"if you were to split us open now, all you’d find was emptiness."
Uncle wore it like high tops, his approach to our home just like those storms, bringing trouble as he shuffled his feet, scooting the dirt until the porch was large before him.
I remember those lazy summers; hot as the barrel of a just-shot pistol, the asphalt warping before your eyes. The days pile endlessly atop one another, punctuated only by Church on a Sunday, where my calico dress would scratch at my sweat-soaked back and my hair would curl up in damp protest by my ears. … Continue reading “The Death of Jabez Chew” by Sally Bosson, 2020 Spring/Summer Contest Winner
Hank died three years ago today, which feels strange to write, given the argument we had last week. It started as a simple chat but ended sour. That's just the way it goes when you talk to Hank, especially since the thing with the roof. Three whole years—it just doesn't seem true. I'd wanted to … Continue reading “Bird Versus Glass” by Nicholas Otte, 2020 Fiction Winter Contest Winner
*This story has content that some might find difficultor disturbing.* 10:30 a.m. Kelly bats her eyes at little Maeve as she pulls the empty bottle out of her daughter’s mouth. “We were hungry, sweet baby, weren’t we?” Maeve smacks her lips and Kelly dabs spots of milk around her mouth. “Time for burpies.” Kelly hoists … Continue reading “Inside, Crying” by Gail Marlene Schwartz, 2019 Fiction Fall Contest Winner
When I saw on the internet that an entire family had died in a fire, it made me think of the new kids. It happened at the same government housing complex, what we called the Projects, where I grew up. It wasn’t the new kids who died. No they would be adults now. My name’s … Continue reading “A Project’s Tale” by Michael H. Pasley – Summer 2019 Fiction Winner
Pete wrestled the wooden stepladder into the azalea thicket. Like him it was old. Unlike him it was getting heavier every year. Ducking, sidling, backtracking the ladder like a dance partner through the thrust and wallop of the branches, he headed for the spot he'd chosen. Right between the two oldest azaleas. He had … Continue reading “Lady Azalea” by Stephanie Joyce, winner of the 2018-2019 Winter Fiction Contest
I sit within my sound-proof cubicle inside the Tai-lonian Social Services Department. The light of my glass-top computer pulsates, the notifications for my messages never ceasing. I swipe the user-interface, and the monitor goes black. I turn to a single piece of decoration on an adjacent wall. The details of the aged landscape painting have … Continue reading “The Voice of Hatred” by N.J. Linnehan, Winner of the 2018 Fall Fiction Contest
Let me tell you just how enjoyable the scrutiny of strangers can be. Today I am a hard, bitter man with little use for boyish fantasy. But my younger self craved the adventure, the romance, the thrill that the impressionable associate with the life of an agent in the service of Australia’s government. Having done … Continue reading Confessions of a Spook by Michael Washburn
15° “Ella?” The man’s eyes fluttered. Even in the subdued light, he had striking, golden-hazel irises. “No,” she said. “I am Dr. Shi.” “Ella…” He looked too rangy for the adjustable bed’s standard-sized frame. “I…” He lifted his large hands and stared at them, astonished. “My God…” He shuddered. “You brought me back. You … … Continue reading “Togetherness Is A Fable (We Tell Ourselves In The Hope Of Not Being Alone)” by Frederick Barrows