Archive for the ‘General Fiction’ Category

Breaking the Ice

by Devyani Borade

At forty-five miles per hour, I am going faster than the maximum speed limit of several European roads. The wind screams past my ears with a high whine and wisps of clammy hair stick to my scalp like stubborn lime scales at the bottom of the kettle. All around me, people are flailing their armsRead more…

Wagon Wheels

by Angelina Morris

Somewhere around 1930 I lost my house to a fire that was deemed suspicious but never proven. Hell ya, it was suspicious, I torched the sucker. Lit it up like a firecracker rather than see it go to the county for a hunting lodge or something, anyway somewhere around there I started reading. First, I thought if I picked up a few carpentry books I could learn enough to build me a new cabin but the more I read the more my feet started itchin’ to move. So I built a wagon. Nothing fancy. Just big enough to wrap myself in at night and still have enough room to lift up my head and hear the wind.

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The Fall

by Dena Daw

Stars have always been there. I watch as they sparkle in the ebony blanket above me. I sit here and rub my cold feet. Fall is just around the corner. It crawls through the trees slowly, claiming every leaf in its path. No one knows where it comes from; but it changes everything. It would be the first Fall of my life. That I could remember, anyway.

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Hope You Get Him

by Kate Vukovich

When they all went back to school, Aaron wasn’t there.

He’d told Forrester he was leaving a bit early, just a couple of days, because his lease was starting then or something, but he wasn’t there. Actually, no one knew where he was, exactly; if he was studying abroad or dropped out, and the registrar wasn’t saying anything.

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In Search of the Bearded Lady

by Olivia V. Ambrogio

Ralph sent me the postcard from Germany. It was black and white, and her haunted eyes stared out from a starkly pale face; a beret, pulled back, covered her hair and neck, and-I was sure of it-a faint stubble covered her chin. Do you know this poet? One of my favorites, he wrote. I glanced at the postcard’s information: Gerthe Missant, 1914-1967.

I was fascinated. Against the blackness of the background, her face seemed to float, as severe and thin as a crescent moon. What poetry, I wondered, could she write, this woman with her odd, angular face and unhappy eyes?

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Talking Heads

by Jason Muller

Marty dropped the coin as though it were a searing ember. He scurried off the bed, clambered and crawled to the foot of the bed-and waited, listening to the darkness. Slowly he peeked over the top of the mattress, his eyes as huge as a nocturnal creature. The coin simply lay there on the sheets, glowing amid the darkness.

“Peek-a-boo,” said the coin. “I see you.”

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When the Lights Go Out

by Joseph Williams


That’s what I am. And what a glamorous classification: ancient! Like the lost artworks of mysterious cultures long passed away! A surviving artifact from the old temples of America! The very idol of hardship and prosperity alike!

My mind is a jewel to be cherished by those around me.

But here I am. Here. In this bed. In a wet diaper that doesn’t quite do its job. Considered deaf. Dumb. Senile. Left to die. Eroding the lines of character and life from my skin, the grip from my fingers, the faculties of my brain, with a wetness I can’t control.

I am old.

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For You

by Ernest Williamson III

For You

Court Out

by A. J. Kirby

No matter how much time I wasted getting ready, dad’s big green Slazenger bag slumped by the door; a constant reminder of the hour of torture that he’d planned for us. Even my sister, who generally went along with every one of dad’s Saturday afternoon schemes in a kind of uncomplaining trance, seemed mildly putRead more…

The Hole in the Wall

by Michael Gross

The weekend he moved in with her it rained off and on, typical for the Cape in January and exactly the sort of weather for curling up in a comfortable chair and grading papers while finishing off a pot of coffee. Instead, Jack spent most of Sunday lugging soggy moving cartons, with their peculiar smellRead more…

Ordering In

by Caroline Taylor

Is it a squirrel? A cat? You can ask Mama, but she’s still in bed. You peek. One tiny look into the darkened room. She’s on the telephone, her back turned away from you, the snaky black cord of the telephone stretching across her bare shoulder. Maybe she’s ordering in. She’s been doing that aRead more…

Button Men

by Tess Almendarez Lojacono

“You got what you wanted. Now leave me a-lone.” I fired the words through clenched teeth, banged the phone into its cradle. It was a childish game, especially at the office. I smiled grimly. What I really needed was a button man. It was all Catherine’s fault-happy hour at a Holiday Inn. She wheedled meRead more…

Cries through the Walls

by Fredrick Obermeyer

Last night I heard the foreign lady next door screaming again. Her husband is a drunk who beats her. He’s got a funny accent, and she does too. A lot of these foreigners smell funny, and they have these funny accents. Those two are no exception. You know, I want to help the poor woman.Read more…

Foster Care

by A. Michael Schwarz

Mara Beth was in charge then and her power came from Aunt Abilene. Abilene was everyone’s “aunt”, but it didn’t mean there were blood ties. She ran the place, a sort of half ways attempt on her part. By making Mara Beth her proxy, she could fade into the backdrop. Abilene was less than aRead more…

Ultimate Rose

by Anna Sykora

When I heard my diagnosis, the floor bucked twice. “But I never felt better,” I complained. “Except for this pain in my gut.” “I’m sorry, Daniel,” said jolly Dr. John. “The scan’s clear: your cancer has spread to your liver.” Jolly John knew about my solo show at Fred’s–after fifteen years of me slaving andRead more…

Side Roads

by Lisa A. Koosis

“And Jesus wept!” she said, huffing out a breath. “Benjamin, you aren’t serious.” Loose gravel crunched beneath the tires as Ben pulled the car to a stop beside the weather-worn sign. The sign looked hand-painted, like it had once been quite colorful before being sand-blasted, and faded by the desert’s merciless sunlight. Layers of airRead more…

Charlotte’s Family Tree

by Kristi Petersen Schoonover

Charlotte noted the copy of Swiss Family Robinson on her daughter’s night stand. “Is that the story Daddy read you tonight?” Abby nodded. “Mommy, will you please take me to Disney World?” And because Charlotte had never believed in telling her child half-truths or responding with vague answers, she said, “No.”

Miss Georgia’s Drive

by Gregg Winkler

Georgia Reiss was blessed. She sat behind the wheel of her mother’s 1986 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme, the radio turned down, and drove up the country lane. The windows were down on the old yellow hunk of metal, and the wind tussled the little hairs around her ears and neck that had escaped her French braid.Read more…

A Night Visit to Endor

by Alex Myers

The witch knew right away who he was — the goddamn king — but there was no sense saying anything. Let the big boy think his disguise was perfect, gave nothing away. Let him think he was safe and powerful even though she could smell his fear, so strong it was almost a taste, metallicRead more…

The One Handed Rower of Myonnesus

by D. Krauss

Alcidas didn’t murder Phrynus, merely lopped off his hand, but that was a show of weariness, not mercy. Cutting the throats of 200 mariners was exhausting business. “Just cripple them,” Alcidas gestured at the twenty or so still left, Phrynus among them, and stumbled drunkenly away. Lying on the dock afterwards holding his stump, PhrynusRead more…