photo of girl's mouth with white plastic horse sticking out

Sixteen by Ellen Birkett Morris

Mary’s mother was older with gray hair and a watchful eye. I’d visit Mary’s apartment and we’d dance to songs on the radio, careful not to disturb the figurines on end tables. We’d eat white cake with chocolate icing. When the handsome football player came around her mother invited us out on the patio and…

photo of hotel exterior

Them Bones by Alex S. Johnson

Johnny Scapular was very young, only about three or four years old, when he discovered something unique about his body. With a little vigorous tugging and peeling he found he could unwrap the flesh from his bones and run around au naturel. The flesh came off in three big strips that could be neatly folded and put away for…

old photo of cows being milked on Australian farm

Our Best of the Net 2013 Nominations are in the corral!

Hey there, farmfolk! Sometimes at the end of a long day, the farmhands like to sit around the fire and reminisce about all the cowtastic, whip-smart work that’s rolled into our poetry and flash fiction pens over the past six months. We were doing just that the other night when we all began to notice…

author photo of Richard Thomas

CC’s First Author Interview: Richard Thomas

Cease, Cows loves dark fiction (“neo-noir,” we learned from our interviewee today), magical realism, slipstream, transgressive, and literary horror. Our founding editor, h. l. nelson, was honored to speak with a reigning champ of these genres: Richard Thomas. He’s the Editor-in-Chief at Dark House Press, author of three books – Transubstantiate, Herniated Roots, and Staring Into the…

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Fire up the BBQ, Cuz We’ve Got a Winner!

Jack Rabbit! We had so many prose poetry submissions roll in over the past two weeks that they nearly overflowed Daniel Romo’s big ten-gallon hat! He just managed to stuff all those names in there, so he did a little do-si-do, and plucked out the big winner… Lets give a big farm congratulations to Allie…

photo of an old lady

Let Me Explain Why by Krista Mann

So there I was sitting on the airplane, half ready to start saying my last prayers, bouncing up and down, and this woman turns to me, full head of blue-gray hair, and says, Son, please talk to me, talk about anything, tell me about your mother, and I want to say, Fuck off old lady,…

photo art of man with heart-shaped hole in chest

Therapy Tree by Joe Kapitan

“What you all need,” the family therapist told us, “is a therapy tree.” “A what?” asked Dad. “A therapy tree. Do you have a strong tree in your yard?” “Sure we do. Big, big oak. Rains down acorns every October.” “Perfect. So when you feel anger toward each other, you walk away. You go outside…

Rabbity-looking Buckity Teeth by Rebecca Swirsky

The little toad glowed and gulped and was pleasantly stinky. No bigger than an acorn, it wedged itself between the bakery and launderette. There, it crouched in dank shade, croaking a ribbiting, musical sound. Not the busy office commuters, or burly dust-bin men, not the lollypop lady or the singing schoolchildren noticed. Flowers and plants and all…

photo of an owl

China Girl by Kyle Hemmings

I Is unpremeditated sex on a hot afternoon of dead flies. Anchovy breath is a rumor. The crazy taxman two houses over had to put down his dog. It was breathing too fast. Lost interest in mating. And China sighs after a drink of cool oolong tea. Like a fluttering pretentious girl. Faking inertia. As…