Monday is the real beginning of the week, and that is why this story begins there, and that is why Keith’s begins there, too. Monday was the bottom of the hill and the rest of the work week was spent ascending to the top of Friday afternoon. In between was a week of pushing paper, saying yes sir I’m sorry sir, building files, saying yes sir I’m sorry sir I’ll fix that right away, tearing apart files, running around the thirty-eighth floor, calling lawyers, poking accountants on the shoulder saying excuse me but is this figure correct is this
» Continue reading Keith’s Week by Kyle Brown…
To the world, you appear to be single. Everywhere you go — the coffee shop, the library, out with your friends — you are alone. Your newer friends claim you’re not really married — they’ve never met your husband. You laugh at the joke, play along, make excuses. He’s busy, you say. He’s working. Sometimes, it’s true.
Blue light pierces the dark. It hurts your eyes. Your head, it’s been hurting a while. You squint at the blue. Three a.m. Call the number, leave the same message. Where are you? It’s late. You hug your pillow to your
» Continue reading Love, Rose by Missy Roback…
I woke to the optimistic beep of a heart monitor, then immediately noticed the IV wedged into my arm and the soiled gown wrapped around me. I had, apparently, lost my underwear. “We got your temperature down finally,” Dr. Tolleson said, producing a black wand from his pocket. “Am I doped up? I can’t think…can’t remember…” “Just enough for the pain.” I tried to prop myself up, but the room started to swim. Dr. Tolleson zipped back and forth across my vision. “What’s wrong with me?” I asked. “A nasty case of thrush.” A tiny beam of light burst
» Continue reading Get Down with the Sickness by Thomas Kearnes…
Grady George wakes with an urge to go out on the street. Outside, the buildings lean in on him. A stranger approaches. You did good, fella, says the man, shaking his hand. You did good— Huh? What did I do? Oh, you know—don’t be so modest. The thing. You’re the man of the hour. Grady walks past the man. What the man said was foolish; oddball. He has done nothing. He walks on and a policeman approaches him. Hey—Grady—Grady George? Yes, says Grady. What’s the problem, officer? The policeman hooks his thumbs in his belt and smiles. No
» Continue reading Grady George–Man of the Hour by Jim Meirose…
My sister tells me that she thinks we should steal a bear. She is lying on the sofa with her eyes closed, thinking. She thinks for a few more seconds then tells me that she didn’t mean steal, because we wouldn’t be keeping the bear, no-one should keep a bear. We would be freeing the bear. We would take it round the city and to the beach and let it have a good time. My sister works at the zoo and she used to love it. Now she hates it. She says that over time you get to know
» Continue reading Me and My Sister and the Bear by Owen Clements…
On my way out the other day, my neighbour, ground floor, first door, Mrs. Manning, grabbed me before I reached the street.
I need to talk to you, she said.
I’m in a hurry, I tried to say but it was no good.
Collared, I followed her into the uneasy atmosphere of her home.
The arctic airflow, she said, I don’t know what I’m going to do. The outside tap in her yard would freeze over if not insulated and the back gate was off its hinges, at last rust had gotten the better of them,
» Continue reading The Unreliable. by Edward Mc Whinney…
I was the only woman left at work who wasn’t pregnant. Colleagues had swollen ankles and dark rings under their eyes, and they walked as if they were carrying greater burdens than the ones in their bellies. None of them glowed. The receptionist, with only a month to go, was inflamed, rashy, and declined my invitations to chew gum together on the loading dock. Even those who had once wanted babies had acquired a bitter look. We no longer bothered with baby showers.
I came home from work to find Dan destroying several of his marijuana plants. He
» Continue reading An Extraordinary Case by Kate Leary…
As a child, there were three commandments concerning the ocean.
One: Do not wear a red bathing suit if you intend going into the water.
Two: Do not enter the water during the curse, the crimson tide, Aunt Flo’s visit, being on the rag, or any other miserable AKA for a girl’s period.
Three: Do not go in the water alone.
Number three was common sense; one and two were cited as to avoid shark attack, and they were rules I lived by. Until today, my sixteenth birthday, when I intend to die by them.
Alone on the shore,
» Continue reading Rules to Die By by Monica Z. Sage…
When we came to this island, my husband’s company had already rented us an apartment, a tall glass building on an unpopular beach. The building is nearly vacant. An airline rents a few apartments for cabin crew, and a Japanese corporation has a timeshare. Sometimes, cigarette smoke curls up from the balcony below us. Once I heard children running up and down the stairs. I opened the door to see a boy, perhaps four years old, peeing on the welcome mat of the apartment next door. From our terrace I can see my husband’s ship as it cuts through the
» Continue reading Jawbone by Catherine Carberry…
Two months into sixth grade, Mom dies. I did my Pivotal Moment Project on it. With chalk crumbling under my grip, I wrote MELANOMA in big, bold letters on the blackboard. My hands, dusted white, made me think of ashes. I said, “This is my pivotal moment. I thought dying was what happened on TV, and now I know I’m going to die, and my dog is going to die, and—and the Dalai Lama is going to die—and…” A kid near the front of the class said “My grandma died last year and Mom said she’s in a better place.” After
» Continue reading The Sound of Healing by Emil Ostrovski…