photo of piano keys

Little Old House by Lauren Suchenski

Little old house, I drove past you. I angled past your pale blue paint, cracking from age and weathering from time. I drove past those windows – the ones I used to look out, stand in, glare at, think of, close the shutters, open the blinds, let the light in, close my eyes to the…

photo of tic-tac-toe game drawn into sand

The Concealer by Matthew Vasiliauskas

The boy was in charge of burying things. Now this had been determined well-before he was born, for the boy came from a group known as the Concealers, that revered class responsible for disposing of anything dead. Of course this wasn’t just the often bloated and sun-burned bodies clogging the curbs and alleyways of the…

photo of rusting cars

Hearts and Bones by Rachel Harrison

We listened to Paul Simon, ate food from jars. Pickled things. We craved something sour. Our lives weren’t sour enough. We lived in Morristown in my grandparent’s old house down the street from Washington Headquarters. “George Washington stayed there once,” I told you. “He stayed everywhere,” you said. You drove to Paterson to buy the…

photo of cotton candy

Innocence by Sarah Stock

Ever wonder why grownups are so crabby? Crabby is the word my parents used because they couldn’t say “pissed off” in front of an eight year old. “Old enough to know what’s going on,” Daddy said when he swore in front of the Ferris wheel. Ferris wheel seats hold three people, but Daddy wanted to…

photograph of spiderweb with droplets on the threads

Bad Babysitter by René Ostberg

I was good at it, I want that known. Even if I was only called after all the nicer, neater neighborhood girls said no. Even though I made a dollar less than my lawn-mowing brother. (“Well, boys do work harder than girls. Everyone knows that,” he’d tell me.) I was loved—by children, pets, houseplants. I…

photograph of a basil plant

SarahAlex, AlexSarah by T. Guzman

We couldn’t decide whether we wanted a baby or not, and I don’t like cats, and she hates dogs, and neither of us can stand hamsters, so we bought a plant. To keep alive. As a test, like one of those robot babies soon-to-be parents buy to know what to expect when expecting, except those…

photo of Walmart shopping carts

People of Walmart by Epiphany Ferrell

I could be a werewolf. I could be, you don’t know that I’m not, you can’t prove it. I could be dangerous, secretly. I could be wild inside, fierce, deadly. You look at me with that contemptuous smirk while I’m here in Walmart dressed in sweats and house slippers, sloppy, a bit fat, trying to…

photo of rotting green apple on grass

Stab Apples by Molly Bonovsky Anderson

The shirtless boys on Snow Street have sharp sticks. They jut ‘em up as we walk by. “Wannan’ apple?” What they’re offering: Rot. Overripe, bad juice dribbling down dirty wood into dirty fists curled tight around the only things they know. Red as a beating heart, brown as earth, stuck on the tip of a…

photo of a pile of caught fish

Wild Things by Ashley Kunsa

Once the sirens stopped, Max picked himself up from the pavement, donned a bear suit, and trudged across the 10th St. Bridge in search of food. Never in his life could he recall feeling such a hunger. It gripped his cavernous insides like moss to a stone wall. Beneath an overpass he nosed at a…