by Karleigh Frisbie Brogan
The master bedroom, fulsome and delicately lit, had the illusion of being near water: a ceiling that rippled with sunset, the coolness of dim afternoon. In here we put our bed, a large ship of blonde wood, of brimming pillowtop. This was an adult bedroom, correct, decent, full of secrets kept in nightstand drawers and concealed between smoothed sheets. Rooms like these are recreated for catalogues and showrooms, Platonic forms on which our dreams are based.
Maury’s Holy Grail
by Max Talley
Maurice Schonberg shuddered awake to answer the phone after the first ring. At 2 a.m., the loud jangle of the landline would wake his wife Grace.
“Who is this?” he asked in a raspy, ghost voice.
by Corey Farrenkopf
I stamped the For Sale sign into the lawn seven months ago. Since then, I arranged one tour, fielded five related phone calls, and received zero offers. I was the only realtor in a five town radius. The house was the only one on the market within that radius. No one moved there. No one moved away. When residents died, their houses were willed to younger generations or they collapse inward. The main road was lined with moldering frames, wooden skeletons climbing out of never mown lawns. Some were charred black from electrical fires, others were little more than kindling heaped into a cement foundation, sunken like collapsed graves.
by Michele Suzann
It was not a large sum of money but I needed it. I was attempting to be different, trying not to tell a story. You know, the one entitled Why I Need The Money? I had discovered that whether or not the story prompted its hearer to hand over dollars, it inevitably inspired a compulsion to transmit advice. But I had never told the story to learn how I might, in future, avoid having the story to tell; I told the story to get money. As the situation persisted, however, and in an attempt to change it without cash, I stopped telling the story. This on the advice of a hearer (I was beaten down; what can I say; I took it). The advice was: if you stop telling the story, it will cease to be true, ergo: you will not need the money. I had taken this advice to the payday lender, to the sale of still-treasured not to mention useful personal effects, to the second job, to the third job. Places you could go to, storyless.
by JL Bogenschneider
I was in a balloon with Jeannie and Miguel when they told me they were in love and planned to marry.
“Each other?” I said, aghast.
“Of course,” said Miguel.
Never A Bridesmaid
by Ashley P. Taylor
To: Laura Weddings June 11
Thanks for your sympathy, Mama. I love you, too!
It’s interesting that you were upset about not being invited to that girl’s wedding, just because you’re more friends with the mother. I’m sorry you felt excluded.
by Ingrid Nelson
“Agnes, let’s pluck out your eyebrows and the hair on top of your forehead,” says Codre. I don’t say anything. She’s my maidservant, and my best friend, though it’s difficult to understand this relationship. Sometimes we’re awful to each other on purpose with an intensity neither of us acknowledges, though other times we act completely normal, like best friends, or like she’s my maidservant. We’re in my room, in the castle, with its heavy green velvet drapes and matching bed canopy. Codre and I do everything together, including using the bathroom. She helps me take care of my pet bird and my pet monkey. She’s been working for me since she was seven and now we are both fourteen. Every night we sleep in the same bed. She knows me better than anyone.
by Chris Molnar
There is a disorder that arises from the reading of a certain medical text. This text describes a disorder, most common in the unorganized territories of mid-19th century North America, in which a patient experiences transient global amnesia, in conjunction with an obsessive, persistent compulsion to organize an expedition to the North Pole, creating polar amnesia. An account from the 1890s tells of a young gold miner walking north from Dawson. Months later pale bones and a pickax are discovered by incredulous Inuit near the Arctic coast, his remains scattered along gravel shores and pingos.