September 13th, 2019

The Mirror small.png
 

The mirror flickers over my head while I drag dad’s body through the fields. He was thin at the end, and it’s easy, except for when his skin catches on the jagged rocks that dot the dry plain. I struggle through clutches of tall, dry grass, and as I adjust my grip on his cold wrists, I’m amazed how it can still grow even now. Read more…

 

August 13th, 2019

 

When he finds her, she is sitting on her feet, knife against her wrists, watching the blood fall down, drop by drop, to the base of the tree.

“I can save it,” she tells him drowsily.

He kisses her forehead tenderly. “I know.” Read more…

 

July 13th, 2019

 

Last summer my mother accidentally chopped my father’s ear off with the garden shears.

“How did that happen?” my father asked in the ambulance on the way to Union Hospital while a beefy paramedic held a pile of white gauze to his head.

“I had them sharpened last week,” my mother answered. Read more…

 

June 13th, 2019

The Unboxing
 

In the news feed, scrolling. Push the screen down. Watch it slide. Pictures slip away. Familiar faces. People I know. Have known. Slide. Press the heart. Like the post.

Slide. Repeat. Slide. Repeat. Read more…

 

May 13th, 2019

 

After the big boys down the block go missing, it’s lights out and then lights on. Broad stretches of the street are washed in sodium light, and every station wagon in every driveway shines under motion sensitive security bulbs. Everyone’s doors get locked, you can almost hear every lock on the street like click-click-boom, a series of tiny gunshots. Read more…

 

April 13th, 2019

 

Maria Aparecida knew she was sick about the time she started having visions. The first vision came as she washed clothes one morning in the river by her home; she saw a little girl playing barefoot by the riverbed in a white dress with red mud around the hem. The girl was dark, like Aparecida’s late mother, and was concentrating hard on something in the water. She looked about three years old. A moment later the girl vanished. That’s how Aparecida knew the baby she was carrying was going to be a girl. Read more…

 

March 13th, 2019

 

Journal Entry CCX

It’s like a figment of my imagination, how good this feels, and how at night when I fall asleep, I fall asleep hard and I don’t wake until morning, and nothing is sore or restless or tired. Because there’s so much good. That’s why I sleep hard next to her and that’s why sometimes I can’t believe this even exists. How did I get so lucky? And will I have to make it up later, all this good luck? For now, I don’t care, because I’m with her, and that’s all that matters, that’s all I care about. Read more…

 

February 13th, 2019

 

The children drowned on a Sunday. Three of them. All newborns. The rest of the deaths came the Sundays after.

It took us all awhile to figure out the cause of death, since none of them were around water when they drowned, except Tony, taking a bath. The others, though, they were sleeping or up in sycamores or sitting at their cramped kindergarten craft tables. Sally Star was making a mud pie. George Thompson, a valentine. Read more…

 

January 13th, 2019

 

The Proctors lived at the center of the east cul-de-sac and Abby lived almost a half mile away, at the center of the west cul-de-sac. Everest Street bisected the two. When Abby got off from babysitting on Thursday nights, she walked in a straight line from the Proctors’ house to hers. It rained practically all of September, so Mr. Proctor started driving Abby home from babysitting. The third time he drove her through the cul-de-sacs, he pulled into her driveway, put the car in park, and Abby took her seatbelt off. Then, she reached over and took his off, leaving her hand between his legs. Read more…

 

December 13th, 2018

 

Come rain or shine, Walter fed the gods.

On the shit-slick rooftop, right before we’d strap in to drop and hit the windows, he’d open a brown paper bag, pull out a stale slice of Roman Meal, and feed them. Like clockwork. He fed them the way a farmer might feed chickens in a coop—minus the coop, of course—but Walter wasn’t a farmer, just like the pigeons that plagued the rooftop of Saint Michael’s Medical Center weren’t birds. They were Walter’s dark gods, divinity on silver wings, and the reason my Lizzie’s still alive. Read more…

 

November 13th, 2018

 

He said he’d only lick her if she trimmed down there and in a rage she said it would take less time to clean a squid. Neither of them was sure if she meant it seriously, but ten minutes later they were watching videos of people cleaning Atlantic longfin squids on his phone. Read more…

 

October 13th, 2018

 

APARTMENT LIVING ROOM:

Gloria Dean, forty, skinny, wrinkled, once a pretty teenager with a life ahead of her, sits on a second-hand, floral-patterned sofa, her body creating a V of the lone cushion. She is depressed.

Not long ago she lived with a man named Peter. Read more…

 

September 13th, 2018

 

From the observation window, the object beyond the installation looked like a very large organ that had squeezed its way out of a very large body. Greene thought it had the shape of a liver or a kidney, but he couldn’t remember which was which. The object was not an asteroid and it was not made of ice, he was sure of that. They had seen asteroids before, and plenty of ice. This was different. The object appeared soft, malleable; its exterior was the color of bruised flesh. Read more…

 

August 13th, 2018

HOW TO GAG
A SINGING GOAT

BY BRENDA ANDERSON

 

The small mountain village of Blechtz woke one morning to opera. Amazed, the villagers tracked the loud, dramatic, heart-rending songs to a goat.

A singing goat.

Blechtz went wild. Read more...

 

July 13th, 2018

The COracle

BY MARLENA EVANS

 

The man in the seat in front of me unscrews the lid off a bottle of bubble solution and licks the attached wand as though it is a spoon covered in chocolate. He then tilts the open bottle—green and decorated with swirls: Miracle Bubble—into his mouth and drinks. There are seven other people in the van and none of us say anything. We are not even granted the momentary mercy of thinking he has stored some other kind of liquid in the container. The smell of soap is unmistakable. Read more...

 

June 13th, 2018

BATS

BY STEPHEN GRAHAM JONES

 

A boy on the cusp of puberty walks out of a theater with his parents one night, and a mugger’s waiting in the alley for them. He only wants money and jewels, but, because this particular mugger has a gun, he takes more. Read more...

 

May 13th, 2018

REDEMPTION

BY LISA QUIGLEY

 

It’s cold, in the dark. You must understand this.

I’ve been formless for so long. The others are always in and out of humans, but you mustn’t fault them. We have a need. We have been deprived. It is our instinct. It is in our nature. Read more...

 

April 13th, 2018

 

In the months before the second annual Missouri Linguistic Synod, my colleagues and I took advantage of several opportunities to share preliminary and organizational materials with each other. Our high capacity for the enjoyment of humor provided the name of this following small collection of those materials, which is a severe deformation of the title of Raymond Carver's 1981 meditation on reflection, as if you didn't already realize that immediately. Read more...

 

March 13th, 2018

more tomorrow

BY PREMEE MOHAMED

 

DAY 5

Anyway, it turns out trilobites aren’t very good eating even if you haven’t eaten in days. I had particularly high hopes for the fat, humped asaphids, thinking they would taste like shrimp, but everything I’ve caught so far is strictly armor and attitude, plus they bite. Discovered this morning that if you just hoik a trilobite in the fire and assume terminal temperature, it crawls out and shakes itself off like a little tank. Complete decapitation required. PAPER IDEA: Mechanisms of apparent trilobite invincibility. They're not strictly aquatic, either, they come right up on land and look at you while you're eating their friends. Jesus. Read more...

 

February 13th, 2018

SWARM OF PAN

BY CHRISTI NOGLE

 

The dreams begin approximately ten days before the start of a new semester. The teacher falls asleep watching late-night programs, wakes with the dream images, and curls away from her husband’s warm back to write.

Keep a dream journal, she tells students. Her classes focus on discreet academic tasks, but she says we have to grasp at what we can. She talks about her own modest actions toward making art and making the world a finer place. She hopes that the ones who seek permission to do the same will take that permission, and the others will think, at least, that they should pretend. Read more...

 

January 13th, 2018

WHY I WRITE

BY STEPHEN GRAHAM JONES

 

I write because I can’t draw. I write because I can’t cut to the basket slick enough to go pro. I write because I eat too many sixlets and drink too much tea and my fingers get all jittery, and I have to put them somewhere. I write because, for a few pages at a time, I can make the world make sense. Read more...