photo of icebergs

Key South by Michael McCormick

I examined the condenser. Three drops. Laramie moved slowly among the corn rows, stopping to pull a hopper off a wilted stalk. It squirmed in her fingers. “Fat one,” I said. She nodded, dropping it in her stew pouch. “They found a new island,” she announced. “What?” “Well, an old island from before,” she explained,…

photo of speakeasy

Milk & Honey by Maureen Langloss

There is a door we tap. No need to knock it hard, just enough to draw the bouncer with the clipboard out. We watch the people come and go, adding their names to the host’s list, too. They linger a breath, playing with the buttons on their coats or adjusting their scarves, before slinking off…

photo of rainwater droplets on glass

We Are One by Scott Paul Hallam

I always imagined that when one of our hearts would break, the other’s would shatter too. While my sister Evette and I have two separate hearts, we share a chest, a torso, and a vulva. We share most other things as well — like this one-bedroom apartment on the East side, Pollack prints covering exposed…

photo of black coffee cup on a patio table

Buckley Was Wrong by Cameron Dezen Hammon

You don’t want me, and the force of you not wanting me creates a shape; the presence of an absence, like an amputated limb. Here’s the courtyard you aren’t crossing. Here’s the stone step under mossy tree where you don’t sit, pulling me down next to you. You don’t take me to a coffee shop…

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…