The Song Of The Bark
by Shome Dasgupta
There were no squirrels or egrets around when Fabienne and Foulon were taken by Lake Martin—so Verot had thought—perhaps there was one alligator, lazily wading that morning with one eye closed which entered his mind, just for a moment, but that was just a local rumor he had created in his own head, on that day of a certain spectacle of snow and ice causing such troubles for a city accustomed to the thickness of the sun. One day, it lasted. One day, all was gone for Verot.
by Taylor Lewandowski
My mom forced me to listen to Nickelback on repeat. We were on a long drive to cope with another break up. We passed the endless fields of corn husks, the farm house with a busted truck, the crooked barn, the family cemetery, the schoolhouse packed with farming equipment. The usual shit I’ve seen a million times. Her Pontiac Grand Prix smelled like cigarettes, breath mints, sweaty men. She cried and I asked her if she was okay, if she wanted to talk, even though I knew she’d reply, like always, “You wouldn’t understand.”
The Gravity of Water
by Eric Scot Tryon
“Come on, baby,” my wife Danielle says to me, “the water’s warm.”
Marianne is behind her, frog-kicking to stay afloat while gripping Danielle’s shoulders and whispering in her ear. They nod, giggle, and splash together like school girls. Sitting on the edge of the pool, I watch Marianne take off her bikini top and hold it above her head, swinging it around like a lasso before throwing it onto the cement. Danielle yelps and dunks Marianne below the surface.
There is no light in the sky
by Christopher James
Out the window a beautiful child was jumping at the moon, arms outstretched, like he thought he could capture it.
Idiot boy, said my girlfriend. I hadn’t known she was in the room with me and her voice broke some spell that had been quietly existing. Sometimes we could look at the same thing, at the same time, from the same place, and still see so different.
Just Add Al
by Anne Booty
You’ve blunted Al’s eye liner and she’s gonna kill you.
Still, you mustn’t forget your tennis racket otherwise your death will have been futile. At assembly that morning you pick at the black tape on the handle, sticky glue finger nails like molasses. Eventually, the Head calls your name and you move to the front, nodding to the P.E. teacher to press play. The opening is epic played this loud, dispatching magpies from nests, awakening a mass of two hundred children. When the organ drops out, you get your axe into position and begin to strum. You may only be eleven and this may only be lip syncing to Faith dressed as a bearded kangaroo, but a girl has to start somewhere.
by Travis Dahlke
Fenn leaves the permission slip for his field trip to the Mystic Aquarium inside my purse so I’ll remember to sign it. We eat dinner in front of NCIS. We’re almost positive the killer is a nervous day trader who goes by Grandma. When Fenn was young, he called his blanket Grandma and cried if it touched the floor. I look to him every time the suspect is mentioned, to see if my son remembers somewhere within his subconscious. He shovels spaghetti into his mouth without looking away from the screen. You used to have a blanket named Grandma, I tell him, and he says he knows that already.
Lily, from the Society for Absolute Music
by Rebecca Givens Rolland
“Have you committed a crime?” the other women ask, in early morning, as we sit around in the sand on Watergate Bay and wash our long dark skirts. “Can you juggle? Do tricks like the sparrows overhead?” No, I say, trying not to laugh. That I cannot. But I can sing. I can replicate songs a thousand-fold, never tiring. Rocking, heading shoreward, I bring words out like wafers on my lips. I won’t call it Communion if you won’t. Belief sinks in me like blood into a screen.
“All that’s well and good,” they say, “but what about eating? About remaining alive.”
by Nat Mesnard
The night of the gala, I arrived to work at the conservatory as the sun was setting. The glass building appeared alien, as though it had landed on the hill to capture specimens of the waning December light. Tom dropped me off at the back entrance. I was late, but before he would let me out of the car, he made me put his cock in my mouth. I didn’t have to do anything with it. I think he just wanted to know it had been there, and that knowledge enabled him to drive away.