All Stories, General Fiction

Parent Interview by Jill Malleck

My last parent interview of the day was late, by a good twenty minutes, and the damn meeting was only booked for fifteen. Truth was, I didn’t care that Derek’s folks hadn’t shown. For two hours I’d spent fifteen-minute slots explaining to overly optimistic parents how they’d raised kids as dumb as doornails. Nothing I hated more than parent interviews, except teaching in the 8:30 am session. No science to it; try teaching teenage zombies.   

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All Stories, General Fiction

Bones by Jennifer Walkup

There were eight candles on my birthday cake the year my sledgehammer mother shattered us like we were blown glass. I remember it specifically because when the ninth candle flickered at the last minute, I thought, with the force of gale force winds, oh, extra candle for good luck, please don’t go out on me.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Mean, Median, Mode by Dominic Dayta

It was the topic of discussion, the day he took me to sit in his Elementary Statistics class. He had on his signature look: slim-fit polos with elbow-length sleeves, jeans, and sneakers. He looked closer to a student than a lecturer. In his class, the boys yawned at the sky out the windows while the girls regarded him with glassy eyes and flushed cheeks, asking question after question, swooning at his careful answers. Everything about him was measured: how he smiled, how he modulated his voice, how he angled himself at the chalkboard. Whenever he went to the teacher’s table to check his notes, he would hold his hair at the forehead while he looked down. From the back of the room I watched him man his class like a blockbuster performance.

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All Stories, General Fiction

The Customer is Never Right by Leila Allison

A few nights ago, Jim identified the great, distant sun Naazar in the autumnal sky, and then attempted to sell me tales of its splendor and glory. This had caused an old memory to trip my inner As If Alarm. Some claim my inner As If Alarm underscores the ever-suspicious side of my personality; all things considered, I find it a useful and necessary device.

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