Flash

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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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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THE MARRIAGE TEST by Bailey Bujnosek

In a long-forgotten society, there was a test people had to pass to get married. The test had one question. The question was multiple choice. If you were a woman, the question was: You have one plank of wood. Do you: Affix it to the wall to support your husband’s golf trophies? Burn it to provide warmth for you and your family? Ask your husband what he wants to do with the wood? You know from other records that the question and answer choices were different for men. You also know that there was a correct answer that, if circled,

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VALUATION by Kayleigh Shoen

My mom used to say if you don’t own anything worth stealing, you never need to lock your doors. In our neighborhood, the breeze at night could travel the entire length of the street in and out through the screen doors of unlocked houses. It was that kind of place.  There were three thefts that summer before the police would even file a report. They kept saying it was probably a misunderstanding; what thief leaves cash to cover the object they stole? And if anything, the amount left was probably too much: $50 for the Zeiglers’ oinking cookie jar, $25

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BUSINESSMAN by Jim Windolf

My father told me, when I was fourteen, that business was a language anyone could learn. I never got fluent. So there I stood, a thirty-six-year-old man with not much in the bank, at the side of a hole in the ground as they lowered the coffin that contained his body. He had run a small empire in our New Jersey town. His main business was an insurance agency. There was also a travel bureau, a movie theater, and a restaurant. Of all his businesses, I probably liked the travel bureau best. He took me there now and then on

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THAT WAS THE YEAR WE by Eric Scot Tryon

That was the year we went to Colombia to visit her parents. Her mom had just had surgery on her hand and couldn’t cook, so we spent a month eating empanadas from the little market on the corner, the one with the blind dog that always lay across the open door. Perfect golden-brown crescents, we devoured them on the small white plastic table outside with a cold beer or we ate them as we walked around the town square. She would tell me the history of the church or about the protests that happened there when she was a kid.

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HOW TO TELL A SCARY STORY by Sara Hills

Start with setting Think about someplace you know. A lonely walk to school, the back alleyways downtown, the dark crevices under the high school bleachers, a house from your childhood. Remember the sodium-yellow haze over the empty parking lot that time in college when a rugby player refused to get out of your car, and decide, instead, to catch the reader off-guard. Think about places that should be more comforting and familiar—a clean ribbon of asphalt under a cloudless sky, the upstairs bathroom at a family Christmas party, a sleepover at your best friend’s house, a city bus. Add in

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ELMO GLICK by Matt Mitchell

It was 1966, late winter, when a mild western breeze combed across the Pacific Coast. Elmo Glick, in a velvet tracksuit colored beige, sagged himself over the railing of his second-floor balcony. He wasn’t going to kill himself, no. He was more interested in testing whether or not he could accurately spit a clump of saliva into his treble-clef-shaped in-ground pool from there. The blob of grey cannonballing out of Glick’s mouth and then buoying in the clear-blue water and then thinly dissolving into strings of bubbly DNA. I haven’t had a real hit since 1962, Glick thought to himself.

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UNDERTOW by Tara Stillions Whitehead

We pinned their name tags to our knitted sacks. Reynolds. Solomon. Childs. Kennedy. We wrote their room numbers on our wrists and waited for them on the cement benches near the commandant’s office. We sat with our legs crossed, condoms in our back pockets, while they marched the line in their parade uniforms. We tracked sand from dorm to bedroom sheets. Someone’s mother washed their civvies and kept them in the guest room or the pool house, convinced we were the ones doing the civilizing. There were boys whose names we couldn’t share. Boys whose names we’d seen taped inside

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