As he was falling from the rooftop, Jimmy`s whole life flashed before his eyes. That is why it was even more upsetting. A gap year in Australia, a few good years at college, and a job until he finds something better. After his skull would have crushed against asphalt, his brain splashed all over the road, and his broken limbs would be packed in a plastic bag, would there be a grand procession? Or, perhaps, just his parents and two or three friends would mourn him for a month. Falling, Jimmy knew: the latter was the case. They would have to use vague language during his eulogy sprinkled with cliches, for there was not much to tell.Continue reading “Jimmy, the Architect by Dan Shpyra”
Dress For Success by Stephanie Greene
Caroline bought her dachshund a Harvard coat. It was maroon polar fleece with an oversize insignia. Forty-five bucks to impress her new boyfriend’s family.
But Ruckus was not Harvard material. Tailgating at The Game, he yanked free, barked at babies, and absconded with a turkey drumstick. When she caught him, Caroline couldn’t leave him in the car, afraid he’d open the hamper or attack the upholstery, so she walked him around the roaring stadium, waxing philosophical. Kip and his parents went inside.Continue reading “Dress For Success by Stephanie Greene”
Frankie and the Wild Man by Marco Etheridge
The wild man sat in his lawn chair and tried to ignore the small boy lurking behind the shabby travel trailer. The chair was made from aluminum tubing and woven plastic webbing. The coarse webbing sometimes pinched the back of the wild man’s thighs, but he was accustomed to this. He’d owned the chair for a very long time. The sneaking little brat, however, was a new and unwelcome annoyance.Continue reading “Frankie and the Wild Man by Marco Etheridge”
Backsides by Amita Basu
In the headquarters of Calcutta Electricity Supply Corporation, we sit over lunch. The powder-blue walls smell damp; the fans hanging on ten-foot-long rods from the high ceiling whirr lackadaisically, barely moving the swamp-thick air; our lunch is white rice, fish curry, and sweets; and the only way to stay awake this midsummer afternoon is to jabber.Continue reading “Backsides by Amita Basu”
Hindsight and Occupational Choices by Michael Bloor
I think it’s quite common for people to chat to their dead parents/spouse/buddies from time to time. In Andy’s case, he would chat to his dead dad, usually when the car was stuck in traffic. Andy’s dad had been a no-nonsense kinda guy and his contributions to these conversations tended towards telling Andy not to be so bloody daft; which advice Andy usually found helpful.Continue reading “Hindsight and Occupational Choices by Michael Bloor”
The Glorious Both/And by Jane Houghton
She walked down a long street, new-build red-brick configurations either side of her. She didn’t rush, she had no need for rushing, her strides slow and steady. A slight thing, tiny, some might say delicate, but she wouldn’t be stopped. Couldn’t be stopped. A row of prop-forwards would struggle against her. A decision had been made, signed and sealed in her head. She was going to do it. SHE WAS ACTUALLY GOING TO DO IT. The joy that this yielded rendered her untouchable.Continue reading “The Glorious Both/And by Jane Houghton”
Scoundrel Through the Ages by Dan Shpyra
It is common knowledge that a man of high status but of the lowest of incomes is in need of a wife with a hefty dowry. Edgar Brown was no exception to the rule.
Mr. Brown was pacing the parlor, anxiously checking the time on his golden watch. It was one out of two fortunes left to him by his late father, William Brown: An aristocrat with a pitiful love of horse racing. It was not, however, the fortune of the watch, but rather the fortune of his looks, that got him this most desirable appointment. He was handsome, indeed: A tall young man with broad shoulders and luxuriant dark hair. Those two gifts, the golden timepiece and his pleasant looks, often brought him numerous acquaintances with the most agreeable young ladies. Mr. Brown was agitated nonetheless, for this time, the match was not to merely secure his evening but his future in its entirety.Continue reading “Scoundrel Through the Ages by Dan Shpyra”
The Chicken by James Hannan
‘What’s he doing out there?’ Jill says, as the tall figure of their father passes by the window.
‘No, seriously Brendan, can you come have a look? He’s being weird again.’
‘He’s always being weird. Just ignore him.’ Brendan’s playing Fortnite. His eyes don’t leave the screen.
Jill gets up and goes to the window, sticking her face near to the frame so she can get a better angle. ‘See, see, he keeps walking around the house, looking under it from time to time.’Continue reading “The Chicken by James Hannan”
Fifteenth Year by Jessica Cull
I had been bleeding one year. Was told that made me a woman, but didn’t feel like one. Felt still small, my baby hair still soft. Light wisps on ice cream skin. Like the fluff of a wolf pup before it turns wiry in the winter, shedding its youth as its softness falls away. Maybe that was my bleeding. Maybe my softness was leaving me, replaced by black-red oozing and inside bruising.Continue reading “Fifteenth Year by Jessica Cull”
Sunday Whatever: I Kissed Her Goodbye by Jacob Greb
Welcome to this week’s Sunday Feature. Today we proudly present a breathless little “kiss” of a work by Jacob Greb. Although it is brief and lies somewhere between a prose poem and a story, we found this too wonderful to pass by. We hope you agree.
I Kissed Her Goodbye
I stare at the headlights with distress. The restless night made me a zombie. “Brains?” I beg a bystander. He kindly smiles.
“You fool,” memories of Julia’s last words like waves return to the shore. If only I knew how to swim. I keep on chasing the wrong fields. The meadow has turned brown. The autumn has come and Julia’s feet got cold. She likes to wear orange and green striped wool socks. My mesh of a head however can’t catch any fish. I am lonesome for her touch but Julia repeats that she loves me more. We sweep each other into our arms and lay wrapped in the blanket.
“Your heart beats radicle,” Julia says between her hums. She does so to sway me to sleep, but my fingers tingle readily to paint a thousand moons. The notes stain another night as the pianist plays the wrong lullaby. My mother’s curse carries on. White stripes and surgical tables. That’s where my mind wonders at the late hour. The wanderer I become. Julia falls asleep and I lay listening to her light snores. Nothing can cure my disease. I lift my feet and leave the bed, stumbling on the crate reused as storage for books and doctor’s notes. Hope has left the day. The streets at two finally breathe with relief. A bicycle leans against a steel pole for thieves to gaze at and take.
“Don’t leave your valuable unattended.” The reminder notice I keep in my pocket. I stole it from the psych ward.
I enter the middle lane and take my chances. The strange air is left behind by the last exhaust pipe and I inhale the pollution and cough. Fly by with a honk, but I continue to walk to the top of the block and close the loop. Takin’ on the sideways, finding a nickel, before I stop and stare at the headlights approaching, thinking of poor Julia. The curve of her smile as she whispered, “I love you. Good night. Be in peace. You fool.”
I kissed her goodbye.