by Heidi Turner
Lydia tried floating on her back, like she’d seen in movies, but it wasn’t relaxing in the actual ocean. The sun was far too bright overhead, and the warm water rocked her enough to make it impossible to tell if she was drifting faster than was safe, or if a wave was coming. She could feel the grains of sand exfoliating all the nooks and crannies of her bikini and the surf shorts she always wore—another experience that sounds pleasant but isn’t. She rolled over onto her stomach, only dipping below the surface for a moment in the practiced motion. Her limbs dangled down into the water, deep enough that her toes could only scrape the bottom at her full height. She turned her head to the sky and breathed. Face down in the water, she could feel her lungs pushing her body against the pull-down of the ocean. I bet I look like I’ve drowned. Continue reading
by John Blahnik
My wife was coordinating our tapas order with David and Rachel when I spotted the girl. She held her fork in a fist, as if she were spear fishing, and vertically struck her octopus. Her parents watched indulgently. The girl chewed, and her mouth moved as if it were struggling with a gumball. I thought that the whole scene was adorable. Continue reading
by Douglas Young
Madikwe Game Reserve—June 23, 2010
“Can’t they get in?” I asked the ranger.
We’d just finished breakfast in an overdone dining room with unsurprising pictures of animals every direction you looked. We were gathered outside in the circular drive of the craftsman style Motswiri Lodge. I wore a brimmer hat with my long auburn hair tucked under to protect it from lightening any more than it had rowing crew back home on the Bay. Continue reading
by Derek Andersen
Already, Joan is running late. But she still hasn’t found the right outfit—the ensemble bold enough to signal a triumphant return from her fifty-four-day leave of absence, but not so bold as to upstage the victims.
She, after all, was on the periphery of The Tragedy that struck Twin Lakes High. Though, perhaps “periphery” was too generous a term. She was on the margins, the outermost fringes. One could argue whether she’d been grazed by its farthest-reaching ripples. Continue reading
by Julie McClement
“Is it bad if I’m not into racism?” Phoebe asked.
Her brother, Max, was snapping photos of loons as they glided across the lake. This activity, which he referred to as his métier, was one he claimed required monk-like contemplation and he therefore had an annoying tendency to ignore Phoebe while engaging in it. At this, though, he lowered the camera. Continue reading