Two Flash by Jennifer Fliss

Watercolor Felon I awaken to a blossom of blood. Petals of crimson slowly watercoloring outward. See how it grows? It’d be beautiful if it wasn’t so fucking tragic. He says, Why’d you have that beer? I told you—and I stop him right there with the eyes and hands of a killer. I say he better…

Inevitable by Meredith Benson

Sometimes Caroline had trouble sleeping. She would try drinking a cup of warm milk or counting sheep, but on those nights she just never could close her eyes. Other nights she went to sleep right away, and the next thing she would hear was her alarm clock at seven in the morning reminding her of…

Suicide Island by Michael Chin

Me and Crater Face are the final two on Suicide Island. I’ve done my best to forget her name. She isn’t a person. Only an obstacle. I’m not old by the standards of the time I was born into, but who knows how to calibrate such things by today’s statistics, today’s ever-shifting norms. I was…

Leslie’s Up by Eric Lutz

Leslie’s up. I hear her door creak open, her feet shuffle across the room to the kitchen, the tap turning on, and a glass filling up with water. By the time I get my sweatpants and tee-shirt on she’s already on the couch, flipping through the channels on the TV. Still can’t sleep? I ask.…

Sinking the Talon In by Nicole Homer

I really just need to relax. It’s been a long year—what with school and the job search and the recession. What I need is a day at the spa. I need a manicure, a pedicure, a massage. I need a hot massage—a hot stone massage with scented oil. But. There’s the problem of the macaw.…

PCB by Alina Stefanescu

The conference room was magnificent, the applause purpled by shameless enthusiasm. His paper had been delivered in a steady, unruffled voice untrammeled by tics. The title, “PCB in Secondary Social Networks,” implied elegance and veracity. A good title permitted a man to discuss the disinhibited lechery of a latchkey kid with two full hours to…

Ginger Snap by Kathryn V. Jacopi

I work at a singing telegram shop. Pictures dapple the wall: local politicians and celebrities getting a singing telegram. One is of a famous CEO now in prison. The singer, Wonder Woman, had huge breasts. I’ve never dressed as Wonder Woman. No one requests her anymore. My chest is not ridiculously big either. Sal, the…

The Creature by Matthew Vasiliauskas

The creature came into town bragging. Unlike some of the other creatures passing through in the past, this one had a lot of bravado, blustering and laughing about which mayors’ wives he had penetrated. Of course the first thing we tried to do was give him a name, but anything we suggested he would just…

My Dementia by K.C. Pedersen

When I was 15, I was having a bit of a problem with drugs. I overdosed and almost died. My mother attempted rehab by sending me to a home nursing course. I got a job at a nursing home, where the still-well people lived in nice apartments with kitchens and water views, and the dying…