No Doorbell by Jesse Goolsby
_____Late February and finally a moment alone in Afghanistan for Private First Class Wintric Ellis
Panhandling by Tyler McAndrew
_____One way to make begging strangers for money more bearable is to fill our water bottles with vodka.
Johnny and July by Molly Bridgeforth
_____At parties, Johnny calls their new neighborhood twiggy and unestablished.
_____He is speaking mainly of the trees.
Mating Habits of the California Land Snail by Kilby Allen
_____Doris Agatha Denby. Her parents were assholes.
The Warbler’s Necropsy by Joel Hans
_____The songbirds are dying
Landscape by Randolph Schmidt
_____Michael’s backyard was manufactured beauty, peaceful and counterfeit.
Woodley Park by Sarah Mollie Silberman
_____We joke about conventional and unconventional uses for duct tape
A Savior, Belief, Tupac, and Balloons by Venita Blackburn
_____Water balloon wars are primal, vicious productions.
What I Saw in Room 319 by Sylvan Allen
_____Not fingernail clippings, but a whole fingernail, pulled from the root and crusty shovel-side up.
In the Lava Tubes by Ashley Rose Davidson
_____I spun around, then stood still, listening for the snap of a twig, the brush of a branch catching sleeve
The Eye by Mike Meginnis
_____Ben was back from the war and he had a purple heart. Nobody agreed on where or how severely he had been wounded.
Phosphorescence by Amanda Fields
_____Very hadn’t felt the same way as other mothers, the way everyone says you’re supposed to feel
The Stars in Illinois by Dallas Woodburn
_____Eleanor believes friendships are a matter of convenience and circumstance
Triage by Nickolas Butler
_____His lover had been gone just two weeks when they found him in the cemetery
The Astronomer by Allyson Goldin Loomis
_____I was a person who, by his nature, sank.
_____I woke Ira and told him we had to run. Our car was locked outside the gate—a telltale sign of the _____presence of junkies when they come to open it. The sun hadn’t yet cleared the tops of the trees.
A Bomb, an Egg, and Anne Bradstreet’s Lover by Katie Williams
_____No. It’s not like that. The bomb is not meant for a fetid corner in this high-school classroom
The Cracks In The Sidewalk by Ben Loory
____The cracks in the sidewalks spell out people’s names if you look at them from high enough up.
Aaron Englund, July 1970 by Lori Ostlund
____The summer that Aaron was five, he and his parents embarked on the first (and only) Englund ____family vacation…
Reptile House by Robin McLean
____Carl’s wife lay back, sanitized stirrups biting at her heavy ankles.
The Right Feel by Kenneth Calhoun
If I found one, I would simply walk in.
The Lumberjack and the Sheep by Chris Smith
He chopped up wood with a great axe and, by special commission, he was allowed to fell a small quota of trees from Bob’s forest. He was good, but it had always been his dream to be a shepherd. This was a laughable notion considering the scarcity of livestock in England at the time, foot-and-mouth doing what it had.
Wedding Night by Rebecca Makkai
“You look good enough to eat,” he says, sitting up. He’s only started saying things like this since he got a girlfriend. Maybe he thinks it’s safe now because it’s not leading me on, or maybe he’s just gotten bolder since he lost his virginity. My friends have all gone home for the summer, so I’ve had to puzzle it over without their interpretive skills.
THE MERCY OF KINGS by Jesse Ball
Matthews laughed. He looked at Bodins who also began to laugh. What pals these guys were.
The Collision Therapist by Paul Robert Chesser
It is uncomfortable to drive without a license plate. Everywhere, the stagnant movement of automobiles. Since the divorce, I do not own a car; I am not registered; I am not insured. No life, health, auto, homeowners. Nothing. Only seventeen-hundred left in the checking account. I cannot afford to get pulled; I cannot afford to be noticed. Get through the lights, park the car in storage, take a bus back.
Twelve Steps by Tasha Matsumoto
They rented kayaks in the late afternoon. Thora found the repetitive rowing motion sedating. Crew teams glided past them. They stopped at the Congress Bridge to watch the bats take flight at sunset. They sat bobbing next to each other while the sky bled together in streaky shades of pink and purple and black, like tears ruining make-up. They waited until Aric pointed to a solitary bat that had flown out from beneath the bridge’s arches.
For three years I’d been holed up in a downtown warehouse working on THE FIGURES.
The Margins of Tolerance by Eric Sasson
When you reach your late thirties, certain things are expected of you. Parker and I had already done the bar circuit, the clubs, the parties, Fire Island, Provincetown. We had tweaked, X-ed, G-ed, snorted, sniffed, passed out, blacked out, ménage-d and beyond. Sometimes we still did, but four years into our relationship, we knew that, for the most part, this would soon be behind us.
The Halloween They All Dressed As Darth Vader by John Minichillo
Mom said not to say anything to Ryan Miller either, which wasn’t easy, since I saw him all the time. Now in the back of my mind I was always singing, “Ryan Miller, we’re suing your rich ass!”
Lord God Bird by Pamela Main
By this time, she knew he often intertwined fact and fiction. Like the time they lived in Paris, when Amir told her about the man from Afghanistan who had died from a painful toe (she’d had one at the time). Was there a man? Was he from Afghanistan? Could a human being die of a pain in the toe?
Gastarbeiter by Peter Jurmu
“You don’t like training? Don’t need this job? Fuck off, then. I’ll tell them you got cold feet, decided to see Europe, get married. You’ll see how well-lubed the EEA’s revolving door is as far as non-citizens like ourselves are concerned.”