by Suzanne Zipperer
Milton pulled his worn, blue bathrobe tight over his chest. He didn’t want one of those young nurse’s aides to see the way his flesh hung over his old bones. Even he thought it was disgusting, and it was his body.
Wheeling his chair up to the TV, Milton grabbed the remote off the Velcro strip that was stuck to the cabinet in hopes that everyone using it would be kind enough to stick it back. Read more.
by Seth Foster
On the coldest day in decades, the cloudless sky ocean blue, I was alone, and heartbroken, outside the station on the New York bound platform, in a barrage of minus three degree wind gusts, instead of inside basking in the warmth of the waiting area. Moments ago, a carving wind, slicing through my layers, cut me to the bone. Read more.
by David H. Weinberger
Bright pink border surrounding a jagged white line right in the middle of her left knee. I cannot help but stare. I never noticed this scar before. Is it new? Looks a bit faded so must be old but no memory of how it got there. Maybe some accident as a kid, something that happened without me. Maybe a fall on some rocks like the ones right here, lichen covered boulders on Mount Timpanogos summit. Read more.
Los Espantos de Parral
by Christiane Williams-Vigil
Paquita felt the sharp twisting pain in her abdomen and leaned forward on the steering to move into a more comfortable position. She glanced in the rearview mirror catching her baby sister, Sylvia, gazing back. Sylvia’s brow rose, silently inquiring an update.
“I’m fine,” Paquita mumbled, rubbing her side. Her curly, light-brown hair stuck to the sides of her cheeks, pasted with humidity. Read more.
The Private War of Lieutenant Colonel Rodrigo Huamán
by Sandro Piedrahita
Lieutenant Colonel Rodrigo Huamán’s first encounter with the Shining Path guerrillas was a lot more complicated than he had ever anticipated when he was being trained to become a soldier for Perú. A policeman had made a desperate call to the military headquarters at Huanta. More than seventy rebels had attacked the police station in the town of Guindas, crying out, “Viva Mao! Viva Presidente Gonzalo! Viva Comrade Carlos!” Read more.
by Ruth Langner
—Top of happiness, my dear friend. Your delightful story has been like honey on my heart. It has given me much pleasure to hear it. Please, please. It’s true. Allah-u akbar, God is Great. It wasn’t often I had the honour of the company of one with a rare provenance such as yours. In fact, you were the most beautiful red chair I had ever seen. Read more.
A Letter from Abroad
by Reyna Marder Gentin
The letter arrived on a Tuesday afternoon, although it almost didn’t. It had snowed over the weekend, and Mel hadn’t shoveled the pathway or put out salt. When the doorbell rang, he was surprised to see the mailman.
“You gotta clear your path, Mr. Hanson. I almost killed myself. It isn’t right. Next time I’ll leave the mail at the bottom of the driveway and I don’t care if you report me.” Read more.
by Richard McPherson
“To William Ivey, Fort Kearney, Platte River Region, May 11, 1849. Sir: I have the sad duty to report that your wife Elizabeth Ivey died yesterday from the cholera. Given your absence, her church will be responsible for the remains and a Christian burial. Yours, Dr. Harold Cartwright, Physician, Lancaster, Pennsylvania.”
Rose stopped reading when she heard Lenny’s high voice. “Rosie? Where are you, wife?” Read more.
Any Landing You Can Walk Away From
by Jeffery Thompson
“Systems check,” Nathan shouted as the ship careened and shook violently. He had been awakened by the sudden shaking, something that he shouldn’t have felt in zero G unless something had gone horribly wrong.
“All systems are green and within acceptable parameters,” the cold artificial intelligence responded. The voice was that of his copilot, C.A.L.S. Nathan never had managed to memorize what the acronym stood for. Read more.
The Hypókrisis Mirror
by Raymond Fortunato
To celebrate the hundredth anniversary of the Symington Art Museum’s 1913 archeological dig, near the ancient oracle at Delphi in Greece, the museum asked Audrey August, a Classics scholar at Whitson College, to prepare a special exhibit.
Knowing her fellow professor, Rokko Isti’s deep interest in ancient history, Audrey asked him to help. Audrey would re-examine the notes, photographs and stored finds from the dig. Read more.
No Better Place Between Sea and Sky
by Ellen Boyers Kwatnoski
For the first time in fifty years of marriage, Arthur Bookman was keeping a secret from his wife. It was a new secret, acquired the day before they left for the cruise, and it chafed as uncomfortably as a pebble in his shoe.
Now, as their ship sliced through the waters off the west coast of Mexico, Arthur and his wife Faye stepped out onto the aft pool deck where rows of sun worshipers were broiling themselves in the tropical sun. Read more.
Her Brother’s Sister
by Shauna Singh Baldwin
Roziana unfurls a violet yoga mat on the studio’s laminate floor. From wicker bins at the back of the room, she chooses a pair of mauve blocks, a purple strap to match, and a crimson blanket for what Paula calls her “sitz bones.” She sets up, facing the dazzle of the river beyond the ceiling-to-floor windows. That way, her view will change with each pose. Read more.
by Christopher Adams
The first time I stayed with Jack, I was in distress. A lover had unceremoniously turned me out of the house, and, as my parents were dead, I had nowhere to go.
‘Jack, may I stay with you?’
‘Are you in distress?’
Jack was a friend since childhood, when we lived two roads apart along the Harringay Ladder. We attended the same primary school before going to separate secondaries. Read more.
by Vincent Casaregola
Angela was smiling, not at anyone but to herself, a quiet, satisfied smile that reflected her increasingly relaxed mood. She would bend, grasp a jar, lift it, and place it on the shelf beside the similar jars, all in neat rows and patterns. It was satisfying work, bringing order, if not to chaos exactly, then at least to the ever-changing ebb and flow of randomness of the center store shelves of Barone’s Family Super Store… Read more.
by Brandon Daily
The night before he left for the last time, he gave the dollhouse to her.
It was late. Abby had settled into her bedcovers and turned her head to the window. Outside, the sky was dark from the clouds that covered up the moon and stars. She knew she would wake to fresh snow on the yard—not the first snow of the season, but with the cold, it could be the first big snow. Read more.
by Hart Vetter
I’m a trucker. My own boss is how it feels. Fending for myself. Have done it all my life. Sitting high up in my silver leather, long-haul cockpit of a seat, on top of the world. Surrounded by eighteen speakers, as many as I got wheels. Because I like things organized in a cosmic symmetry. Three thousand of my most-favored alt tracks in a bottomless, random shuffle, just loud enough for backdrop entertainment… Read more.
by Carisa Pineda
My father took me to boxing matches when I was a child. I was skinny, knobby kneed with a stern look on my face. We walked side by side on sidewalks with cracked uneven pavement until we reached a temporary ring set up at El Parque de la Soledad. A crowd of men would gather. Some greeted my father yelling, “Badilla!” or “Oscar!” They made wagers, slapped each other on the back and laughed from their stomachs. Read more.
Making a Choice
by Quin Yen
For some of the third-year medical students, simply putting on the white coat could make them feel at least one foot taller. Who could blame them? After two years of medical school, the students’ heads were filled with textbooks of anatomy, pathology, chemistry, organic chemistry, genetics and microbiology; so naturally, they felt ready to tackle all human diseases in the real world. Read more.
by Carol Pierce
“Yes, this is Henry Chester. I didn’t know she had a portrait in a Glasgow art gallery. How do you know it’s my wife’s?” Henry, a slender man with thick, curly grey hair, paced his kitchen floor, phone in hand, concentrating on what the man on the other end was saying. “Let me look at the one I have,” he said, walking briskly into the living room. Read more.
by Sandro Piedrahita
There were some – not many – who refused to believe Presidente Gonzalo was dead after so many years of terrorism, after he had said that he was willing to see a million Peruvians be killed in order to see the triumph of his revolution. And it was not his followers who believed that, but those he had decimated, those whose parents and children had been killed at his orders. Read more.
by Alicia Notorio
It’s 10:13 pm and Dad needs the money by midnight. Nico hasn’t seen or heard from the guy in six years, and every day over those six years, he has imagined what it would be like to hear from his dad again. Funny how it hadn’t seemed real when it finally happened: the phone rang and some dread inside made him pick up. Then, Nico heard Dad’s voice, and it wasn’t 2001 anymore. Read more.
Things Are Different Now
by Karen McIntyre
Summer, 2002. Seventh grade is finally over. But here I am, sitting cross-legged in bed with the Hello Kitty 3-ring binder I carried against my chest that entire endless year, open to the section formerly known as “Social Studies.” Every morning, I make a neat grid with 10 perfectly square boxes, each square worth 100 calories, and that’s what I get for the day. It’s a good plan. Read more.
Fiends in Utero
by Glenn Cannon
To the Highest Third Angelic Choir
Chairman of the Executive Council for Spiritual Agencies on Earth
Hail Incandescent One!
As per the directive of the council, I continue with due diligence in relation to the issue of saving the Earth from the destructive capacity of the Paragon Human Animal, to activate not only the First and Lowest Angelic Choir most avidly to that purpose Read more.
Out of Sorts
by T.D. Calvin
“Where will it end?” Oliver says. “That’s what I’d like to know.”
In the decade Heather and family have lived next door to Oliver, he’s never missed a chance to take soundings of her beliefs. Heather gets the feeling he uses discussions to test her, each one a personal assessment that might help him decide the final value of her character. Read more.