by Craig Rondinone
Samantha Aybar cleared the gravy-laden plates and stained silverware from the dining room table in one swoop and hauled them into the kitchen. She slotted everything in their rightful places inside the dishwasher and swiftly slammed the door shut. Bradley, her husband of nearly a decade, noticed her furious pace as he calmly wrapped leftovers in aluminum foil. Continue reading
by Robert L. Penick
Jesse got his first suit coat on the morning of his uncle’s execution. It was raining outside and the roofing nails protruding down from the ceiling were black with moisture. Pulling himself up from his cot, he worked his chores: raiding the hen house to prod the hens from their prizes, then emptying the slop jars as the rest of the family had breakfast.
by Terek Hopkins
She was in the fourth grade when she had her first panic attack. There was a storm outside, thunder clapping at the windows, lightning dancing panic above the earth. She thought, This is what it must be like to die.
The attack started in her mind, but quickly made its way down her throat and into her chest. It grabbed a hold of her lungs and it squeezed until her breath was something that she could only catch through a singular, concentrated effort.
by Nancy Ford Dugan
They came in the night and took our values.
Someone (in the mailroom? from the cleaning service?) stripped all the plexiglass stands on each desk of the teal-blue sheet of paper that proudly listed all our corporate values.
by Kapena Landgraf
She touched nothing. Papa had died thirty years earlier, but Tutu refused to disturb what he left behind. His shirts still hung in the open closet—button-downs of light blues and whites pressed at the center with sharply ironed cuffs. Brown trousers, thick cotton and wool. Black shoes with silver buckles. Checkered neckties. Handkerchiefs tucked into the front pockets of blazers.