Category Archives: Fiction

After Leaving

by Shannon McLeod

There’s a surrender and ease in being told what to do. It was something I never would have anticipated missing after leaving him.

Once I’ve settled in at the Best Western, I think of calling my sister, Astrid. I’d hate to disturb her, though. She’s recently given birth to twins. I don’t want to burden her. I’ll wait to talk until she asks me for help, I think. She may want a babysitter soon.

I decide I’ll take myself out for dinner. It’s been so many months since I’ve been out to a restaurant. Date nights dwindled after the early stage of our relationship. I suspect he didn’t feel proud of me anymore, didn’t feel I was worth showing off or spending money on. Continue reading

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The Things Left Behind

by Jamin Stortz

It had been three weeks since my brother left before I entered his room. I couldn’t bear it, preferring to leave the door closed and, with it, the possibility that he was still behind it, sitting on the floor with his back against the wall listening to music with his eyes closed like he always did. It was good that he was gone, I would tell myself, repeatedly, despite the sickness in my stomach that told me otherwise. Mom said he was better off, though she couldn’t look me in the eye when she said it. Continue reading

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by Mickie Kennedy

My mother grew up near Chernobyl, decided to go to her aunt’s house after the accident. Her brother stayed behind, a good soldier taking orders. He moved concrete blocks and bags of sand, developed a sunburn despite being inside.

They rotated him out and he spent a few days in the hospital, mostly for observation. Other men fared much worse: some made it, others did not. One told him that he watched the sun set behind blackened crops and knew he too was withering on the vine. Continue reading

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Jumbie Beach

by Chip Livingston

Some an’ time jumbie dem do crash a party.
Some an’ time dem jumbie t’row dey own.

“What’s that even mean?” Kyle whispered.

I used my normal voice, noting how he tends to whisper in the dark. “According to the guidebook back at the eco-tent, jumbies are invisible spirits, tricksters, a type of duende or little people. This is one of the most secluded beaches on the island.”

“You think it’s safe at night?” Continue reading

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by Amber Baird

Sunshine yellow mustard caked all over my hands, America’s Favorite Brand or what the fuck ever, I grab the next bottle. Squirt out ketchup, America’s Favorite non-Newtonian fluid, in a spiral pattern on the wood-style laminate floor. Twist my hips to the soft rock anthem still blaring out of the diner’s sound system.

They announced it this morning, the death of capitalism.

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