Step by Step by Step by Deva Mari

 Out there, it was a storm rioting, the type that Marion faced when arriving at the Bates Motel, and I was sitting in this stranger’s freshly vacuumed Mitsubishi with my muddy, turn-out-not-to-be-waterproof hiking boots, him telling me how he hadn’t been home in nearly two decades. That, back there, he had a wife still mourning his death. That his daughter wasn’t the little princess she used to be, but married recently and was pregnant now with two little princesses herself. His voice a warm drone against the rain that was drumming against the Mitsubishi’s metal frame. I was just happy that I was in there, and not stuck at the last lonely gas station, biding my time with overpriced Cheetos and overweight truck drivers.

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Nostalgia Inc. by Dave Louden

For seven-ninety-nine a month they’ll rent you back your memories so that you don’t have to struggle to make new ones.  I’d bought one of the first gen A.R. projectors. It ran interiors at four-K but had difficulty properly rendering weather.  For the most part, I overlooked its shortcomings.  It ran a maximum thirty minute nostalgic rendering so whether the clouds looked 2D up there in the big blue was of little concern.

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The Samurai by Larry Lefkowitz

The epiphany seized Sondheim at breakfast. The morning after he had seen, or rather dozed in part through, the Japanese movie on television. Scenes had flitted through his dreams and he was still in a vaguely Japanese mood as he descended to breakfast – or what he thought would be breakfast. There was none. To his query as to why not, his wife was dismissive. “My morning run,” she said; her white running shoes flashed briefly in the burst of sunlight before the door closed.

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Our Hoyles by Kim Suhr

“Nine hearts.”

Dang. My husband’s always doing that, overbidding me when he knows fool well I can make my bid and he’s got diddly-squat. Of course, nine hearts is the perfect bid—for Ed. If he wins the round, he’s a hero for pulling it off with a hand like a foot. That’s what we call it when our cards stink, a hand like a foot. If we get bumped, he’ll blame it on me, say I inkled wrong, made him think I could get more tricks than I could. Never mind that I bid spades. That won’t make a bit of difference when we replay the hand at the top of our lungs after Dan and Jean have gone home. Either way, nine hearts makes him look good and me look bad.

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