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.
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.
The Names of Things by Hugh Behm-Steinberg
It’s good when you go on walks to know the names of things. That tree on your left, what kind of tree?
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.
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.
The Corridors of Longing by Gary Fincke
1. At twilight, driving Route 8, my father refused the headlights, saving, he said, the bulbs. Three lanes, that road, passing a dare.
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.
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.
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.
Ward Rounds by Alexis Wolfe
I overhear one nurse telling another: she’s a strange old bird. They’ve no idea I used to be a real siren.
Tell the Mothers We’re Ready by DS Levy
Her room’s sunny and warm, pleasant. Outside: -10 degrees. Ma’s wearing a blouse I bought her for Mother’s Day. Blue and lavender, with tiny violets, her favorite.
The Silence Factory by Dan A. Cardoza
Just about anyone would say they don’t understand my chosen vocation. Just quit, it’s as simple as that. Besides you are much too young to work.
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.
Renata in Cage C by Sanjana Raghavan
Renata digs her thong out of her ass crack, brushes glitter on her boobs, and gets into Cage C, which is a respectable distance from the stage.
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.
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.
Fun House by Robert Scotellaro
She’d gotten the fun house mirrors at an auction and had them put up in the spare bedroom.
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.
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.
Café Mozart Dreamin’ by Tracey Meloni
Judie bangs on my hotel door. “The dressmaker is here! Hurry! You have Christmas lunch with Noah at Café Mozart at 1PM!”