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The Girlfriend Game, stories by Nick Antosca



Word Riot Inc.: Kicking Small Press Into High Gear
Stretching Forms

Gmail – Inbox – richard.lee@gmail.com by Erik Doughty

Read “Gmail – Inbox – richard.lee@gmail.com” by Erik Doughty [PDF]

Erik Doughty

About the Author:

Erik Doughty is an Asian American writer from New Jersey. His work was recently published in Stymie Magazine and is forthcoming in Annalemma. He lives in Boston working as an editor at Digi-Block, Inc. and carries a notebook, air guitar, and inhaler with him wherever he goes.

Poetry

Two Poems by Derek N. Otsuji

THE WORK OF MEMORY

The clock repeats its stoic parable as Grandma talks. The seconds tick and fall tick, fall, like felled tress crashing with no sound.

She’s caught up in a memory of the place from which she speaks—a house, a flowering tree, a footpath leading to a bay where boats

spilling silver bonito land their catch. The fishing port buzzes with activity as women of the village toil all night,

cleaning and quartering fillets to dry by sunrise. She talks on about the sea, the clear deep emerald color of the bay,

the chatter of the

» Continue reading Two Poems by Derek N. Otsuji…

Flash Fiction

Night Shift by Sarah Gerard

The hummingbird in the freezer was the smallest of the birds. The largest was the crow. I wondered if they might be kept for the cats. Should I thaw one and feed them? Then I wondered if they might be for jewelry, as she kept a jewelry-making table in her study. I picked up the crow with both hands and held it out in front of me. Its feathers rustled in the draft from the freezer. Its head was bent at a hard angle, as if it had flown into a wall and broken its neck. Its legs were frozen

» Continue reading Night Shift by Sarah Gerard…

Poetry

I Know, I Know, But God I Miss Smoking by Debra Shirley

Listen to a reading of “I Know, I Know, But God I Miss Smoking” by Debra Shirley.

Fifteen years past quitting I still dream of inhaling a sweet lungful,

crouched with my brother in the attic smoking KOOLS pilfered from Mama’s purse,

or chain-smoking all-nighters at the theatre, hanging electrics, legs and scrims, lashing flats, pinning costumes.

My Chi-town hipster blunt-cuts taught me to hand-roll Drum on Zig Zags in a half-moon

around Keeney’s half-tuned Bucktown upright, howling the Johnny Bench songbook at the top of our smoky lungs.

My all time favorite smokes were over breakfast at the Busy

» Continue reading I Know, I Know, But God I Miss Smoking by Debra Shirley…

Flash Fiction

The Way You Move Twelve Minutes From Home by Stefanie Freele

Be manic. Work through the holidays. Don’t give a fuck about the turkey soup and any other leftover. Scoff at the idea of Christmas lights. Say things like now we’ll finally get ahead with all that money I’m bringing in. Take medicine on an empty stomach; refuse ice, food, rest, and prayer. Minimize seven months of sobriety down to an easy feat to snatch again.      While sober, make a choice at the liquor store. Stay up until four a.m. – with that choice – listening to Art Bell. Become convinced the government is behind it all. Realize aliens are

» Continue reading The Way You Move Twelve Minutes From Home by Stefanie Freele…

Flash Fiction

Still Life with Mo by William T. Vandemark

Pregnant with a watermelon, Maureen “Mo” Johnson, sex worker and shoplifter, tugs at her dress. Adjustments made, she heads for the exit, humming to herself. Humpty, her pet turtle, will dine well tonight. Fruit salad for everyone.      Leaving the store, Mo recognizes the security guard from a port-wine stain on his forehead. Saturday night, unable to rise to the occasion, he’d demanded his money back. “You’re crazy,” Mo said. “Happy endings are never guaranteed.” She jumped from the passenger seat as he shifted his pickup into gear.      Now, his thin-lipped smirk greets Mo once again. Mo tries to

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Stretching Forms

Standard Service Contract: Final Notification and Escort by Tim Bass

1. Overview      This document establishes a formal and exclusive Contractual Agreement regarding the retention of Grim Reaper, Inc., for delivery of the express professional services to be stated herein. All terms, conditions, descriptions, and fees spelled out below and on subsequent pages, if any, shall constitute a legally binding business arrangement between Grim Reaper, Inc., and the undersigned party(ies). Specifics of this Agreement are outlined as follows. 2. Services to be Rendered      I, ____________________ (insert name, hereinafter to be referred to as “Contractee”), an appointed, anointed, indentured, condemned, or otherwise selected Believer in (check as appropriate; you may

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Flash Fiction

The Abstraction Pool by M. Thomas Gammarino

Listen to a reading of “The Abstraction Pool” by M. Thomas Gammarino.

Wilma went down to the pool the other day only to find it filled with rigor. It wasn’t but a couple of days since Johnston had found a swirl of categorical imperative in the deep end. It used to be we’d just get physical stuff—bicycles, rat carcasses and the like—but the vandals are getting more sophisticated. I never would have taken this manager gig if I’d known all these headaches were in the job detail. The only reason I did take it was so we could have a

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Poetry

Two Poems by Kenneth P. Gurney

Listen to a reading of “Enlightenment” by Kenneth P. Gurney.

Enlightenment

When I was twelve and a half the puberty experience struck me like lightning and, metaphorically,

set a smoldering ember in the framework that was my childhood self.

My knees hurt so much from the growth spurt— six inches in five months— that I learned to sit down and read books: hundreds of them on many topics, but not sex-ed.

I continued to ride my bicycle all over Chicago-land sometimes roaming as far west as thirty miles from home out into the prairie and corn fields among people who

» Continue reading Two Poems by Kenneth P. Gurney…