Part of our mission was to directly fight insurgents; the other part was to stabilize and protect communities that were being terrorized by small groups of radicalized insurgents.
Al was my new-found brother, filling the sibling gap of an only child. We matched each other in height, though I was always the skinny kid and Al was more round, of face and body, and that never changed.
I was free. Free to stand on my own feet, rise from dirty baptism – a disbeliever no longer.
Straight hair was fun for about two minutes.
Mourning netting, I call it, hiding the dead.
I want to tell you of a house on fire. And, of virga, rain that evaporates before it reaches the ground.***I’m still twenty-three when I get married and move to New Orleans. It’s March of 2007. Sometime around my birthday in June, I realize what I’ve done.***The previous summer, my heart breaks for the first … Continue reading “Crescent City” by Anna Oberg, 2020 Nonfiction Spring/Summer Contest Winner
New York - 2008 I am a liar, and I don’t know how to stop. My friend, José, tells me I need to. He tells me that people need to see our faces. He says that people like us are here at this university, in this English Ph.D. program, because our classmates, our professors and … Continue reading Baby Steps by Kim Vose, 2020 Non-Fiction Winter Contest Winner
I sit on the couch reading for a long time, unwilling to move, feeling satisfied as I read a story about a Midwestern man who used his Domino’s app to order pizza for hungry families on a Wednesday night. I want to call her. I worshipped our ongoing debates about technology’s relationship to human kindness; … Continue reading “Soulstrings” by Irina Popescu, 2019 Non-Fiction Fall Contest Winner
When the lunch bell rings we gather again, a clot of disheveled junkies in the artery of the hallway. A couple of new zombie faces have appeared, including the living-dead doctor and a girl named Melanie who wears the ubiquitous sweatpants and, instead of flip-flops, dirty pink Dearfoam slippers. She’s young and skanky-cute, like she … Continue reading “Meet Steven” by Chris Jansen, 2019 Non-Fiction Spring Contest Winner
Every object persists in its state of rest or uniform motion in a straight line unless it is compelled to change that state by forces impressed upon it. Jaxon was stranded all the way across town when he called me at three-thirty on that Thursday in November. He rushed through the introduction – “Heyineedafavor.” I … Continue reading “Laws of Motion” by Lena Crown, 2019 Non-Fiction Winter Contest Winner