Issue #4
Gacy’s Wife by Claudia Smith Chen

John Wayne Gacy buried twenty-three victims in the crawl space of his house.  But when Carol Hoff, Gacy’s wife, was asked if she smelled anything, she said Gacy told her the smell was because of mice.

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Wake Up by Josip Novakovich

My pet peeve, I told my writing class, is a story that starts with, I woke up and . . . Why not start later, in the middle of the morning, with the action? But after my class, at 11:59 a.m., I reconsidered my writing teleology.

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Imagining Matanzas by Alicita Rodríguez

Matanzas is called Matanzas because of the Matanzas. I’m not being flip. The first killings took place when Cuban fishermen upset the boats on which they were ferrying armor-heavy Spaniards across the river.

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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.

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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.

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Paper Dolls by Robert Scotellaro

The slick booklets are spread out, and he is looking at snapshots of young women, my father, late in life. (Four wives later, two in the ground—my mother was his first.)

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The Nouns by Daryl Scroggins

He couldn’t say what he wanted to say, so he decided to write it—but that didn’t work either because he had to make big spiraling motions with his arm before he could get the pen down to the letter he wanted to write.

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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...

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.

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.