Issue 16.3 – Fiction

There’s change in my pocket. It jangles while I walk heavy against my leg. The dog is at home; too yappy to walk with me this morning. I left the chaos of the house behind. I needed this walk. Calm. Soothing. Quiet. I’ll never tire of these views. The smell of the sea. The salt…

Issue 16.2 – Fiction

Tic, tic, tic. Like fireworks. Like a shower of hail on a rooftop. Like fingernails parading on glass. Like the sound of tires on gravel. The boy was almost soothed by the sound as his eyelashes flickered in the darkness. “Shh,” his mother gently assuaged. Her hands were cool on his forehead. He turned on…

Issue 16.1 – Fiction

I was there the summer Birdie disappeared. It was 1979 and incredibly hot. I remember how the pavement sizzled from baking in the sun and how the grass became crusty and brown. Betsy, the owner of the local diner, used to give us free ice cream that would melt as we ventured into the outdoor…

Issue 15.4 – Fiction

Grace was their miracle baby. Susan had picked Grace’s name because she felt sure, one-hundred percent, bone-deep sure, that she was a miracle. After four miscarriages in five years, Pete had wanted them to stop. The toll it was taking on them was too much, he’d said. The elation they’d felt the first time Susan…

Issue 15.3 – Fiction

The journey from one near-bankrupt department store to the other takes eighteen minutes, at least while pushing a stroller. Under snow-fogged skylights, I trudge past a succession of dark storefronts, still locked behind their chain-mail fences, as my boots leave gray puddles on the just-buffed terrazzo. Tags dangle from rows of stacked merchandise, fluttering in…

Issue 15.2 – Fiction

You know everything now: names of animals, flowers, trees; how to do chores. You can reach the clothesline and run errands and learn anything you copy down in your theme book. You’re twelve, but you haven’t got a mother to explain what’s coming. When you first started to swell up top, you thought you had…

Issue 15.1 – Fiction

She listened to the rattling of their shackles and the sobbing of Prisoner 940 in front of her. His bawling had started hours ago when the guards put them on the bus: three men and her, with twice as many guards. They had been instructed not to make noise. She supposed crying didn’t count. She…

Issue 14.5 – Fiction

Their father was a photographer who took pictures of Cuba, mostly cars. Blue Chevrolets against backdrops of scarred yet colorfully painted apartment buildings.  TIME magazine published several of them in the early eighties and the paycheck was substantial enough to afford his getaway. He left them in the middle of the night. Sarah and her…

Issue 14.4 – Fiction

Taylor plopped down next to me on the crunchy grass the Friday before Halloween. None of this would have happened, had I woken up early enough to ride my bike. She started chatting immediately, apparently not noticing my look of confusion or the ear-buds jammed into my head, my signal to the rest of the…

Issue 14.3 – Fiction

I knew that Jimmy Pallotta was my birth father in the same way I knew that the brown stain on my forearm was a birth mark. Everyone has a birth mark somewhere. Birth mark, birth father. They carried the same weight in my life. Besides, the man had eight other children; his plate runneth over….