so than anyone else; me, the girl who could never stop singing. I had tried all of the tricks, of course: stuffed my mouth with lagan scrounged from sea beds, weaned off of proteins and greens, hoping to become weaker. Yet the avalanche of notes poured out of my mouth like sludge; my crazed melodies frenetic and pinched as sand fleas. The silence started

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