by Megan Ricigliano
Merida never properly said goodbye to her parents, Alice and J.J Brenson, the way that they deserved. Joseph John, better known to everyone he has encountered as J.J., was ex-military and had married her mother at the wise age of 44. Alice, a hearty contrast …
by Andy Aliaga-Mendoza
There are services these days where one can be cremated and grown alongside a bunch of seeds. I like the idea of becoming a tree. I’d like to be a tree somewhere where trees thrive. Where they won’t be chopped down and made into hospital pamphlets. Somewhere that won’t cost you much to fly in from San Francisco. For argument’s sake I didn’t go anywhere from here and it’ll be a grand old reunion.
by Ronald Sparling
It went something like this: Dear Ann: I recently married a mortician. Although I had previously participated in heavy petting, technically, I was still a virgin. On our wedding night my husband told me to soak in a cold bath until my body was frigid. …
by Rohit Chakraborty
‘So, I hear that you won’t be shaving your head.’ The crack of the rusk broken into two unequal halves by hand may have awakened the dead. Spirally arranged like collapsed domino tiles on a chipped plate with blue daisies and their silver stems etched …
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 …