Before This Decade Is Out

I. The floor slants from the door down to the window, so that if the occupant is struck with a sudden compulsion to fly through glass and air, this room provides an adequate runway. I lie flat against the wood, … Continued

Earthlings

Outback sunshine penetrated the linen blinds and stretched out across Jacob, casting stripes of shadow at his feet. He laced up his boots and filled the pockets of his cargo shorts with his keys and wallet and strapped in the … Continued

Border Crossing

A young girl stood in a desert canyon just north of the border between the United States and Mexico. She was wearing a short, tight black skirt and a low-cut red blouse of soft, clingy material. On her feet were … Continued

Walser on Fire

1. Jean lingered in Tyler’s, a music shop with a bar in the front. Used guitars and banjoes, all for sale, hung along the wall by their necks, their wood darkened in patches where fingers had strummed, tuning knobs like … Continued

Runaway ||| The National Virginity Pledge

THREE WEEKS AGO, the day Willy escaped, we were sitting together on the living room floor, watching Malcolm in the Middle, popping extra buttery popcorn in the microwave. We dumped all the popcorn into a plastic bowl and mixed in … Continued

Soucouyant ||| Virginia Quarterly Review

1. The mouse before me is dead, its body emptied of organs. Dead but still innervated, so still blinking in this world. I only harvest from their core—heart, lungs, liver, and the rest—but soon I will have to work with their … Continued

She Surrenders ||| Currents

Okay, I believe you now, Oz was a dream. I never flew over the rainbow, whisked aloft in a big house in a cyclone’s vortex. And the house and I never fell back to earth and landed on the Wicked … Continued

The Neon Touch

Kelly, whose mother had rolled up the Subaru windows and driven into a lake, took photos of crushed up anti-depressants. Each pill, Kelly said, represented an unanswered question about her mother’s suicide. Sophia, whose parents were corporate lawyers, took photos … Continued

Stop ||| Pindeldyboz

Accept that your husband’s heart always belonged to his first love. You should’ve noticed sooner because she works in your building and won’t look you in the eye. She takes the stairs because you ride the elevator. Give him back … Continued

Sugar, Wine, Smoke and Glue

sugar I wasn’t sure what to make of it when my daughter sat at the breakfast table with a cigarette butt in one hand and a Skittle in the other. Karen had attempted to hide them from me, clenching her … Continued

Chopsticks ||| Monkeybicycle

My cat is taking drugs again. I’m pretty sure he’s getting them from this neighborhood boy named Alex, a mouth-breathing white kid with cornrows. Chopsticks, my cat, is a 6 year-old tabby I adopted from a kitten rescue program after my girlfriend … Continued

The Smoker in Winter ||| 3:AM Magazine

Willowbrook Road is a fierce run of valleys and curves. The fog settles down just after dark, the temperature drops, and the cool dampness slides into the grass. The deer, the sloths, and the groundhogs come out – glinting at … Continued

Headstands

  My father is watching in amazement as my phone rings but I don’t pick it up.   “You’re not going to answer that?” he asks, incredulous.   “No,” I say.   He’s seventy-one, reading the Times, wearing a black … Continued

The Girlfriend Game ||| Metazen

We’re getting a little bored, so I ask my girlfriend if she wants to play the game tonight.  She says she does.  I was hoping she’d say that. Every time we play the game, it brings us a little closer … Continued

The Great Paint Lake ||| H.O.W. Journal

Madeline wore stockings, which Julia thought would’ve looked sexier if her shoes had a higher heel, or any heel at all, really. She must have walked into all rooms, including this one—Julia’s studio apartment—like a patient, silently clutching a purse … Continued