Dear father, I’m sorry you think that I have been such a despicable daughter, but I wish you health and happiness so that you may spend yet another wonderful birthday in your Garden of Contempt for me! You’ve indeed worked long and hard to make that space luxuriant, so you deserve to kick back and enjoy!Continue reading “Your Garden of Contempt Dominique Margolis”
Keep Dancing by Antony Osgood
‘I’m so sorry, I really wasn’t paying attention,’ the middle-aged man was told by an older woman. They were the same height. George, being six foot three, had found the novelty of not looking down for their conversation quite refreshing, though he suspected in the morning he’d discover a plethora of aching muscles he never once suspected he possessed. Her attention was fixed on undexterous fingers shaking an empty not-quite-glass, a bubbly flute of clouded plastic. It was as if, George imagined, the last drop of wine had proven impossible for her to access, and for the life of her she had found no way to solve the puzzle. She kept holding the flute up to the noisy strip-light, seemingly either looking for fingerprints or a miracle. She appeared forensic in her analysis of unobtainable alcohol. George was reminded of a video he’d once seen on YouTube, of a goldfish obsessed with its image in a mirror. The poor fish had been unable to free itself from the mistaken belief it was threatened by itself. It was the saddest thing George had seen.Continue reading “Keep Dancing by Antony Osgood”
A Give and Take of Crows by David Henson
After what they’d been through — what they were still going through —Oliver had decided to take a week off to spend with Ben before school started again. “What’ll it be for breakfast, Son — pancakes or ice cream?”
“Can’t we have both?” the 10-year-old boy says.
“Pancakes a-la-mode it is, Buddy.”Continue reading “A Give and Take of Crows by David Henson”
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.Continue reading “Parent Interview by Jill Malleck”
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.Continue reading “Bones by Jennifer Walkup”
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.
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.
Continue reading “The Customer is Never Right by Leila Allison”