Short Story

HB-67C

Logan Anthony

The screen door slammed behind him. Ray watched through the smudged glass as Gordon stomped across the back porch and the patchy yard. The grass they had spent so much of the spring planting and watering had yet to reveal itself. Gordon disappeared inside the rust-colored barn seated at the lip of the yard.

South

Ed Davis

Standing at the great man’s door, I hesitated. I was intimidated—who wouldn’t be, faced with the prospect of interviewing a living legend, a reclusive one at that? Also, there was the question of my journalistic skills, depending as they did on one undergrad course. But Edith Anne, the kind editor at the Shawnee Springs News, had taken my measure…

Green Flash

William Cass

My wife, Jenny, and I were sitting with our friend, Stan, on the roof-top deck of the beach house she and I had rented in San Diego. We were there for a month to get out of the long, wet Seattle winter; Stan had just come down to visit for Presidents’ Day weekend

Lavender, Frankincense, and Amber

Malcolm Glass

Elinor listened to the comforting sound of the car door latch sealing her in. Carpenter’s tools hung neatly arranged along the side wall, and shelves beside her held plastic bins marked “Robert’s Trophies.” His clay-clogged boots sat at the foot of the steps leading to the kitchen.

Insurance

Quin Yen

Who doesn’t have an insurance nowadays? Yet, how many people can say I know what I’m doing? Even for Dr. Chu, a rehab doctor with twenty-five years of clinical experience, insurance is still her blind spot. She isn’t alone…

Owning Scars

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.

Los Espantos de Parral

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.

The Private War of Lieutenant Colonel Rodrigo Huamán

Sandro F. 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!”

Shaken

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.

All Alone

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.

Orange Blossoms

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.

Her Brother’s Sister

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.

A Letter from Abroad

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.” 

Independence

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?”

Any Landing You Can Walk Away From

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.

The Hypókrisis Mirror

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.

No Better Place Between Sea and Sky

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.

Haitch

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?’
‘I am.’
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.

Empathy

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…

The Dollhouse

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.

Stand Still

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…

Grace

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.

Young Girls

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.

Puka Inti

Sandro F. 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.