Issue #29
The Good Prizes by Daniel Addercouth

Clare’s father gives her more coins for the claw machine. There’s a stuffed Pokemon she wants to win. “These things are designed so you can never get the good prizes,” her father says.

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Lullaby by Darlene Eliot

There’s an owl outside the window. He hoots at 1:00 a.m. The tenants toss, turn, and fume. 3B opens the window, aims a flashlight at the leaves. 2A stomps out with a tennis ball and hurls it at the tree.

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Beggars Would Ride by Elizabeth Fletcher

The lead crystal decanter, a wedding present, reminds the girl of a genie’s bottle. Wide at the base with a slender neck, it glints, throwing rainbows when the sunlight catches it.

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Nowhere Girl by Robert Herbst

You were one car over, all curls and eyes. I was just four wheels, an engine. This was at the stoplight – Western and Milwaukee. I pulled up, and it was like you’d been waiting for me in someone else’s backseat all night.

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Fucking John Wayne by Sara Hills

Dale knows it only takes four hours for a body to bloat in the desert. One day for flies. Three for maggots. Six for the skin to slip around the eyes.

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It was once fun to be thrown by Michelle Morouse

What to do with this memory that visits her at four a.m. of being “Ultra girl” in Aikido? (In truth she was only average, but she was the only girl, having chased away the other girl by borrowing her boyfriend.)

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Love® by Serena Jayne

Ask a doctor or pharmacist before use if you are taking tranquilizers or sedatives, it’s last call, one of your friends recently coupled, or you are approaching a milestone birthday and in danger of marrying your backup partner.

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Linguistics by Kelly Pedro

The word of the day is chartreuse, a variable color averaging a brilliant yellow green. Origin: Once Latin, now French. Used in a sentence: Elyse knew why the chartreuse sweater was on clearance—the threads were starting to fray, and it clearly wasn’t well made, but Elyse bought it anyway because she found something about it charming.

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God’s Gift by Audrey NIVEN

Hail Mary full of Grace, the Lord is with you as you stoat down the street, hungover, shoes not tied.
‘Ho, Mary!’ he shouts over the traffic.

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Gonna Be a Poet by Tom Vowler

Between hits we hang out at the beach, perched naked on salt-rimed stanchions, cocking a leg high like we’re the Karate Kid, before tumbling into the waves’ icy maw, where we bawl so hard even the gulls are offended.

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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.

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.

Conversation in Hotel Lounge by Lydia Davis

Two women sit together on the sofa in the hotel lounge, bent over and deep in conversation.  I am walking through, on my way to my room.

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...

Their Closet by Pamela Painter

“What are you thinking?” her husband asked her. In their twenty years of marriage he had never asked her that.