Eddie Kidney lived in a Jiffy John in downtown Buffalo. Kidney was not his real surname, of course, but it seemed to fit so that is what we called him. Besides, Eddie liked having a last name and smiled when anyone referred to him as Mr. Kidney.Continue reading “Eddie Kidney’s Thanksgiving by David M Robinson”
I always feel awkward in social situations with strangers. I guess everybody does. But for some reason when I find myself at that point, my reaction is beyond control: I start lying like a madman.Continue reading “Submarines, Like Ships in the Night by Steve Sibra”
Nick stares at pennies glimmering in the fountain by City Hall. Watches the shadows and sun mingle with water, a turquoise dream.
They seem to beckon him, these neat metal circles with Lincoln’s face. People throw them in all the time, trying to fulfill wishes, so his sister Nan says. She says they wish for stupidity but Nick can’t blame them, even if wishing seems like a waste.
He reaches in, slowly picks up a small handful of pennies, feels their weight. People hate pennies, but they add up to so many things.Continue reading “Desperate Cents by Yash Seyedbagheri”
The cathedral clock across the street from Nick’s home rang out the hours, the quarters. The clock chimed out his life, the Westminster Quarters and memories floating from the august belfry, the huge bells hidden inside, the clock ticking. The clock Nick once tended to.Continue reading “The Flight of Time by Mir-Yashar Seyedbagheri”
I first started drawing when I was a kid, staring up at popcorn ceilings, trying to make sense of the symbols I saw there. I created comics about a fox that lived in the midst of the shapeless blurs of styrofoam. I don’t draw foxes anymore. Instead, I draw people I’ve met, making them ugly as sin and arguably very realistic.Continue reading “To Tame the Animals by Rose Ragsdale”
“What’s your name?” James asked the hostess.
She furrowed her brow, “Claire. Do I know you?” She donned a small, professional smile.
“No. Readers like knowing the names of the characters. If I just call you the hostess over and over, they’ll get detached from you; it’ll annoy them.”
“What?” Claire asked.Continue reading “Ellen and Elise by Brent Holmes”
Life has hammered me.
I take another drink and lean over my balcony.
Balcony, that’s a fuckin’ laugh, it’s the breadth of my two feet and the stink from that clatty bastard two doors down makes me gag. They’ve a wee Jack Russell that they allow to shit on the balcony instead of taking him a walk. The wee soul needs to climb up a shit mountain to take another shit. When he’s having a crap I can look him in the fucking eyes.Continue reading “Maisonette by Hugh Cron – Warning Strong language and Adult content.”
The night of the infamous Thursday writing group, it was storming. Rain pounded the roof of Shanahan’s Bar, where we’d met the past three months. I was about to discuss a Richard Ford story. The jukebox was blasting Kenny Rogers, “Just Dropped In.” I glanced at my watch once, twice. The second hand clicked, clicks reverberating in my ears.Continue reading “Time Enough by Yash Seyedbagheri”
I go to Rodney and Betty’s grocery only for the credit, because they sell mealy hamburger and I won’t touch the chicken anymore after the kids found feathers stuck in their drumsticks. It was at a barbeque, a really rare day when the sky is clear cornflower. It is unusual having a summer day when the air is light, light, without so much humidity trapped inside it you could suffocate.Continue reading “Self-Made Grocers by Susan DeFelice”
My cousin Boxie returned from Afghanistan to say that people turn into pink mist when they are blown to smithereens. Boxie spends his days shelving toilet paper at Costco, making $37,000 a year. He bought a house for $109,000 and leases a Chevy SUV. He has a daughter but his wife can no longer bear children. They live near Pearl, Mississippi. They keep a Boxer chained to the tree in their back yard. Boxie won’t let his wife cook instant rice. She shaves her pussy. Their daughter, Esther, wants to be a fireman. She wears a helmet to bed. Boxie, Tricia, and Esther belong to the Church of Proximate Causes, a sect based on the worship of reality, an internet group of survivalists who live somewhere in North Dakota. People say, they keep tons of deodorant in their basement along with cans of ravioli and Mississippi tamales.Continue reading “Step Right Up by David Lohrey”