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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Amelia Earhart Knew Seven Latin Words for Fire by Joe Kapitan

Ignis, the flaming wreckage, bubbling rubber, liquified cloth, her skin charred and blistering, acrid smoke, the tiny thunders of survival’s kicks

Morse Code by Elizabeth Cabrera

The old man fell asleep in his car, his nostrils pressed softly against the steering wheel, but the car kept going, because the old man’s foot was not asleep, was still pressing down hard, and later they would say, it’s not really his fault, he’s such an old man.

Fulfilling by Fiona McKay

Kate is not ‘imagining it’. There are small tufts of pale fluff on her neck, and no, it’s not ‘just a tissue in the washing machine’ as John suggests. There’s nothing drifting off his shirts, nothing clinging to Ella’s favourite black top, Josh’s Minecraft t-shirts. It’s more solid than tissue, just on her clothes. And only she can see it.

Electric Storm by Kathryn Aldridge-Morris

It’s been twenty minutes since the first bolt of lightning ripped a scar through the purple night sky. Since my mother said to swim in the rain ― it’s fun. Since her boyfriend Colin said he’d join us― to check we’re ok.

I’ll Show You Mine If You Show Me Yours by Eliot Li

I tell you I’ve only ever shown it to a girl who I met on a tour bus in Moscow, where I was traveling with my parents. She had bad acne, and she really liked Duran Duran.