I couldn’t help believing my mom was dragging me down. I felt like a bad person, thinking a thing like that, but I’d spent the last year bringing her clean underwear in psych wards and convalescent hospitals. She was still young, everyone said. And physically fine. But she wanted to die. It had become my job to convince her not to die, which was exhausting, and didn’t leave me time to make money.
Fiction by Jon Lindsey
Sometimes, during a lull between murders, I realize we’re due for another. Often, within a day or two of me realizing this, something dreadful occurs: a mass shooting; a bombing; a knifing rampage; a truck accelerating along the sidewalk. When this happens, I feel instantaneous remorse, as if I should have tweeted a warning: “Don’t go to school/ride the subway/attend the concert! Stay home tomorrow!” Then I send my editors an email: “Available to work murders.”
Nonfiction by Susan Katz Keating
I wake in morning light on my back-porch cot, glad to figure I’ve found my way back in the night, thanking Providence and Zeus and whoever else. In the night I must’ve dreamed about Helen, the older sister of Parke Wright and the only woman I’ve ever truly loved. I’ve got her song on my brain.
Fiction by Tad Bartlett
At Mom’s Place I wore a nametag that said Angel and waited on a group of teenagers. They poured ketchup, mustard, mayo, and watery Coke, into a glass and dared one another to drink it. A couple of guys from the Navy Yard showed up for midnight milkshakes, my landlord among them. He was happy to see me but it was clear he’d forgotten my name. Earth Angel, he sang. How’s your boyfriend, the clown?
Fiction by Rachel Lyon
It felt like a violation to be in Princess Manor alone. It felt like a violation to be a woman there at all, wearing floppy jeans and a wrinkled sweater. Men looked at me as I walked to a booth at the rear, then averted their eyes, like I was a living person in the land of the dead.
Fiction by Ariel Courage