Fiction

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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jennifer greidus

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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blake middleton

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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timothy willis sanders

ZERO PINEAPPLES by Timothy Willis Sanders

Billy asked Chris and Molly what movie they had picked and Chris held up a DVD copy of The Birds. Billy shot a look at Meg. “Hitchcock had a really fucked up obsession with Tippi Hedren. I read about it online so I decided to never watch the movie,” said Billy. “Who’s Tippi Hedren?” said Chris, sliding the DVD into the Playstation. “Exactly,” said Meg. “Well, sorry about Tippi, but I have a surprise for you both after the movie,” said Molly. Billy pictured Molly wheeling out a human-sized box with a large gold ribbon, from which Gene Wilder, dressed

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NORTHERN WOODS DOLL TURNED AWAY by Katherine Osborne

I will use both our deaths. I will use both our deaths to sing this song. Trees have advanced language. Take me to your Research Team. I will give them. Evidence. I was spoken to from the confusion of your stolen cattle. Date me back to an all-knowing Omaha. Your mother has a secret stash of animals. Use them to find her. You better find. Her. There is a vault of friendships filed under Fantasy Baseball. I win by a system of placing my bet on love without rules. I didn’t hear from you so I started famous one act

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dora grober

DEATH BED by Dóra Grőber

You’re sitting in your bed, legs pulled up to your chest, black, unkempt hair in an unusual ponytail and you don’t talk, not because he’s not home but because you have nothing to say. Just a few hours ago you were standing on your desk and painting on the wall, first with a brush and then with your hands, listening to the song Rolling by Soul Coughing, not on repeat. You didn’t feel like an artist but you didn’t feel fake. You felt like this was recovery or at least some level or element of it, something he could see

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bob schofield

CREATION STORY by Bob Schofield

At first the world was just one spiral. Then that spiral grew a face. The face was hungry. It filled with water. The face was silent, but never sleeping. A single tooth grew through the bottom. The face was a word, and that word was “lake.” The lake was tended by older creatures. Giants with horns and black spiral faces. The whole earth cooled beneath their shadow. They danced over the hills on cloven feet. The lake was the twisting center of a universe.  Gears were built to keep it all in motion. Fish were constructed, to keep the water

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THE JANNICK OVERTURE by Avee Chaudhuri

Nacogdoches, Texas Jannick Meissner claimed to be from Eastern Bavaria. He spoke theatrically, e.g. “I will revenge myself upon Castro.” Castro had slighted Jannick by not inviting him to an ongoing, Sunday afternoon table-top role playing game. Jannick was livid. “I am an excellent storyteller,” he told me. We were drinking on Jannick’s front porch. I sat and he paced back and forth in a very tortured manner. “I will revenge myself upon Castro,” he repeated. “You don’t even like role playing games,” I pointed out. “This is accurate,” Jannick conceded. Jannick was a very cultured, seemingly intelligent German male

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chad redden

FROG POND by Chad Redden

After you open the door lying on the bottom of the pond it can go two ways. The door will open to deeper water that shimmers in an unusual way. The water behind the door connects to another pond, in another world. To get there, you will swim downward, through the doorway. You will force every bit of air from your lungs, to keep you from floating upward, remaining in your world. When this doesn’t help you will grab onto the door frame, pull yourself through the doorway to the other side. Or The door will open the door to

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brian alan ellis

“NO BOOK BLURB, NO CRY” EXCERPT by Brian Alan Ellis

An Inspirational/Crazy Informative Guide to Proper Book Blurbage (An excerpt from Sad Laughter, forthcoming from Civil Coping Mechanisms) “[This book] will fry up some prose eggs in your ol’ brain pan.” ⋆⋆⋆ “[This writer] is the kind of poet whose madness and how [he/she] exorcises that madness is a thing of dark brilliance one can admire from afar but if you ever let [him/her] crash at your house for a few days [he/she] would scare the living shit out of you.” ⋆⋆⋆ “[This writer] can fix your pipes and your roofing but [his/her] book of durable, brick-layered stories can also

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