Issue #16
Walruses on a Beach by Julia Strayer

A couple months after Buddy’s funeral, his brother and I are staring at stars, from inside an old bath tub someone dragged to the beach, pretending we’re at an ocean instead of a lake by drinking rum and Cokes from old yogurt containers.

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Tom Thumb by Sandra Arnold

He slid into the world with no warning, landing on the bathmat as I stepped out of a hot shower. He was so small his skin hung off his twiggy limbs like an oversized suit.

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Visiting Day by Lori Sambol Brody

My mother rolls curlers in her hair, makes me wear my apple-green High Holy Days dress, and we cross the Golden Gate Bridge in her Buick Regal to see Charles Manson.

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Words by Leonora Desar

I’m in bed and then I fall right through the floor. It happens without warning. One minute I’m in bed with my husband, not having sex, and then I’m in bed with the new neighbors.

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Stain by Patricia Q. Bidar

Tom’s Firebird pulls into Alice’s street of windows lidded with wooden and peeked-through blinds. In the kitchen, Alice’s mother stops her dishwashing motions, then resumes.

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What Would Marlene Do? by Laton Carter

It was raining, so everything was perfect. I am Marlene Dietrich said the man. He was standing next to the window, and the rain, as rain is supposed to do, slid down the pane like tears in a movie.

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Midnight Spoon by Kathryn Kulpa

Midnight, and Frank is burying spoons again. He doesn’t know I dig them up, hours later, after I’ve put him in bed with his pills and sippy cup, after I’ve checked under the bed for CIA agents, opened the closet door to show him no Russians are hiding there.

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Held by Daryl Scroggins

Even as a child she wanted to lie still in places so close to human routines as to be invisible. Places that offered a vaguely alarming anonymity.

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Laws of the Wasteland by Sarah Daniels

Mikey’s pink tongue laps at the blood from his nose. In the long-shadowed afternoon we trudge, weighed down by books, and sports kit, and the coats we’ve shed to fit this week’s trend.

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Lady Gaga Considers the Shrimp Scampi by Steve Almond

There were fifty thousand little monsters screaming for an encore, Spaniards, Germans, skinny little French boys, Italians making wet sounds with their tongues.

Little Red Riding Hood by Katerina Kishchynska

Grandma gets her episodes at least once a month. She’ll grow out her jaws and if it happens on a rainy day, claws will tear out of her fingers.

Initiation by Stuart Dybek

The doors snap open on Addison, and the kid in dirty hightops and a sleeveless denim jacket that shows off a blue pitchfork tattooed on his bicep jogs forward beneath a backward baseball cap and grabs the purse off a babushka’s lap.

The Girl In Purple by Bobbie Ann Mason

Near dawn, Dennis Moore saw the iron gate to the courtyard inch open and the wisp of a girl squeeze through, clanging the gate behind her. Two minutes later, on the boardwalk, she halted as if for an invisible dog, then resumed her dog-walker gait. He followed her...

Hermit & Bleeding Faucet by Ana María Shua

With the population now well aware of the physical and mental benefits of asceticism (low cholesterol, bradycardia, a delicate sense of happiness, spiritual fulfillment), everyone wants to become a hermit.