Category: Fiction

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Assisted Living

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

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Elysian Fields

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

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The Best Light Fades

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

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Princess Manor

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

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Sex Tips For The End Of The World

Fiction by Nicole Beckley

For a moment she thinks of her ex-husband, Dan, how crazy they were, how immature. How they’d knocked his bed off the shaky cinderblock frame a few times, climbing on top of each other. How her mother had cried at the sight of her in a wedding dress. “So grown up,” she’d said. How the thin crystal vase had smashed against the floor when she discovered Dan cheating with his ex-girlfriend. How they made love in their narrow bathtub with no water during an electrical storm when she was scared.

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Candelaria

Fiction by Michael Mark

The funeral was stodgy and the minister had as much to say about the real Johnny as I did about the real Woodrow Wilson. He talked about living brightly like it was a certain kind of apple—like there were many types of apples in the orchard, but you knew the good ones when you saw them, and that’s how we’d known our Johnny. But the way the minister said it made me think he’d only ever studied supermarket apples. He’d never gotten his hands dirty, never plucked an apple directly from the tree.

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