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”
Her box on the shelf at June’s Miniature Mart is getting dusty. She watches through her plastic window on the world as her aisle is put on sale. “50% off! Get ’em before they’re gone!”Continue reading “June’s Miniature Mart Off Highway 101 by Sage Tyrtle”
My nails are dirty. Always have been.
A constant reminder to Irma that I wasn’t good enough for her.Continue reading “Strangerman by Arthur Davis”
Right out of high school after Dad died I inherited eighteen acres down the road from Mom’s house. Raye, who I now call “The Old Crow” married me quick after that. I started building for our great future. I framed the house around and over top of the trailer, then took the inside trailer wall out. We trucked in water from Mom’s place. My friend Elton and I constructed the septic tank, a fifty gallon drum with pipe holes at both ends, pushed down in a rocky hole. My brother Jackson helped lift the roof trusses. My life pinnacle topped there, Raye and I bouncing on the bed by the wood stove, sex and drink and rock and roll in the custom made residence, and then came three kids, Raye and my mighty sperm created them two girls and a boy.Continue reading “My Plea For Solitude by Harrison Kim”
It began when the weather turned. That cold, still brightness had gone. The leaves’ rusted gilt was torn from the trees and scattered across the tumbling grey clouds by the winds that knocked over the bins and beat down the last of the climbing beans in the vegetable patch. The shed’s corrugated roof flapped like a fish, clanging through the night.Continue reading “The Plea by Craig Dobson”
Betty’s blue sneakers are alongside of the road. My sneakers are red.Continue reading “Betty and My Sneakers by Townsend Walker”
Mom costs me friends. She shows up drunk to my high school functions. Double-fists Merlot at a parent teacher conference. And it happens again at my drama club production of Hamlet, set in a Burger King. Although this time she imbibes Pinot.
Friends’ parents suggest I’m not good company. It’s not me, they claim. They just have to be selective. This is high school, it’s a volatile time for everyone. People are easily influenced.Continue reading “Friend Request by Yash Seyedbagheri”
A Day in the Life of 1987
Ever since it was installed in 1951, the carillon atop the Charleston city courthouse plays a piece of classical music after it chimes noon. On a day long since protected by the statute of limitations, I was waiting out a red light in front of the courthouse when the carillon played the Chopin nocturne featured in The Deer Hunter. Maybe I’ve reached the age where my cultural references are “out of print,” but there’s a special sadness in that melody which always sinks me; yet on that day, when I was twenty-eight, I felt nothing at all.Continue reading “The Sisterhood of Nod by Leila Allison”
Yeah, I live on Scarlet Street all right, near the corner of Agamemnon and Chintz. You know it? There is a pool hall on the corner, where there was a stabbing last year. 1732 to be exact, apartment 2C, in the back. I used to have a Plymouth Valiant but now I drive a Malibu. I just finished a box of crackers and a hunk of Swiss. I’m all out of dough. Cashed my pension over a week ago, paid some bills, and haven’t a dime to my name.Continue reading “They Shot the Beave by David Lohrey”