Kraken graffiti

Cryptozoology by Todd Dillard

Father was a hunter of mythical beasts. He kept a Yeti rug in the den. One time he sat me on a stuffed Pegasus and couldn’t fathom why I cried and cried. Mother in the kitchen, scowling over a pot roast. Kraken again? She brandished a frying pan at my father in the endearing way…

photo of a tank

Little Black Holes by Christopher Stanley

They take our children first. I’m walking Eddie home from school when we hear a horn sounding over and over. Up ahead I can see four of his classmates blocking the road. They just stand there, slack shouldered, staring at the shadows under the bus. The driver hits his horn again, shouting at them to…

photo of a black panther

Miracle Grow by elena felix

I dropped the fertilizer bag on my kitchen floor by accident. Little purple pellets fell everywhere. Some rolled, some bounced. I tried to pick them up. I chased them. I watched them dodging away from me. My cat, Uganda, played with one and her paws started to grow. She stepped on some more and in…

photo of incense sticks

Nag Champa by Chris Drabick

I didn’t believe that magic could work, not even a little, but I didn’t know what else to pursue. I’d run out of options, as they say. She didn’t want me back; that much was clear. What’s to be done when someone doesn’t want you around anymore? I’m not an idea man. I played hard…

Grounded by Aparna Reddi

I held a balloon in one hand and reached for Sela’s with the other. Our fingers locked, my heart flew. I let helium seep from the balloon and sucked it in. My voice came out squeaky, unrecognizable, like it belonged to someone else. “I love you,” it said. Sela’s lips, puckered around her own balloon,…

embroidery depicting hands opening a condom wrapper

The Seeds of Things by Joe P. Squance

When the condom got stuck in the vending machine in the basement of his dorm and he grabbed one side and she grabbed the other—both of them just a little bit drunk, trying pointlessly to be quiet while getting ready to make a whole lot of noise, his body electrified with the prospect of imminent…

We Came to Lose by Jason Kniep

A recent development: Sean places a bag over his head whenever we make love. A light-blocking, black plastic bag, 10 mil thickness. I waver between offended and fascinated. Before the bag, before the swimmer’s nose clips, it was just earplugs. Bright orange foam that he twisted into a tight spiral and jammed into his ear…

photo of angel statue rubbing its eye

Piazza Vecchia by Diana Radovan

December 3rd, 2018 The body of an angel was found in Piazza Vecchia this morning at 6 a.m. The angel’s wings were broken and the face was squashed on one side, allowing honey bees to enter the space that would normally be inhabited by flesh and bones in human or animal beings. The angel seemed…

photo of seagulls

Oceans by Nikolaj Volgushev

One morning I wake up to find my living room replaced by an ocean. I stand in the doorway, look over the gray, clamoring waves. They stretch as far as the eye can see. This isn’t a tropical sort of ocean, it’s breezy and unwelcoming. The North Atlantic perhaps? I light a cigarette, consider my…