by Walt Giersbach
The slacks and sweater had to go. They made this woman in her young thirties look like a ’50s beatnik. She smiled mysteriously under her large nose. Her eyelids and eyebrows hung down at the corners, as though the laws of gravity were battling the forces of her inner enlightenment. Her otherwise even, white teeth had a distracting gap in front. But in spite of this grab-bag mixture of features, the entire package bubbled over, displaying a fusion of excitement and vivacity. Our attraction was magnetic.
by Diane Johnson
We never went to doctors, no matter how much pain infected Mother. She hated them, feared they expedited the death of Pripyat’s abandoned people. She told me they wanted us dead. If we roamed by ourselves, they would kill us because we were contaminated. In public I was forbidden to say from where we came.
by Robert Earle
Harry cupped the back of her head to draw her to him, but she pulled away. Three boys were enough. She infuriated him by saying that once, but it was how she forced him to get a downpayment from his mother for the tract house in which they now lived, just across the highway from Trenton.
by Anna Sabat
I squirmed in my chair, already halfway out of it by the time she got to me. With both arms extended, I accepted the first English language book I’d ever held. Taking delicate steps, as if I were cradling a porcelain baby doll, I tiptoed back to my desk. I set the book down carefully and opened the cover to an illustration of a light-haired, blue-eyed family with three children, Dick, Jane, and little Sally. They looked nothing like any family in my Brooklyn neighborhood. More like the ones that smiled down on us from the sun-dazzled billboards we passed on trips up to the Catskill Mountains.
by Clayton Truscott
We hadn’t seen Jake and Wendy in over two years, since our engagement party at the Gooney Bird. It was one hundred and thirteen degrees that day. Crippling heat for Northern California. They sat alone on the far side of the beer garden, under a …
by Patrick O'Connor
Her tiredness was sharp and it was cutting at her but she didn’t want to sound melodramatic. She didn’t slump or lie down and she kept her complaints to a minimum. Besides, this was a choice, hers. She told herself others were just as tired …
by Robert Perron
The release chopper hovered over abandoned land, near former Philadelphia. Lucias listened to the count of the crew chief, “three,” “two,” “godspeed,” and slid out the rear hatch with a bearing of one-eighty. Twenty-two hundred hours, no moon. He flew a Powered Stealth Glider, preferred …
by Michael DeStefano
Donny sat in Ms. Trisler’s 4th grade class and drew the things he wanted most for Christmas. Each classmate took their turn in front of a cloudy chalkboard, construction paper in hand. They smiled and held their color-penciled wants to their chests like Honor Roll …
by Julio X. Palomino
Mother was in tears and had been for days since Matt’s disappearance. What she hadn’t known were the real reasons why he had left in the first place. Isaac knew and kept his thoughts to himself, knowing that if he opened his mouth, his mother …
by Sarah Schuetze
“We often put the old ways to work for cases like this, especially when we don’t get the results we want from other strategies.” He means when what they thought would work doesn’t. He put took his hands from the pockets of his white coat …