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The Girlfriend Game, stories by Nick Antosca



Word Riot Inc.: Kicking Small Press Into High Gear
Short Stories

Leibniz by Jo Beckett-King

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Jo Beckett-King is a writer, editor and translator, whose fiction has appeared in Cleaver Magazine, The Metric, 4’33″, and elsewhere. She edits Oblong, a print and online publication devoted entirely to flash fiction.

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Short Stories

Sheetz vs. Purple Martins by B.G. Firmani

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B.G. Firmani has published fiction in the Bellevue Literary Review, BOMB, the Brooklyner, the Kenyon Review, and Philadelphia Stories. She has been a resident at the MacDowell Colony and Yaddo, and was a 2012 Fellow in Fiction from the New York Foundation for the Arts. She also (occasionally) writes a blog about Italian-American literature and folkways called Forte e Gentile.

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Short Stories

Belong by Caralyn Davis

Caralyn Davis lives in Asheville, N.C., and works as a freelance writer for trade publications. Her fiction and creative nonfiction have appeared in The Doctor T.J. Eckleburg Review, Superstition Review, Monkeybicycle, Killing the Buddha, Relief, and other journals. Her “faves” include hula hooping and the Great Smokies Writing Program at the University of North Carolina-Asheville. Her avatar is from a painting by artist/mother Marilyn Davis. She can be found on Twitter: @CaralynDavis.

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Short Stories

Orcinus Pas de Deux by Ann Tinkham

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Ann Tinkham is a writer based in Boulder, Colorado. She has coauthored a nonfiction book, Climbing Mountains in Stilettos (SourceBooks, 2007). Her fiction has appeared in All Things Girl, Apt, Denver Syntax, The Adirondack Review, Toasted Cheese, Word Riot, and others. When she’s not tinkering with words, she’s seeking adventures. Ann has talked her way out of an abduction and talked her way into the halls of the United Nations. She hitchhiked up a mountain in Switzerland and worked her way down the corporate ladder. Ann has flown on a trapeze and traded on the black market in Russia. She cycles up steep canyons, hikes to glacial lakes and mountain peaks, and blazes her own ski trails.

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Short Stories

What Have You Done? by Charles Rafferty

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“When a boy brings flowers, he wants something. When a man brings flowers, he’s done something.” She fixed me with her gray, laughing eyes. “Are you a man or a boy?”

“Is Julie home, Mrs. Cartwright?” I managed.

“What have you done to my daughter?” she drawled. It was both accusatory and conspiratorial. She held her cigarette off to the side and put her face into the bouquet.

Mrs. Cartwright didn’t have a husband. It was never made clear, even to Julie, whether he’d run off or been killed. Mrs. Cartwright was a hard woman to read. Sometimes I

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Short Stories

Women of Ernesto by Molly Bridgeforth

We have surnames for first names—ripped from the headstones of old family plots—all of them devoid of sex. We own sixteen pairs of heels: red, black, peach, puce—that hang in the armoire, colorful spikes that reoccur like a dream. We feel something like empathy for the broken ones. For breakfast we have Pop Tarts and leftover five-to-ten year plans that life coaches our parents hired formulated way back. Ask any of us, our parents are morons.

We live in the most coveted spot on campus: the first in a row of bungalows at the top of a wooded hill.

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Short Stories

Birthday Cake by Rayne Gasper

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Jimmy finds me in the kitchen and squeezes my waist as he passes me by for the refrigerator. He’s heavy with the smell of gasoline and menthol cigarettes. We’re in the middle of Indian summer and the smell hangs in the heat, wrenching my stomach. Rolling a cold beer against his forehead, he saunters past me, trying to slip a hand up my shorts. I swat him away so he cracks open the sweating can and drops into a chair.     “Did you get the cake?” I ask.     All Jimmy had to do was pick up the cake for Edie’s birthday.

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Short Stories

Heimlich by MC Moore

An ugliness blossoms in Nina’s husband when their daughter is born. Though not confined to the bedroom, it’s at its most unpleasant there. Wordless instruction—would he hurt her if she didn’t submit to his rhythms? Would he hit her? Excitement slides toward fear.      Post-coitus, she tries, “Do you think you might be jealous of Elsie?” Her words grateful of the dark.      “That’s ridiculous. Why would I be jealous of a baby?”      As if he’s asking, what equations does she know?      They met when he was working on his Ph.D. in astrophysics. Nina was a senior, flunking

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Short Stories

Fat Brother by Portland Riley

Tonight I’m driving home and the orange moon looms low and large over the first billboard. Morgan Weber smiles with ultrawhite dentistry, trying to sell me a house I’ll never want to own.

Two more Morgans to go before I pull into the driveway of the only house I’ve ever lived in. Out back on the deck my dad and I will avoid eye contact, stare into half-husks of new houses, drink a six pack and eat a pizza. He’ll talk about Michael, the unstable fat son, until we’re tired enough to sleep.

Tomorrow night I’ll go to a bar,

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Short Stories

Red Alert by Thomas Kearnes

Lonnie, holding a plastic sack from the drug store, swaggered through the front door. I knew he was too wrapped up in making a grand entrance to notice how I admired all the effort he put into that grand entrance. Now it was time to share his attentions with her.      “What you got in the bag, baby?” my big sister asked. Everyone called her Roz but our mother. To her, she was forever Rosalind. Mom insisted she got the name from Shakespeare, but I think it was really “The Young and the Restless.”      “Lonnie’s gonna dye his hair,”

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