View Post

Parking Lot

by Timothy Ryan

Pulling into the long-term parking lot at Dulles, Cindy trolls past metal wheeled containers lined up like colorful storage facilities in the hold of a military transport, finding a spot in the Blue Lot, Row H, Number 58. She estimates forty meters to the bus shelter.

Gazing up through the windshield. Jet contrails across the blue overhead as sharp as scars. Meandering, fading, they bleed into the sky like an accelerated version of the human body healing and forgetting.

read more...

View Post

death, at work

by Nicholas Eveneshen

“Well then, Andrew, ought we to start with the basics? Please, take a seat.”
I had never met Bill from Fleet Safety before, but his presence disturbed me. The main office door to our left was closed, the thin light at the bottom barely visible. Bill had spread out his documents on the table before us and now sat with his hands folded, expectant. Steam rose out of the cup beside him. His suit was as black as the coffee he drank.

read more...

View Post

Tidy Hair on a Boat

by Simon Lowe

“I’m chock full of cancer,” said Mrs Winston, sat in Patty’s salon.
“I’m sorry to hear that Mrs Winston.”
“Agony it is.”
“Some cancers aren’t so bad though, are they, these days?”
“Who told you that?”
Trey had a friend. People said she was going to die. Trey visited her friend after work and sat on a bean bag, consoling her with optimistic words and cups of tea. The cancer had a name similar to Trey’s maths teacher, Mr Hodgkins. The cancer came and went. Her friend recovered. Trey felt she had been misled.

read more...

View Post

Peninsula

by John Herbert

They were both shocked when the letter arrived, the stationery matt and generous, unlike the crabbed hand it bore. The pages, when Róisín opened it, gave off the stale reek of cigarette smoke.
‘Who’s it from?’ Sheila asked rubbing her hair with a towel.
‘Only Guillame Le – fecking – Quennec,’ Róisín said with a grin. ‘Says he’d love to come and read at Peninsula next month from his new book.’

read more...

View Post

Flight

by Wendy Tatlonghari Burg

So that was it; her sister was dying. Riza received the call this morning from her niece in D.C. She was expected to go to Manila. Her daughter Melanie was already there, sleeping on a cot in the hospital room. Riza shut her eyes tight and rubbed her forehead with her fingers. She searched her mind for a reason to stay. What could she tell them?

read more...

View Post

Sisters

by Linda Butler

Janie was dead. For real this time.
Connie rounded the familiar curve at Hooper Hill Road, pulled over to let an impatient driver pass, and used the moment to once again check her rear-view mirror. They said she’d get used to it but she hadn’t.

read more...

View Post

Audible

by John Bersin

At the end of an appropriate period of polite applause, Ryne Blades touched the knot of his tie, adjusted the microphone, and put on his reading glasses. He paused briefly to look out over the assembled freshmen in the campus theater. This was his biggest speech of the year.

read more...

View Post

Controlled Burn

by Julie Sellers

The ranchers in the Flint Hills called it a controlled burn, insinuating that with sufficient intention they could master the elements. But Rebecca knew better—an unexpected change of the wind, a jumped fireguard, the barest instant of carelessness, and the ravenous pasture fires set in the region each spring could reduce such smugness to nothing but ashes. Her earliest memory was of fire; her earliest loss was to fire; fire had forged her, for better or worse, into the person she was.

read more...

View Post

Space Elephants and Giraffes

by Tim Ryan

HANNA was cold. The fine red hair on her arms stood on end. Goosebumps. The unicorn on her shirt pranced on its tiny patch of grass with every gust of wind. Dark clouds had rolled in above her. Rain was coming, she could smell it. She wanted to be down from this metal arch. When she had finally climbed all the way to the top, each blue rung cold on her hands, except where the paint was chipped – still cold, just not blue, she realized an important part of the climb was unconsidered: getting back down.

read more...

View Post

The Crash

by Gregory Voss Jr.

The jetliner, a bone-white Airbus A320 with a fat, blue-brand logo, hobbled over the neighborhood, wings waggling under the lemon sun. There was smoke, a lot of it, coming from the right-wing engine, and the dark contrail was an evil pencil mark crossing the cloudless mountain sky. Neighbors, alerted by a sudden cacophony, ran out onto their front porches and stared at death looming overhead. Children playing on front lawns dropped their balls and bikes and ran for the arms of their parents.
But Nick just stared at the inbound jet. He didn’t move, even as the nose looked to bore directly into his eighty-pound frame.

read more...

View Post

The 9th

by Roberta Levine

An ice cream parlor with wrought iron chairs and tables had recently opened at Northland, an open-air mall located just across the border from Detroit. Sylvia, a widow in her sixties, had read about the place and told her younger sister Lottie about it. They’d decided to go there after Lottie’s first appointment with Dr. B. Since then, if only for the cheer of the red and white striped walls, the two had stopped in even if Lottie could only swallow a few sips of her float.

read more...

View Post

The Hunters

by Anna Kaye-Rogers

Her prey was close; she could feel it. Ochre Number 8 had been sold out in the greater Tri-State area her past two weekend shopping runs, but there had been a restock, she was sure of it. The lanyard-wearing woman behind the counter had told her there was a truck every two weeks. It was time.

read more...

View Post

The Not-Wife

by K. A. Hough

I pull the key from the ignition, replace my hands on the steering wheel, sit and stare at the windscreen. Tucked in, safe, away from the damp that arrived with spring.

Fog in the city. Fog in the hinterland. Fog in the head.

read more...

View Post

Yearling

by Jaclyn Reed

Wake up to the cock crowing in the front yard. It isn’t even light out yet. Through your bedroom window on the second story of the farm house you can see the summer sky just starting to turn pink and purple at the edge of the pasture. You see one of the yearlings bucking around the fence waiting for breakfast.

read more...

View Post

Autumn

by W. A. Schwartz

There’s something wrong with my hands. Lately, I’ve taken to squeezing them into fists—grasping at something—at the most peculiar times. When I’m checking out at the grocery store. Facetiming my daughter who is away at college. Making love to my husband. My thumbs ache and I’ve noticed the knuckles on my right swell to the size of cumquats in the morning. When that happens, I hide my hand.

read more...

View Post

Penned Inn

by Damon Piletz

The house tucked back
So you’d never
See its entirety unless
You were on the towpath
Which was exactly where
She was trying to drop
Those last twenty-five she’d
Been feverishly struggling to lose

read more...

View Post

On the Way to Work – Relevancy

by Piper Templeton

On the way to work, Shirley Lamothe stopped on her porch to pet the new cat. She had ceased naming the felines long ago. The strays tended to congregate around her modest, wood frame rental house because she put out dishes of food and water and allowed them entry into the house if they so desired. They kept her company, as Brian stayed mainly sequestered in his tiny boyhood bedroom,

read more...