On the father’s eightieth birthday, he tells his oldest son he wants to celebrate it in a funeral parlor. There are the usual expatiations and songs and food and drink, but alone in the chapel, the father reveals to the son how his mother really died.Read more.
In an inflatable mess tent for refugees, an attendant learns the story of the bearded man who travels from Greece to Macedonia by foot, then to Serbia and eventually to Budapest seeking asylum. Danger arrives and so does white dust.Read more.
Falling in love with the yellow house on the hill, she enjoys her own art studio. And visitors: a neighbor with brownies; a young mother with her baby and a fruit basket; Marvin with banana bread; and a young man with a photo and a revelation.Read more.
A sixty-five-year-old man holds hostage three children and a twenty-something woman. They have strength in numbers but he threatens and lies. They are now the family he never had. He is husband to the oldest, Dad to the children. His family ties.Read more.
You can read Allotrope in one sitting; no, Allotrope compels you to read it in one sitting. The four characters—Yitzhak, Sleeping Bear, Arielle, and Sunny—form a multicultural elasticity that heightens as the story tightens and the mystery deepens. The characters each play a role but their synergy transcends their individual will, and the story unfolds in irony woven into the denouement. Taking from drama the literary device of foreshadowing, Fertik interjects clues and asides along the way in the dialogue and the myth at the story’s core.Read more.
After Sirajul Habib, an American youth and follower of Islam, sees displays of Nazi documents in Berlin, he wants to learn more about the Holocaust. In a later trip to Europe, he visits the Auschwitz Concentration Camps in Poland and is overcome by the enormity and scope of Nazi evil at Auschwitz I, the first site of the atrocities; and at Auschwitz II – Birkenau, where prisoners arrived in boxed rail cars.Read more.
What is “Arrival Day”? Sookdeo writes about this public holiday in Trinidad and Tobago with a critical eye. Started in 1995 to celebrate 150 years of Indian arrival in Trinidad, the name was later changed to Indian Arrival Day. Does the “Indian” in the name ignore other ethnic groups if the country’s makeup “is reflected by colonization in every part”? The issue is more complex than at first glance.Read more.
An official NGO Observer at the Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp, Will describes the exterior of the courthouse where the 911 conspirators are tried for capital crimes. Sitting on a dilapidated “out-of-service airstrip,” the low-slung building looks like a toolshed, but upon entering the building visitors witness “the world’s most sophisticated technology.” This space is not a symbol; it represents the physical implementation of justice. The question is: Can the Guantanamo military commissions offer a narrative “to reaffirm the country’s values and to offer closure”?Read more.
Tender and instructive, the narrative and descriptive essay “Married Sleep” offers the reader an inside look—with equanimity—at a wife and husband team who makes it through a daughter’s debilitating illness, a husband’s demanding work schedule, and a wife’s alcoholism and healing.Read more.
These are the special tenants of Jones’ home: “A hound of calm character, lazy and laid-back”—this is Jack Jones—and a fierce “ten-pound terrier, black and white, with bulging eyes”—this is Dory. As the dogs age, Jones is cognizant of her own droopy eyelids and graying hair, but as long as she is alive they will add more dogs to their household.Read more.
“River Musings” is not only about the reclamation of the Willamette River that flows through Portland and the development of Waterfront Park, Portland’s gathering space. It is also about the Hide Naito family that ran a successful importing business; relocated to Salt Lake City during the Japanese internment; and returned to Portland later to enlarge their business and enrich the city with their philanthropy.Read more.
On the staid street in Boston, Vinita manages a manicure business for her cool boss Leo while he’s on a short vacation. But Vinita makes plans, and they have nothing to do with staying where she is.Read more.
Aaron J. Heil’s story steps ever so sensitively into the marriage of Justin and Renee, which is complicated by a family wedding, a misunderstanding, and a junk mail offer for on-demand weather.Read more.
In the tender love story by Robert Hilles, Scott sees his wife Cheryl holding his six-month-old daughter Denise, reminding him of the dream he had earlier that morning. It was the happiest he had ever been.Read more.
Daniel Bartkowiak knows how to make a sentence glide and dialogue slip into your mental sphere in a most understated way: “We have to go soon.” “Better start drinking then.” And this story is not quite what it seems.Read more.
“Rummage Sale” features Mathilda Dupre, the main character in a short story series by Piper Templeton, whose sixth sense leads her to problematic situations and compels her to act in the most surprising of ways.Read more.
In the Gothic horror tradition of Edgar Allan Poe and E.T.A. Hoffman, Tim Rico brings us a gripping tale of a purloined galleon, a grotesque prisoner, and a shipwreck in “The Foundering.” The ending satisfies horror expectations.Read more.
Stela Dujakovic meets men and draws them as characters in fictional realms, sometimes several into one in “Half As Good.” The story explores the tension between reality and imagination.Read more.
“A Boy Who Was an Orca” is one of those stories that come along every once in a while to upend one’s notion of perception and intuition. By rainteller, it is mystical, spiritual, and transcendent.Read more.
Michael Chapey’s uplifting story is about a dad who ruined his iPhone in the pool and is generously helped by an Apple “genius.” The name of the Apple genius? Carlos.Read more.
It is Halloween and Tadhg and his friend Jayden have been flying his new dragon-shaped kite, one with widespread wings and a long, spiked tail. On their way home to get ready for trick-or-treating, Jayden’s older brother Tavin stomps on the kite and ruins it. Ringing the bell of the home of a scary lady (Jayden) and a “nice” lady (Tadhg) on Halloween night, they are greeted by a pleasant woman named Miriam and her cat Dreyfus. Tadhg feels compelled to tell her about Tavin who steals their treats and teases them about dragons. Concerned, Miriam leaves them to reappear only moments later and gives Tadhg a small amulet “carved in the shape of a green dragon, with a Celtic symbol emblazoned on the wings.” Miriam tells the boys that the dragon on the amulet is Greatwing, a gift from one spellcaster to another.Read more.
In this cemetery down the road from Inverness in Scotland, David McVey meditates on the dead in Tomnahurich poems: minor gentry, Indian Army subalterns, Anne MacKenzie, and others whose stories are untold, forgotten, lost.Read more.
Kay Bell’s Bronx Poems wrestle with hurt and loneliness, anger and love as only poetry can do to reach the inner core of empathy and understanding. Her poem “We are Loners (for my brother)” touches at the heart of love.Read more.
You know the voice of the poet is strong when you feel like you and she are in the same room; such is the case with Shelby Curran’s narrative poem “Farmhouse.”Read more.