Tiff Holland ~ Castling

I don’t remem­ber how old I was. I think it was the sum­mer between fifth and sixth grades. I don’t remem­ber Tony going to Erwine Middle School, although there was a boy there with dark hair and a big nose who car­ried a brief­case to class and remind­ed me of Tony. Mostly, I remem­ber Tony because of his sis­ter, Angel. She was the girl my broth­ers got caught play­ing doc­tor with. I’d caught them –more

Terrance Wedin ~ Three Short Pieces


I took myself to the out­door shop­ping cen­ter when the urges got real­ly bad. The unwel­com­ing way they made you slide your car into a spot was just the begin­ning. Women wear­ing pas­tel polo shirts hand­ed out sam­plers that scorched my heart. Men with ex-mil­i­tary tat­toos stopped at kiosks to touch such mean­ing­less things. Children with sneak­ers that cost as much as my month­ly stu­dent loan pay­ment –more

Max Hipp ~ Tollbooth

The macabre scene looked like a Halloween prank to the toll tak­er. Then she saw the blood. – St. Petersburg Times, 2005

Manny is cross­ing 34th Street, mak­ing a list of things to pay for—flowers, music, dress, food, church—when Ernie’s car hits him, and his body smash­es into the wind­shield, his head and shoul­ders burst­ing through the pas­sen­ger side.


Ernie thinks Manny fell from the sky, –more

John Oliver Hodges ~ Cabbage

I received The World’s Biggest Piece of Shit Award in 1990. My name was writ­ten on the award in fan­cy cal­lig­ra­phy. In front of the whole class, Mrs. Kerris, our English teacher, hand­ed me the award. She wasn’t wor­ried about get­ting fired, as she was retir­ing any­way. Her thing was she was pissed that I got stoned before her class­es. I mean, she was teach­ing us impor­tant stuff about the hap­py –more