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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Hands Off by Jason Jackson

Ben sits in the back of the car, chewing popcorn so it squeaks against his teeth, and little Janey sits up front, sucking on a peach.

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Flake by Lucien Desar

Up far above, I was worthless and small. Bouncing from cloud to cloud, the cold winds carried me for miles.

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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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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...

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!” 

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.

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.