by TJ Fuller
One Friday I linger until I am alone and start rifling through my coworkers’ cubes. We sell security systems and we save everything: sales scripts, client binders, marketing folders. We notate lead lists and pocket bar napkins. Me too. My drawers don’t lock either. My notes expose me. I’m sure I’m not the only snooper.
Fear of the Unknown
by Allan MacDonell
In the mornings, sometimes, she finds herself before sunrise between sleep and wakefulness in an undefended state where the old questions still pretend to apply.
Where is he? She is in the outer court at the Hollywood Bowl. The headliner’s start time has been called, and he has not called. She sits one of three people in a box for four. The open sky above with its far off starlight illuminates nothing beyond the mystery of the moon and that one open seat. How long have I been lying here? She is drowsy on a rocky Sardinia beach. Grainy pebbles mold to her protrusions. Her towel has had a chance to dry since her last swim. He’d said he was going into the water, only for a moment, just for a dip and he’d be back.
They Vanished Strangely
by Eric Magnuson
People are wrong when they say Austin. That wasn’t the first. The first vanishing was Camden, New Jersey in 1949, seventeen years before Austin, long enough for Camden’s youngest disappeared to have graduated from high school, though, of course, he never did. All that was left of the toddler was his onesie, crumpled in his playpen as if he’d torn it off in a red-faced fit. There were twelve more that day, each of them evaporating into, what? Nothing? We can’t even say nothing. Because we don’t know.
To Perform a Task Well Is Sufficient
by Maddy Raskulinecz
My task was to induce stress in the participants. I was allowed to do it however I liked. Stress is lizardly in the brain, which can be people’s qualm with it, that the enemies it steels you against are not the ones likely stressing you, like:
by Lucie Britsch
She warned me on our first night together that there might be sharks. Not just regular ones but night ones, swimming around the bed. If I wanted to call it off, she understood.
I said we could go back to mine but she said it didn’t matter, the sharks would still come.
Sacs by Kara Vernor He poked the drying jellyfish with a stick and flies scattered. “Looks like a fake tit,” he said. “Like someone was jogging along and it flopped out.”
Salad Days by Frances Badalamenti On the night that Uncle Joe’s Tavern opened for the first time ever, I was asleep in my room. I had turned ten that day. My mother had our loud Italian family over for baked ziti and cake. We had just moved from a big four-bedroom house with a sprawling yard and a two-car garage into a nondescript one-bedroom garden apartment, even though there was nothing resembling a garden. There was grass and parking areas. […]
Discovering a Terrible Truth by Jamie Iredell At a cubicled desk he calculated, entered the numbers, filled the forms with his name, a name he would forget. His ties came with stripes and paisleys. His coffee smelled of strong earth. He’d come to this city for work after four years shoving his head in books on a quadrangled, cottonwood-lined campus. He was duded up in fine wool slacks, his teeth gleaming from the dentist, a ticking watch slipped into his […]