Fiction

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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Fiction

DOG DENTIST by Stephanie Yu

Dog Dentist comes home, takes off his shoes, puts his feet up on the table, and says in a voice too loud, “Man my feet are B-A-R-K-I-N-G, if you know what I mean!” He laughs uproariously to himself. A joke intended only for one. I’m fixing up his favorite: meatloaf and mash. After a day of grinding down dog teeth, he’s only in the mood for food that is barely reconstituted. My meatloaf is a special recipe that’s super moist. More “fudgey” than “cakey” so the enamel faces zero resistance on the way down. I can tell that sometimes Dog

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Fiction

HARDING’S REFLEX by Kira Homsher

It’s an involuntary reflex, like how looking at the sun can make some people sneeze. Whenever Harding drives past a 7-Eleven, he has to turn around and buy a pack of cigarettes. To be clear, he is not a smoker. He buys a cheap pack of whatever color looks most appealing in the moment, regardless of brand, then smokes exactly one cigarette in the parking lot before stuffing the pack in the glove compartment and driving to his destination.  He particularly likes packs in yellow. And sea-foam green, because they look clean and soapy.  If he had to explain it,

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Fiction

THREE HOOKERS AT THE HOT DOG STAND by E. Nolan

This guy, Bobby, called asking for money. He was with three hookers at the hot dog stand and they needed to be paid. He had enough to buy them each a hot dog, but that would only hold them off for so long. Soon they were going to find out that he was broke. The skinny one was almost done with hers, he was telling me, and, lowering his voice to a whisper, he said he knew she wasn’t going to ask for another one. She ate as if she had other things on her mind, like where’s my goddamn

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Fiction

BAD CAT by Anthony Varallo

Yesterday I met the bad cat. He was lying on our neighbor’s driveway, sunning himself in the last of the day’s warmth. He had gray fur, slightly mottled with black, and white paws. His eyes were closed, restful. When my family and I walked past, the cat yawned and stretched his tongue the way cats sometimes do. The cat blinked at us for a moment, curiously—pleasantly, I thought. “Here kitty-kitty!” I said. “Psst-psst!” “Dad,” my daughter said, “don’t do that.” “Do what?” I said. “Cats love that sound.” “Please, Dad,” my daughter said. “It’s embarrassing.” “Plus,” my son said, “I

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Creative Nonfiction

WHEN YOU THOUGHT YOU WERE A GUN AND NOT A TARGET by Sutton Strother

He’s the only other person you know who loves David Bowie. Not like your friends tolerate David Bowie for your sake or how your mom only knows the radio hits. He knows all the albums you talk about, every deep cut. “Modern Love” is his favorite Bowie song (killer drums, he says right before the first verse kicks in), so on days when there’s a test in his class you listen to it while you dress for school. It reminds you not to hate him, no matter how difficult he makes the questions. There’s power in the not-hating. And when

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