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…

photo of aurora borealis

No Bobs by L. Soviero

The notice was pinned to the cafeteria bulletin board next to the company luau flyer. NO MORE BOBS! Bob ate his croissant on his coffee break and stared at the bulletin. When he asked Carlos what it meant, whether it was some kind of joke, Carlos shrugged and went back to reheating his curry in…

photo of cafe sign

What’s Meant To Be Kept by Dan Tremaglio

Chapter 1. One hell of a turn out You order your coffee from the ghost that looks almost exactly like the barista rather than the barista herself. Originally an honest mistake, this has become the running gag between you three. You and the ghost snicker while the barista acts left out, then you all laugh…

photo of a yellow #2 pencil

What Remains by Michael Snyder

When Sally McReedy broke up with me, she used a slingshot. It took a team of surgeons three hours to exhume the ring. “Does it hurt?” Sally wants to know. She’s sitting in a plastic chair opposite my mechanical bed, grinding molars, twirling a #2 pencil around her thumb. I try to nod, but the…

black and yellow sign danger warning sign

Poly Di by Maria McLeod

I gave birth to a flame-retardant baby. Born on Ash Wednesday, her hair is gray frizz; her eyes, mini briquettes; her skin crackles, crisp. I named her Poly Di, short for polybrominated diphenyl ethers. I can’t call her the light of my life; she’s inflammable. Candles blow out when she enters the room, crawling, gumming…

stack of gold coins

Boy In Glass Box by Brenna Ehrlich

The chin-whiskered guard never made it past 2 a.m. After nodding to sleep three or four times in his chair, he shuffled out the back door and shambled home and snuffled into bed around 1:30 a.m. each night, cats on all four corners of his twin bed, his covers to his chin-whiskers. Min knew because…

picture of candy Valentine hearts

Epistles by Courtney Sender

I DON’T have a soul mate. When I turned fifteen, God Himself delivered a letter telling me so. “I’m sorry,” God wrote, “I forgot to make one. Accept this token of my apology,” and He proffered the letter and let me keep it, and it was signed The Lord God so I decided that I…

picture of a field at night underneath a full moon

Ye Who Are Willing by Tamara Miles

Choosing a spot on which to break ground for the Holy Valley Church of Blessed Creatures took only the better part of one afternoon. Our dog Maurice, a born evangelical, put his paw down on a patch of shepherd’s purse growing on the south side of an abandoned cemetery. We took it as a sign…