Fiction

SOMETHING IS KNOCKING by Sean Ennis

Grace and Gabe, after saying something very cutting—Grace, not Gabe—have gone to visit her parents and I am home with the dogs, in the shower, flooded with the memory of a woman I once slept with who kept demanding, “Look at me! Look at me!” It’s not, like, eudaemonic.  Then the dogs are going crazy. Something is knocking. They get very protective of the house when I’m in the shower. I don’t hurry. And let’s be real clear: the dogs we rescued from the shelter? Did not rescue us. We do the nice, expensive things, and they basically hang out

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LIZARD BLOOD by Alisha Wexler 

Tuesday I wake up damp with a clenched jaw. Dirty towels on the ground reeking of mildew. Why do people record their dreams? Dreams are trout in bare hands—let them slip free! Mine are so generic anyway. I pluck out my teeth one-by-one like daisy petals. He loves me, I say with blood pouring down my hand, he loves me not. I move on. I weasel out of New York lease. I get out of bed. I go into the bathroom. I put on the clammy moist bikini hanging over the shower rod. I lay by the kidney-shaped pool in

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TWO-IN-ONE by Genta Nishku

That summer, the water in that city ruined my hair. After every wash, the same refrain: clumping and matting. A whole bottle of hair conditioner later, and I was at the dim-lit bar. A man gestured something at me with his eyes, while outside, the awkward artist typed his number in my phone. We’ll meet for lunch, he promised. The warm air made disassociation easier, even if the drinks were weak and the conversation hard to follow. I’d get drunk at home, I decided. Then the traces of the day would fade, present and future melting together, like the sky

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HAZARD by Nicholas Rall

Ethel and Edith tried to keep their eyes open, resting in a square of brownish dying grass; an empty lot. There used to be a family who lived there, and I could see the kids play in the driveway from our window, until men with big, yellow machines tore it down and it stayed like that until the girls took me with them. They’d been in the neighborhood for a few hours, walking through about half the state of Florida, staying close to the interstate. Usually they could get a ride but not that night, and it was time to

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THE PRODIGAL DAUGHTER by Gabrielle McAree

Dad has the emotional range of a runt-sized peanut. He hates the internet, roundabouts, tap water, trash collection, anyone called “Jerry.” He doesn’t trust directions and believes the government is listening in on his conversations. Dad grows a four-inch beard as an act of defiance, because it looks nothing like his driver’s license picture, and swears off technology. His collection of gray hair disappoints him, so he buys an electric blue Camaro.  *** When Dad turns 63, I pick up a cake from the store. Half chocolate, half vanilla to curb his untreated bipolar disorder. I remember to be vigilant,

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HOW THE WIND DOES BLOW AND BLOW by Kevin Grauke

If you’re smart, don’t ever let Claudette Aarons catch you reading anything, not even a magazine, because if she does, she’ll for sure say, “You know what you should be reading instead of that, don’t you? You should be reading Dorothy Scarborough’s The Wind.” Don’t ask her how come, because she’ll tell you how come for an hour. And don’t lie and say you’ve already read it, because then she’ll expect you to discuss it forevermore. And don’t ignore her, either, because she’ll just take that the same as if you’d asked her how come. Your best bet is to

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MY MOTHER TOLD ME YOU COULD ONLY KNOW THAT ORANGES WERE GOOD IF THEY SMELLED LIKE FLORIDA by Megan M. Garwood

At the grocery store, I am buying whole milk and skim milk because I like to put whole milk in my coffee and I like to use skim milk in my Smacks. I am reaching for a gallon jug when I feel someone grab my butt with a heavy hand. I turn around to see a man with little expression pat my rear. I ask him what does he think he is doing and he smiles and tells me to have a nice day. I am scared but also complimented. I am in the cereal aisle now, and I think

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SINK by Elane Kim

When my brother was young, I fed him fruit that fell from the trees in our backyard. What I fed him wasn’t really fruit, but the buds of what would be sweet in the spring, and the not-fruit didn’t really fall from trees in our backyard, because there was no backyard. Back then, we lived in an apartment complex with studded walls and a pool that yawned and stretched past the pale sun. The children all thought the pool was haunted, including me, because somebody’s son drowned in it in the 60s or the 80s or some other era we

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WHEN WILL MY RAPIST’S CLOSET BE CLEANED? by Meg Tuite

“Hysteria comes from the Greek root hystera, meaning ‘uterus’. Originally, it was believed that hysteria and hysterical symptoms were caused by a defect in the womb, and thus, only women could become hysterical.” –Shalome Sine Vivid and startled, blood spits out a song, a sigh, signals a stale rustle of corruption. A pulse rouses itself from the uterus. And those subterranean tubes palpate the last fumes of incessant weather before swirling the rays of dusk down the toilet. I am a girl of fugitive parts. Cut with a straight knife. Glue fists the slit where loot, diced and unkempt, is

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DENOUEMENT by S.S. Mandani

“Sure, I’ve eaten cookies well into adulthood. Some days all I eat is one cookie. I break little bite-sized pieces off and revel in the ‘gasm that is sugar, butter, salt, flour, chocolate, pecans, jam, or what have you. I eat chocolate chip cookies, of course, but lace cookies are my current obsession. My taste buds ride a buttery, crispy wave, cresting into a smile. I have disliked certain cookies. Usually, though, I get over myself, and find a redeeming quality. Growing up, I hated those jam cookies served with chai. You know the ones? But one day the light

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