Short

THE HUNDRED YEAR PERIOD by Leah Smolin

Today marks my one hundredth anniversary working at the waffle factory. They threw a little party for me in the breakroom—coffee in paper cups, a pink cake with ONE HUNDRED written on it in frosting. My friend Ellie mimed throwing up on the cake. I laughed and covered my mouth with my cup. 

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THE BEGINNING OF DUSK by Jon Berger

Back in high school Jared would come to our lunch table and say the craziest shit to get a laugh out of everyone. We would egg him on and tell him to go to other lunch tables and say the same vile shit.

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SISY WUZ HERE by John Waterfall

The baby never wakes up, no matter how high he throws it, how far he punts it into the strange lunar twilight of Hell. No, it never stirs, despite the whirls and twirls. Through the chops and knocks, baby sleeps on.

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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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