The waitress who has taken my order wears a sepia-coloured dress, checkers faded and hem ruffled. She excuses herself as she leans in and wipes the table with a damp cloth. On her sleeve is a single red, round button. It gleams. She asks me something. My car is parked between two cargo trucks. I’m not usually the type of person who visits roadside diners. The red, round button reflects the light from the fluorescent lamp, its four holes laced with loose black thread.Continue reading “Ladybird by Joy Florentine”
Nick takes pictures of smiles, in coffee shops, at the store.
He especially likes crooked smiles, like his older sister Nan’s. When she smiled. When she was a being and not a shadow in the past tense. He’s tried to store her smiles like contraband. A smile on the way to bed, the two of them exchanging a glance. A smile pronouncing his nickname. Nicky. Or a smile while watching The Big Lebowski, a smile transforming into real, crackled laughter, especially when The Dude lit a joint without care.
But time makes it impossible to store things.Continue reading “The Shadow of Your Smile by Yash Seyedbagheri”
One morning over coffee, Jessica says she wants us to take a horse to church. My wife doesn’t mean using the animal for transportation. She wants to walk a horse up the steps, down the aisle, and let it stand there during services.Continue reading “Whacky Ideas by Dave Henson”
I slink across January ice. The sun shimmers over clear, cold icy sheen.
I look ahead, but still slip.
I flail, feeling the world tumbling. The sky leers, pale blue, puffed-up clouds surveying me. Frame houses line the street, staring with cheerful yellows and greens. Oak trees stare with naked arms.
I right myself, arms flailing. It’s a miracle, but relief evaporates, replaced by shadows of shame.Continue reading “Iceberg Theory by Yash Seyedbagheri”
The 11th of November was a Monday. We were patrolling in dense fog near Mons when at 11 am, Lieutenant Harrison ordered us to halt then glanced at his watch.Continue reading “Just Let Go by Anthony Billinghurst”
Computers and Bill Clinton’s penis consume the world. Meanwhile, from behind a desk, my older sister becomes my teacher. She’s twenty-six. I’m fourteen.Continue reading “Sister Teacher by Yash Seyedbagheri”
She said she saw angels, and repeated it, so I did too, but I still haven’t grasped what it means.
I climb onto my bed, above the covers, and I gaze at the ceiling, yearning to comprehend it. This gray and dirty ceiling has hovered my whole life, floating above my bed. Built before I arrived, still standing after I’ve gone. Untouched, unchanged. Can I imagine a life without its ever-presence?Continue reading “The Ceiling by Charlie Rogers”
My mother’s cadence on the bike has always been impressive. She can seamlessly glide from first gear to third without breaking her stride. The sound of her chain effortlessly shifting sounds like fingers snapping a melody. We ride together on a winding dirt road. We are going incredibly fast considering her mountain bike is a heavy beast. The tires are wide and fat. But it is a cheerful red color. It is the color of tricycles and little wagons. Though she is only thirty-six, it is odd to see her on something that calls to youth.
Especially since she is dying as we ride.Continue reading “Always Remember to Shift by Jessica R. Clem”
I sterilize an empty room. Wipe away scents of lavender perfume and kisses. Curse kids speeding on golf carts, runners pushing limits, horns blaring.Continue reading “Limits by Yashar Seyedbagheri”
When we received this work we were undecided what to do with it. We knew that we wanted to publish such a powerful and emotional piece of writing but, in fairness, it isn’t what we would normally class as a story. I will be honest and say that it moved me to tears.
Anyway, fate took a hand. We were scheduling this week at the time and when better to publish this than Remembrance Day.