photo of feathers floating out of old-fashioned birdcage

A House Empty of Birdsong by Sarah Louise Hall

Lynn hated how empty the house felt when it wasn’t filled with birdsong, so she filled it with paintings and antique wood furniture and shelves, and the shelves with ornithology books and cross-stitched portraits of trees, and she made sure there were plenty of flowers around the house, even in winter when they were hard…

photo of crow in front of the full moon

Caw by Jan Stinchcomb

Each winter Crow would migrate to the South. Dawn was free to follow him, and at first she did, by train, but it was too hard to leave her library job and sublet her apartment. Girls, Dawn discovered, are not migratory. At least she wasn’t. During the first season of separation, Dawn thought she would…

photo of a dragonfly

The Earth in Its Flight by Andrew Bertaina

In those days the earth hadn’t settled into the orbit that we’re accustomed to now. The sun was in a slightly different place, which often caused problems in the earth’s orbit. These wobbles from the typical rotation would cause widespread panic and famine as whole swaths of the world would be on the dark side…

toaster graffiti

The Toast Always Wins: An Interview with Kelly Luce

Kelly Luce’s debut collection, Three Scenarios in Which Hana Sasaki Grows a Tail, published in 2013 by A Strange Object, is an imaginative delight, unpredictable, amusing, and frequently heartbreaking. Set in Japan, Luce’s stories bring the reader into a world that’s slightly askew yet still familiar. They tickle the mind and touch the heart while lingering in…

photo of the interior of an old abandoned car

Lot by Nikolaj Volgushev

We kept returning to the lot because there was the body of a man there and good shade for when the afternoon sun got to be too much. The body sat in the driver seat of an ancient, rusty car, perfectly preserved as though frozen. The man had died at the wheel with a calm,…

photo of a woman standing in a forest

Two Flash by Emily Corwin

Bildungsroman (after Sonya Vatomsky) If you come upon a fire, trembling still with bark and pine cones, almost out, you go by. If you come upon a rustling, a pair of eyes blinking back, you go by. You go by because this is the woods and you know what happens to little girls, skipping into…

illustration of a girl with a bird

Phainopepla by Michelle Ross

Even before our brother poisoned us, we lived in the woods, only then we’d each been alone. And we had to hunt and hide, to survive. It was a difficult life, lonely. But we’d learned from our mother to trust no one. Then our mother died, and our brother opened a window in the house…

photo of a finch

Congo by Eric Grunwald

Ants, little black ones, were crawling over my hand where it supported me on the edge of the blanket, and it was all I could do not to brush them off. But Beth was staring intently into a tree where a cardinal or finch—we hadn’t decided which—was perched, the parts visible to us red against…