photo of a peacock feather

Feather Boy by Toni Marshall

He has peacock feathers. They stick out just above his butt – blues, greens, purples. They shimmer in the light. I like it most when he dances. The feathers shiver like virgins. I watch him in the anorexic moonlight. Every night. When it rains, snows, when the wind screams, and tonight, when the midnight air…

photo of red and white pill capsules

Veritas in Dubium by Jordan Ramsey

You wake up and already your Verum Anniversarium letter is in your inbox. For twenty years you have waited for this letter, a glimpse into your future…well, probably. Most likely. Eighty-twenty. For weeks now you have been preparing yourself for this moment, deciding what you were going to believe. In just three hours, the truth…

photo of pink roses

Bloom by Kathy Stevenson

She had been waiting nearly a year for her pass to the Repository, or the Repo as most people called it. The line was long, as all lines were now, but it was moving. Her senses yearned toward the building itself, as it housed so much that she had almost forgotten. People her daughter’s age…

photo of messy porch

Living Rooms by Laroo Jack

Everything had its place. She ran a finger along the edge of the mantle and examined each thing in its turn—the ceramic frogs, the strange vase that had belonged to her aunt, a small landscape of the sea. They each had respect for their proper place, and if anything got out of line—deviated—it was removed.…

photo of lit candles

The Big One by Ashley Hermsmeier

Day 1 It’s hot, even at night. We sleep on top of our duvets and sweat under rattling ceiling fans. We live too close to the sea to be an air-conditioned city—that’s what we tell ourselves. Most of us are asleep when it happens. We roll over and some of us sigh a little and…

photo of heart-shaped topiary

The Tunnel of Love by Chris Daley

I was taken aback when Mr. Medvedev gave me the news: my elderly neighbor Lidiya Silchencko had died and made me executor of her estate. I didn’t know her very well. Occasionally, I had asked her to feed my cat when I would go to St. Petersburg on business, and once I picked up her…

photo of fish packed in ice

Love, Pan-Fried by Megan Crosbie

You always said I loved you too much, and I guess you were right. You said it again that day by the pond, when you told me how you weren’t responsible for my happiness and your eyes matched the water, sun-speckled and murky. That day when I loved you so hard that you exploded into…

photo of yellow subway car in station

Before by Tara Isabel Zambrano

Sometimes, Neil and I’d meet for lunch in a small Indian restaurant that served astonishingly delicious lamb curry with rice crepes. The waiter was a tall Sikh who often gave us privacy and a discount. We’d sit outside and watch the clouds swirl in the sky, our finger tips stained with tomato-turmeric sauce. On our…

photo of trilobite

A Benthic Wunderkind by John Gorman

Sweta caught me picking lint from my belly button. I was blessed with an innie. She didn’t bother looking away, and I gave her oodles of credit for that. You’d think, in a scenario like this, we were lounging poolside or finishing up a 10K in the park, but nope. We were both at one…

photo of crescent moon

0500 by Miriam Alexander-Kumaradoss

At 5AM, when I’ve been up all night, a wind sometimes rushes through the garden and sets branches and stalks rustling against each other. Sometimes I’ll be wandering through the house when this happens and I’ll stop in front of a window and watch them undulate. Sometimes the moon is just a fingernail in the…