Read

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...

Read

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...

Read

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...

Read

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...

Read

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...

Read

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...

Read

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...

Read

The Woman from the Other Side of the Moon

by Olivia Lee Chen

She seemed a fairly ordinary woman, The Woman from the Other Side of the Moon. She came into the coffee shop every afternoon around three and ordered one of two things: iced tea with lemon or a small coffee with room.

read more...

Read

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...

Read

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...

Read

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...

Read

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...

Read

An Unwelcome Guest

by Kit McCoy

Paul placed his finger on the pulse of his home in the dark of night to feel the soothing and generous spirit that surrounded him. His children had been dead tired, his wife irritable, and he was aching to be alone so that he could wonder about the melancholy that crept around the edges of his trip

read more...

Read

July 8, 1927

by Paul Luckhart

The wildfires burning in the city’s outlying regions were said to be the worst anyone could remember. A cloud carried through the streets, softening colours and dulling the edges. The features of structures and people were made indistinct, and all that was visible was what was near. I thought of glimpsing something I was not prepared for, like a monster jumping from outside the frame in a horror film,

read more...

Read

The Arachne Gene

by Darryl White

He had a pocketful of possibilities scribbled on napkin backs. The perfect recipe was like DNA, it held the answer to who he was and where he was supposed to be. He wasn’t found yet, he was on his way, and he’d get there, wherever there was, if the bus driver didn’t kill them first.

read more...

Read

Praying to the Porcelain God

by Steven Mayoff

Dani walks alongside M. Francoeur, who pushes his wheelchair, balancing on it as he would a walker. Today is her usual Saturday morning visit, and together they follow the oval footpath that surrounds the Mount Olive Senior’s Home, employing a pace similar to that of a wedding procession marching through molasses.

read more...

Read

Every Silver Lining’s Got a Touch of Grey

by Benjamin Mast

Without knowing any of their music, I didn’t like Grateful Dead. Call it a mother’s instinct, call it blatant ignorance and close-mindedness, it must have played in my house for days, weeks, maybe months before I found the album cover under Second Daughter’s bed.

read more...

Read

The Monsters of Our Minds

by Natasha Mileusnic

Kate concentrated on the jingling of the wind chimes. If she could hear the soft bell tones, their accidental melody, that meant she existed and was present on the solid earth, walking the pavement past the imposing Victorians. Alive in her body, here and now.

read more...