by John Gerard Fagan
Yukimitsu sat cross-legged by an unlit fire. The room was still except for a slither of light inching under the door. Tea bubbled somewhere out in the dark; the smell made his throat run and jutted him out of his dream-like daze. He coughed and his breath smoked. Longed for the days before he served at Court. Longed to hear her voice in the now silent rice fields.
by Laura Shaine Cunningham
For nine years, Len and Kit Callendar faced west. One morning they drove into their view.
Outside, in the predawn dark of Riverside Drive, Kit sat at the wheel of their car, motor running, while Len made several return trips up to 7B, to ensure that he had not forgotten anything.
No matter how hard he concentrated, his papers seemed to disappear as he looked at them, especially his own birth certificate.
by Robert Leone
Duffy woke up in a room that smelled of disinfectant, supermarket flowers, and urine. A mylar balloon in the shape of a heart lay halfway deflated on the floor next to his bed. ‘Get well soon!’ it demanded in flowing red script. “Fuck you,” Duffy thought. Through the metal-framed window all he could see were clouds and a thin edge of treetops shivering in the cold. “This is no way to die,” he said out loud to no one. Continue reading
by Marvin Shackelford
The Bible means more, but the brick is heavier. The brick is the only loose piece from the home they built together, a failing of the mortar along the porch, but the Bible has the family tree. It branches back before them to Ellis, to gangplanks dropped against New England rock. It singles down after them to son and daughters and has begun splitting and grafting away again. Their life a still, narrow point. She can dig on into the Bible and turn up the roots of all mankind. She can stumble through vows chanted and sworn and inscribed. She sits and thinks. She sits and drinks wine from the wedding, dusty from the cabinets. Too soon for it still, really. It’s wrapped up, the Bible, in black leather stiff with age and scoured smooth by fingers.
by Jake Greenblot
Mom had just killed a dog in the dining room. An arc of arterial blood had splashed against the glass double doors of my father’s special, never-to-be-touched-if-you-want-to-continue-sleeping-indoors oak cabinet, and a pool was forming on the floor around my younger brother Chris’s Superman cape, red on red. So much blood, and that red so impossibly bright. Too much to be inside one dog, it seemed. Memory can magnify these things, I’m sure.