Special Issue: Mega Meganthology
The Golden Barista by A.E. Weisgerber

I’m always thinking how to escape death. Somehow, like that Mesopotamian maniac, the mythic prince who asked for tips from his barista before his story was written in clay; we’ve heard the screech and the scrim of the snakes shedding skin that proves it’s not simple to grant a desire.

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An Approximation of Melody by Tommy Dean

I wanted to live on an alley when I grew up. My nose flush against the cool glass, shadows cast over darkened brick, bottles broken, and the shuffle of running feet, the smell of sewage and greasy food waving into the room, mixing with the bunanabun of the Law & Order score.

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Location by Patricia Q Bidar

My dry cleaner proposed to me at El Matador Beach, over Malibu Country Mart’s second cheapest bottle of prosecco. We sat on a bench in the blufftop parking lot. I was queasy from the motorcycle ride.

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Lucky Lucky Tinsel Cake by April Bradley

When we shut the front door behind us, we shut up Tinsel Cake alone in the kitchen to gaze upon fresh, cooling Gingerbread. This is Claudia Fleming’s Gramercy Tavern gingerbread made with a cup of stout and a cup of molasses.

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Lunar Landing by Sara Hills

I go with Gary from Housewares up into the hills after work. There’s a comet coming, the news says, and Gary’s promised to show me the stars.

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Man on the Street by Al Kratz

Charlie, Mitch, and Bob worked downtown at the big insurance company. Charlie and Mitch liked Bob because he knew things about life they hadn’t even thought to learn.

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On Fire by Riham Adly

On the day Samantha found out her cancer hadn’t metastasized and was still in remission, there was a fire in the house.

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Pancake by Mary Thompson

The man who is unable to love has left his girl again, vanished like a feral feline. ‘I hate the way that Pancake stares,’ he said before he left, complaining about how the cat would glare at him with unblinking eyes.

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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.

Bog Iron by Shane Larkin

We make stops on the way to our bog plot to look at the little skeletons. Dad tells me about them. Curlews and skylarks in dancing poses. Tiny skulls.

Get Your Authentic Stardust Here by JP Relph

The night the sky cracked, I was sprawled on the hood of my car beside that good-for-nothing boy, naming constellations, ignoring his fingers on my neck.

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.

The Storyteller of Aleppo by Donna Obeid

In the barren cold camp, you wear a dusty cape and top hat, wave my cane as if it were a wand and tell me your dream-stories, one after the next, your words spun and tossed like tethers into the air.