Christopher Dungey/Fiction

Krista Mangulsone photo *** Right on Through By Christopher Dungey lennie Milford rolled to a sitting position on the lumpy rooming-house mattress. A twinge of the North Korean shrapnel lodged behind his...

Monique Quintana/Fiction

That room was by far the worst we had ever been in. It was like a big fucking sad face — the same kind that I would doodle over and over on my twenty minutes timed math test.

Charles Edward Brooks/Fiction

“Good morning, Doctor,” a familiar voice said as the jogger reached the platform. Roland Landolt, bundled up thickly against the freezing air, stepped quickly behind the man he had greeted, blocking the stairs. High over his head, he held a long-handled ax with a shiny blade.

Rosalia Scalia/Fiction

MOTHER’S DRESSER   by Rosalia Scalia In the evening, after dinner, the grownups drink espresso laced with Sambuca or anisette, the aromas of licorice, of anise, of coffee rising up like extended fingers and mingling with whiffs of garlic, tomato, and basil,...

The Interview, by Allan Shapiro

There are no windows in his office. There is no fireplace. A dim light on his desk. A lamp in the corner. A necklace of shrunken heads atop a humidor beneath it. Add a mounted boar’s head on the wall and it’d be the perfect setting for formal introspection. A safe, sterile place to see and feel everything, to unwrap each emotion I’ve ever felt as if they were gifts to be opened on the most sunny and beautiful day of the year, which also happens to be Christmas.

Club Royale/Fiction

My destination was yet another church – Lawton had its saints as well as its sinners – a few blocks away. The church basement space was run-down, with a cracked linoleum floor and a water fountain so dry that not even Moses could coax liquid out of it. Members of the Peace Committee, some of them old enough to have changed Moses’ diaper, milled around with cups of coffee.

Karen Fayeth/Fiction

  The Seal     by Karen Fayeth     Amid the noise of family chatter around the dinner table, Sakari ate quietly and took small bites while her little brother, Nattiq, scooped mounds of fermented fish into his face. “Slow down,” she quietly...

Sidney Thompson/Fiction

“I have a fourteen-year-old daughter,” said Jimmy. His jaws flexed and his face flamed red, the headmaster’s exact reaction, until he broke character and laughed. He glanced down at Cooper’s paperwork. “I don’t need to read any of this. ‘Penis,’ that’s priceless! Their mouths dropped open, huh? Just involuntary?”

Phyllis Carol Agins/Fiction

THE ALTAR     by  Phyllis Carol Agins   ella knows what she is running from. One failed marriage, two dramatic love affairs. A third abortion that was almost too late when she might be...

Saramanda Swigart/Fiction

She listened until she could hear the objects in the room hum. The gilt plates, impressed with hunting scenes from the Shahnameh, hummed a rich bass. The archeologists had gasped when they saw she’d set the table with them. They’d put on their gloves so the oil from their hands wouldn’t touch the gold, and rushed them back to her father’s study, and closed the glass over them.

Savage Mountain/John Smelcer

Sebastian wasn’t sure what to do. He couldn’t just climb back up to the top. Once he stood on the crest, his brother’s weight would pull him off the north side of the mountain. He certainly couldn’t cut the rope. Sebastian slowly formed a plan and began climbing toward the top of the crest. When he was close, he hammered a piton into the rock face and connected himself to it with a carabiner and a short piece of rope; anchored that way, he couldn’t be dragged off the other side.

Karen Schubert/Fiction

The blueberry ginger muffins were still warm, so I’d left the basket uncovered. I was balancing it and a thermos of coffee with one hand, using the other to get around a box that was nearly wide and long as the entryway. I called halloooo! Lee came in with a handful of socks, dropped a shot glass into each one, and stuffed them into the enormous box between a bag of rice, a rag rug and a few couch pillows…

Mollie McNeil/Fiction

I want to say I have a lot of brothers inside with sharp knives and baseball bats, but I can’t. I’m no good at lying. Pluto should bite him, but he just thumps his tail on the concrete pavement like we are old pals. More tears stream down my face. I can’t stop them.

João Cerqueira/Fiction

“The majority of mankind seems to believe in something more than chemical transformations,” Jesus said.

“Have you ever known anyone to rejoice in death?”

“The death of a human being almost always causes suffering to family and friends…”

“Couldn’t it be that they suspect that there’s nothing after that?” Magdalene asked.

“What’s the point in living if you believe in nothing?”


All eyes were on Miss McBride whose smile split down the middle, so that it looked like she had two faces glued together. While the right side kept a tight grip on bliss, the right eye held up by a twitching wall of muscle, the left eye sank into its socket, drowning in a pool of tears, the sadness spilling down the cheek that collapsed beneath it in an avalanche of skin…

Fiction/Kristen Clanton

Before she was found beneath the interstate, her face half-missing, her body stripped clean, except for the fingers with their golden rings, Destiny’s mother stayed busy. It was in the audience of men…

Night in Bishkek / William T. Hathaway

He looked out over the sprawling Central Asian capital and the Kyrgyz Air Force base across the street. At the corner a metal gate had been blown open. It had been part of a walled perimeter, had blocked a road leading into the base. Next to the guard house lay a soldier, chest dark with blood, a stubby rifle strapped across it. Two trucks—a pickup and a semi—were driving over the runway. A machine gun was sandbagged atop the cab of the pickup, and the men behind it wore ski masks and long robes in the eighty-degree heat. He moved toward the door. To defend her, he had to get the rifle…

Mitch James / Fiction

We’ve been waiting for the world to end now for seven months, three days, and twelve hours. We know how we’ll go. Our life now is preparing for it, yet I don’t even look up to see it anymore…

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