I’ll tell you why she jumped. That bastard husband of hers couldn’t keep his pants zipped. She put up with it, for the kids. But then, he was the one who split. She and me were best friends in high school. I stayed here in Lynchburg, Central Virginia for college, now bookkeeper at the newspaper. Junie, she jumped at the chance to get out. That chance was a fast-talking UVA senior named John Miller, promised to take her to New York. He did, a dozen years and four kids later, she came back. Her family wasn’t a whole lot of help when she did. Junie told me, first words out of their mouths, Where are you going to live now? How are you going to support your children? I guess she shouldn’t have expected a cuddly reception, the way she ran off with John middle of senior year, her Ma still in the hospital. Irregardless, you’d think they’d care about their grand kids.Continue reading “Why Junie Jumped by Townsend Walker”
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”
Betty’s blue sneakers are alongside of the road. My sneakers are red.Continue reading “Betty and My Sneakers by Townsend Walker”
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”
Huddled in the dark, the three children shook at the sight of the black horse. It’s head, bashed in from madness, left a bloody smear along the splintered barn wall. It’s body was too still on the dusty floor. For Walter, the blond-haired boy of four, it was just a rigid, mountainous shadow. It frightened him to watch the beast, the devil and his illness finally take hold of the animal. The silence that followed that was unbearable, unclear. Walter felt that something was very wrong but his innocence would not allow him to understand the stillness of the mare. As his unease grew, consuming his little heart, he buried his head into his older sister’s arms for relief.Continue reading “George and the Horse by Jazeen Hollings”
The last words she ever said.
I just wanted to know what they were. Call it a compulsion, a thought that nagged at me like a hot plate of my wife’s lasagna when I’d spent the day not eating.
My aunt had passed away. She was the last remnant of my father’s side of the family. My dad died of cancer at the age of 47 when I was eleven. My aunt had just died at the age of 86 (my dad would have been 85), and I really wanted to know the last thing she said.
I’d just walked into the office and hadn’t had time to set my coffee down when Vicki stuck her head in and said, “HR wants you to call them, it’s about Jack.”
“Is he here?” I replied.
“In his cubicle, talking to Eileen.”Continue reading “Jack’s Back by David Thomas Peacock”
Tuesday morning and I’m driving. It’s cold outside and the windscreen is cloudy. I can see only through the little circle I have made by wiping my gloved hand against the glass. The circle keeps closing up, the world keeps getting smaller. There is nobody on the streets and the sky is low, the only motion outside the steaming shapes of stranger’s cars, indistinct forms defined against the grey by their movement.Continue reading “This Winter by Louie Richmond”
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”
‘And all of this is replicated across twenty datacenters.’
With a flourish, Davide draws a large rectangle around the messy, sprawling diagram he’s drawn on the whiteboard. He turns around. ‘Any questions?’Continue reading “Boundless Growth by Simo Tchokni”