Dan Crawley ~ What Others Do About It

Theo sat in the tiny din­ing room next to the kitchen, try­ing to con­cen­trate on a book he want­ed to read for a long time now. In lieu of a din­ing set, there was a bur­gundy reclin­er and a small round table that once sat in the break­fast nook. His twen­ty-six year old daugh­ter, Magda, had dragged the large din­ing room table into the kitchen because of the great light from the bay win­dows. He heard her –more

Kathy Anderson ~ Airport Wine Bar

It was their own damn fault for day­time drink­ing. You don’t wave wads of cash around in front of a woman who can’t afford to buy the drug that keeps her alive and not expect her to grab it as fast as she can.

The first cou­ple she stole from was so nice. Ali and Amina from Kazakhstan. Marnie would nev­er for­get them. They were inex­pe­ri­enced trav­el­ers, very con­fused about US dol­lars. Marnie relaxed –more

Christie Wilson ~ Solvay 1927

The din­ing room, elec­tric with the shift­ing of wool and the sta­t­ic that hums over the tables in the form of spec­u­la­tion and vibrat­ing con­ver­sa­tion, leans towards the impor­tant ones as they enter and take their seats at the tables.

As usu­al, we’ve been instruct­ed on invis­i­bil­i­ty, but it is dif­fi­cult not to linger. I take inor­di­nate amounts of time refill­ing the cof­fee cups, clear­ing plates, and –more

Andy Plattner ~ Library

Wayne knows that the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library down­town opens at 10 a.m. on Tuesday-Saturday and nev­er one minute ear­li­er, not even when it’s rain­ing and there are a dozen plus-cit­i­zens wait­ing to get inside. The build­ing is eight sto­ries, cube-shaped, neu­tral-toned. He’s read up on the archi­tec­ture: it’s known as Brutalist, tak­en from the French words beton brut, or “raw con­crete.” –more

Graeme Carey ~ Expelled from Eaton Park

Another head poked through the small open­ing in the door. This time it belonged to Rory, the flop­py-haired kid from next door. He was wear­ing a Santa hat and didn’t say any­thing to James, who lay on the bed with his hands behind his head and his eyes up at the ceil­ing. He just want­ed to get a look.

Everyone want­ed to get a look. All after­noon, heads had been pop­ping in and out of the room, –more

Abigail Greenbaum ~ Beauty Is Pain

The hos­pi­tal where Petra was born, her moth­er would lat­er tell her, ran out of drugs the week of her birth­day, so her moth­er screamed for hours, and her father, at work fil­ing papers, swore he could hear the shrieks echo­ing across the entire city. Petra didn’t know whether to believe her moth­er about the short­age of drugs, or if she made up the neg­li­gence, anoth­er piece of evi­dence in her mother’s –more

Mark Budman ~ Super Couple

  1. Soupmann is Superman’s third cousin twice removed. Unlike his rel­a­tive, Soupmann set his pri­or­i­ties log­i­cal­ly and suc­cinct­ly. He fights for truth and jus­tice, and some­times for truth and the American way, and some­times for jus­tice and the American way, but not for all three at once. Otherwise, he’d be stretch­ing too thin. He goes into a phone booth and turns into chick­en soup. He smoth­ers

Kim Magowan ~ Wheels Inside Wheels

Her death is sud­den, so there is no time to prepare—no pro­tract­ed sick­ness. A stroke: Henry wakes to find her dead beside him, stiff and cool.

You have nev­er met Elaine. You have only seen pic­tures: the one on his desk with the lac­quered frame, and the wed­ding pic­ture on the hall table that one time you went to their house, when Elaine was vis­it­ing their son in col­lege. I imag­ine you encoun­ter­ing –more

James Hartman ~ Stage Three

Even pro­lif­ic swingers like us had morals.  Rules to our care­free promis­cu­ity.  Rules each of us took seri­ous­ly.  Beth and I had been hap­pi­ly mar­ried, you see, before we met this mar­ried cou­ple off a dat­ing site at Sloppy Joe’s.  Rule One: we only got togeth­er with just as hap­pi­ly mar­ried cou­ples.  But when these two walked in, Beth poked my shoul­der and rasped, “They’re not –more

Maximus Anthony Adarve ~ Déjà Vu

I trace the scars that tat­too the dark skin of your shoul­ders in the back seat of my Volvo s80 and tell you to stop pop­ping ben­zos so often. I like the way you sigh and roll your head back when I go down and how you wear that wig some­times. You’re pret­ti­er than my girl­friend when you wear that shit. Sometimes I feel like I should shave my legs more often. It’s get­ting warmer and I’ve been –more

Wyatt Bonikowski ~ Teenage Boy in Polaroids

The teenage boy drove a black Trans Am with an eagle on the hood. He was friends with my babysit­ter Rita and her friends, and she would invite them over to drink beers and blast David Bowie and T. Rex on my dad’s stereo sys­tem. One night the girls raid­ed my par­ents’ bed­room and dressed me in a wig and a glam­orous old gown and paint­ed my face with lip­stick and rouge. The teenage boy had long –more