Sunday Stories: “Chafing”

Buildings

Chafing
by Em Pisacic

When my period first skipped, in February, I thought it was no biggie. A month later, after pregnancy tests came back negative, I dismissed its continued absence as a consequence of having started running more than twenty miles a week. April was spotless. May marked my third half-marathon, two months since I last had sex with Jack, and three since I had enjoyed it.

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Sunday Stories: “It Will Not Be the Same”

Tooth shapes

It Will Not Be the Same
(Or: If the Government Asks, I’m a Cis Woman)
by Madison LaTurner

This will not be like that time I got my wisdom teeth out. Before I even knew about the trope of gay people being worried they would accidentally out themselves to their parents while under the influence of the anesthetics and pain meds, I was worried about accidentally outing myself to my parents while under the influence of the anesthetics and pain meds. I was worried about telling my mom that I had begun to think of her as a monster, that I have begun telling my friends that something is wrong but I can’t quite put my finger on it, that the moment she lets me off leash I will run and then keep running. No—it will not be like that. This surgery is gay itself. I will meet my match. 

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Sunday Stories: “Where the One-Eyed Man Is King”

Beach chairs

Where the One-Eyed Man Is King
by Alex Behr

There was a little hole. A hole in the shoe’s sole. The shoe was behind a tree, a lackluster beach tree near the bay, but no one remembered losing a shoe much less putting it there. Frito barked and carried it over. Dropped it in front of Sharon, sitting on a plaid blanket. Sharon took that as a good sign. She was on meds. So were her mother and her sisters and nieces, but not the men in the family. Well, they took statins that ruined their erections, a rare side effect, but too bad for them, but they didn’t take anything for the anxiety that resulted from being on statins, or losing their erections. But if they weren’t on statins they might keel over, like when moving rocks or taking down storm windows. They drooled on their pillows. They told good jokes. 

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Sunday Stories: “From ‘Atta Boy'”

Telephone

From “Atta Boy”
by Cally Fiedorek

Up and at ’em! No excuses. He needed to get out today, stay out. Enough of this sitting around and licking wounds. There was lead in his apartment, and his phone was doing him grave harm. 

Rudy didn’t mean to sound alarmist about this—he’d seen one too many puff-piece headlines about screens and the internet changing people’s brains, transforming the whole social fabric, and he’d never cared too much for the philosophizing. Big whoop, he’d thought. Folks had probably felt the same unease about their TV sets back in the day. Maybe some beatnik wrote a pretty deep poem about it. But these last few days, cooped up in his apartment, scrolling, scrolling, waiting for a sign, he’d felt it too—that thing would be the death of him. The point of no return.

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Sunday Stories: “The Traveling Mink Coat”

Envelope

The Traveling Mink Coat
by CAT Wyatt

My father, a military pilot during WWII, was on a training mission a month before Valentine’s Day, 1945. Urgently needing to find a present for my mother, he went into the town close to his training facility. He noticed a beautiful mink coat in a shop window, a luxurious full-length, mahogany-colored, sheared mink coat with a caramel-colored silk lining. The lining reminded him of my mother’s silky, taffy-blonde hair. After purchasing the coat, he waited while a seamstress embroidered my mother’s and his initials deep inside the left slit pocket. My father wrote a card and tucked it in the same pocket, knowing she was left-handed and always kept a handkerchief in her left coat pocket, knowing she would find the card and their initials. 

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Sunday Stories: “Come Thru”

Maps

Come Thru
by Claire Siebers

If you ask my cousin, Valentine, where his Aunt Maggie is, he’ll say, “Silver Springs, Illinois, at Grafton and Center Street.” My brother Leon is “644 Maple Street in Winnetka.” Our other cousin Graham is “78 Madison Place, Ann Arbor, Michigan” but also “Knight’s Market, on the drinking side.” Great Aunt Tali is “Beirut, Lebanon, where we’ll never go.” Val’s favorite question of all used to be, “Where’s Grandie?” to which he always responded, “22 Magnolia Lane, Lake Helen, Florida, otherwise known as the Gem of the South.” But now when I ask Val where our grandmother, Sylvia, is, he just says, “She’s dead.”

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Sunday Stories: “Turning”

Birds

Turning
by Sylvie Pingeon

They are birds before they become children. Alight on the rocky beaches, picking orach, russian olives, the supple, tart thorns of the cat-briar which has not yet grown woody and sharp. At night, a tautog fish lulls them to sleep with angry murmurs. In the mornings, they awake to the sun rising. They wake together always, their salt-streaked bodies nestled close, Layla’s larger wing tucked over her little sister, Freya’s, fragile, pulsing back. There is no time, just now, and they soak in this nowness, let it saturate their feathers, drink it up through their beaks. 

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Sunday Stories: “Ear”

Corn

Ear
by Claire Hopple

We’re not supposed to see this. We’re just a couple of kids. Still, old enough to be culpable. Our eyes slowly adjust to the scene but nothing else adjusts. The facts start to land on us: Someone has torn apart Sofia’s cornfield. An individual has committed mayhem in the shape of a corn maze on our next-door neighbor’s property. An ordinary townsperson is at the forefront of corn maze design, but also maybe at the forefront of destruction. 

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