Short

OYSTERS AT THE FAMILY FARM by Jo Unruh

The old say to the young: 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘭𝘥 𝘪𝘴 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘰𝘺𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘳. And when the old men speak these words, they are sincere, because the world has been delivered unto them, and the world is now theirs to bestow.

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COBRA by Marcus Ong

At two in the afternoon, she hears a bang like a gunshot. Eugenia peeks out her bedroom window. What’s visible to her: the Tangs’ barbecue pit, their garden shed, their kidney-shaped pool. She counts dead oval leaves trapped on the water.  Must be the Tang brothers lighting firecrackers behind the shed again, she thinks. They’re always plotting to give the birds a heart attack. Forefingers stuffed in her ears, she wonders why the brothers aren’t studying, and from where do they get their sadistic toys? But if the Gohs across the street managed to smuggle in flamingos to chain to

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POSSUM STORY by Kayla Jean

We were going to scrape that possum off the road because somebody had to do it. That’s what our Dads said, trucks rattling in neighboring driveways, complaining about the borough workers, asking nobody in particular where their taxes went, if not to cleaning up a dead possum right in the middle of the intersection. The Biology teacher had even joked about dissecting it for class, because it was the intersection right next to the high school and so every student and every teacher saw it, curled up and still in the mornings then somehow more freshly dead in the afternoons.

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POTATO NECK by Genevieve Jagger

She isn’t the most beautiful woman I have ever seen but I haven’t seen a woman in eight months or more and am turning, quickly, to dust. By haven’t seen a woman I mean haven’t seen Leanne, though either way it’s hot sand, glass and friction. It’s a wonder my cabin doesn’t go up in flames, everything made of wood as it is, working on myself at night as I do. It would only take one spark. She is sitting out on a small mound of grass that I think of as the stoop, her back turned to me. It

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OUTING by Serkan Görkemli

By the time I show up for our weekly outing on Thursday evening, my friend Yaprak has already ordered the first bottle of red wine. We’re meeting on the patio of Büyük Truva Oteli, one of the oldest and most expensive hotels on the shore of the Dardanelles in downtown Çanakkale in northwestern Turkey. She beckons me with her left hand to our quiet corner. Her right hand puts out one of the many cigarettes she has already smoked. The night is young, and I’ve brought two packs of Camels just in case. I’m a little late, and I already

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CAN’T DIE IN PORTLAND, MAINE by Scott Laudati

It was summer everywhere but Portland, Maine. From Brooklyn to Portsmouth road crews sat along I-95 and stared longingly into the finality of their existence. This was it. The winters too cold and the summers too hot. Fall was spoken about with the nostalgia of an old folk song, and spring, of course, ran shorter than a rainy weekend. The crews spent the entirety of these uncomfortable months working on the sides of roads while everyone sped by on their way to somewhere better, or worse. The only time the two groups interacted was when a motorist fell asleep and

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NAKED by Tim Lane

My boys are naked every chance they get and this morning is perfect for it. The light is clear and hot, unmuddled by rain or fog. And they have an excuse — they’ve just eaten ice cream and so made a mess of their clothes. I am here, but I am not seeing them, stupefied by the warmth that comes so rarely this far north. My mind wanders and trips down alleyways of my past, looking for trouble or regret. When my wife left for work this morning, she gave me a look. Truth be told, she’s getting a little

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IS IT OK IF WE DISCUSS YOUR SISTER? by Mitchell Duran

On the day of her funeral, twisted roots and ashen rocks jutted from the edges of the concrete vault. I had never seen a grave before. I had never seen a casket. I had never seen Earth displaced with that kind care and disregard. After carrying her, side by side with the family, our fingers stiff from the cold of morning, we placed her final bed on the mechanical lowering-device. A part of me wanted to do it myself. The impulse felt foreign, but close. A part of another part. After, I was told the help always did it, that

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SQUAT STANDS by Richie Smith

The high school gym was filled with jocks and weight lifters and I didn’t fit in with any of them. People like Irving Ackerman, the strongest Jewish kid in the school.  Irving didn’t know me. I lifted the lowest level of weights, but I resolved to change this. I was going to work out to grow big and strong. I found a body building program in the back of a comic book. “Universal Body Building” had the logo of a muscle man hugging a sexy woman and promised to send me weekly lessons which would transform me into a hunk

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STORYTIME by Robyn Blocker

What’s up, beautiful people? So y’all know how when you type the first couple letters of an email address and a list of contacts pops up—all the ones that start with that letter?  Like, imagine it’s “D” for Dave, the guy you’re hooking up with. Not Hot Dave with the boat or Quik Lube Dave with the ink, but the Dave whose brother OD’d back in ’99 at the rock pit behind the Big House. Right, Sad Dave. The Dave you send naked pictures to as an inside-joke cue that you want to buy from him. (Rumor alert! It was

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