Category: Fiction

  • Brett Biebel

    SPAM FACTORY We ate cans of the stuff during the ’85-’86 strike.  Dad smuggled them out of the plant starting maybe six months prior.  One at a time.  He sensed it all coming, and so it was every smoke break and every lunch, and his whole life he never took vacation or sick leave or […]

  • Avalon Felice Lee

    LITTLE SOLDIER Before, I knew only what I must: pre-war, China; post-war, America. I was only nine then, watching you beneath an ancient breed of red lanterns, the grocery aisle awash in a cheap yellow native to San Francisco, a yellow made you look older than a grandmother. There was something different about how the […]

  • Casey Bell

    DIRT TO SEA I am lying on the wet pavement. I bring my fingers to my face and where there should be bone, there is wetness and softness. My right eye is swollen shut. Blood flows from my broken nose down the back of my throat. I swallow it, warm and metallic, to keep from […]

  • Laura Schmitt

    STORM CELLS We figured there was a problem, a rather serious one, when our son Landen started playing in the bathroom and only the bathroom. He would collect his action figures and stuffed animals from his bedroom and haul them to the bathroom off the kitchen, the one with the most interior walls. Sometimes he […]

  • Kathryn Holzman

    The Aquarium Even with the classroom windows closed, Aron could still smell the smoke. Off in the distance, the Los Padres National Forest smoldered. In front of the class, Maya was reading her essay aloud. “What I did over the summer.” Balancing on one tanned foot, she read. “In August, my family visited the Monterey […]

  • Yun Wei

    IT WAS A WATERMELON LOVE Juicy, sweet and fast. Alice was fifteen that summer and in Provence with her family on their first trip to Europe, when she saw the boy at the motel pool in neon green swim trunks and black sunglasses. Gabe had offered her a slab of gum. By sunset they were […]

  • Mialise Carney

    THE NIGHT THE COWS GOT LOOSE I wasn’t at Uncle Drew’s by choice—Mom sent me here to spend the fall at a new school, to work on the old family farm and learn about real hardship. Now instead of spending my weekends watching reality tv and scrolling through Instagram until my vision blurs, I rinse […]

  • Margaret Emma Brandl

    WALKER BRENTSON In the gym before first period, Walker Brentson appears midcourt like a dadgum miracle. It’s been seven weeks since anyone last saw him. First we didn’t say much, just that he must be sick. It had been three days before we noticed at all. Second week, we thought he had the flu. Third […]

  • Joe Baumann

    BEFORE SOMETHING ELSE IS GONE Clai turns off the television, where a newscaster is reporting that over fifty new cases of people waking up without left arms have been reported in Florida.  Leonard is in the shower, his clothes dripping a trail from the end of Clai’s bed to the bathroom, where hot water is […]

  • R.S. Powers

    THE HAPPIEST PLACE ON EARTH He gets down on one knee with a waxy smile. He pops an old glasses case and points at me a .22-bullet-sized inset that gleams like a blood-dark shard of church glass. I’ve seen the ring on his mom. Will you marry me? he trumpets and everyone outside Cinderella’s Castle […]