Current Fiction

Arrested Heart / Pumped Up For Next Gig

Mark Blickley & Francesca Schwartz

“Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow.” Last words of music I-pod creator Steve Jobs. 

I don’t remember any of my previous incarnations. This one just ended with the sound of my heartbeat replaced by booming defibrillator jolts. I can hear being zipped into thick plastic but I am not afraid. Aimless transmigration drifting will play no part in my future. 

I don’t understand why I came back as a drummer, an impoverished, financially unsuccessful percussionist ridiculed for a […]

Arrested Heart / Pumped Up For Next Gig2023-12-18T23:45:49+00:00

The Last Abduction

Katherine Shehadeh

If you’re reading this, I want to say that I’m sorry. I wish I could’ve done more to help you. To say something that you don’t already know about the value of your freedom or how quickly it slips away would be impossible, but I need you to know that wherever I am now, I’ll support you, always. 

You’re probably wondering why of all places in the universe I chose Silwad, a small village in Palestine to make my escape to. If I said it was the rolling […]

The Last Abduction2023-12-18T23:45:59+00:00

The Mallards of St. Catherine

Zach Keali’i Murphy

Stewart came from a town where the water was abundant but never clean. Lillian came from a town where there wasn’t enough water to keep the wildfires at bay. They’d each escaped a past life, settling in the Midwest as the twenty-first century raged on.

Every Sunday morning they’d meet each other at a lone, wooden bench by the secluded pond at St. Catherine Trail. In the middle of the pond sprouted a fountain. On those hot days, the wind-blown mist from the glorious spout would make […]

The Mallards of St. Catherine2023-12-18T23:46:10+00:00

Final Notice

Ron Wolff

Dear Library Patron:

The book you borrowed, “About Suicide,” is now two months overdue. Please return it at your earliest convenience. If it has been lost, damaged, or stolen, please remit $29.95 so that we can replace the volume; seven other people are on the waiting list.

Thanks for your cooperation, and best wishes.

* * *

Now retired following a long career in the nonprofit social service field, Ron Wolff actively pursues three major activities: writing, photography, and volunteering. His […]

Final Notice2023-12-18T23:46:23+00:00

Romancing the Butcher

Chere Taylor

He approaches the girl in his tight, leather pants, black curls tousled on his head. His eyes are as hard as obsidian stone. She is observing a young, teen god. And he is sexy. Christ, he’s so sexy.

Gwendolyn, today’s victim, is chained to the stone wall. She is beautiful in her blue-eyed blondness and in her helplessness. Her chin rises in defiance.

Aridam, who also goes by the name, The Butcher, dramatically rips his shirt off his chest, revealing clean, white skin […]

Romancing the Butcher2023-12-18T23:46:35+00:00

The Big Ten Inch

Patricia Dutt

Whoever hung the plastic bag on Lucy’s doorknob didn’t even knock, as if he knew he was doing something wrong. The bag contained a single, color photograph of her front yard, a hillside wedge of goldenrod, Soldago canadensis, and knapweed, Centaurea nigra. A yard you might expect from a teacher of biology. In bold, twenty-five-point font lettering the notice stated: ‘You have violated the ten-inch rule.’ At first, Lucy imagined a feisty neighbor playing a joke on her. Hah, hah, reminiscent […]

The Big Ten Inch2023-12-18T23:46:44+00:00


Abigail Mandlin

It happened first by moonlight, in the garden surrounded by hydrangeas.

Her feet were sodden from an impromptu dip in the pond.  They drew a shadow pattern across the concrete as she practiced her pirouettes, each drop an echo to her steps.

She moved like water: slow, monotonous. The spins were loose with lethargy, the mind weighted down.

She thought of her mother—

And a splash of blue-gray splattered against the night air from her thrown hand.

It faded as soon as it was […]


Frank does Very Little in a Desert

Duncan Tierney

This is the one that has not been destroyed, which is also the one that should have been destroyed. Things are papercloth here, built recklessly, unsummed, and lustless. I watch the mannequins watch me. This is their home, after all, even if I am their king. There is now beauty in this place made to test the hot of ugly. I am famine or hunger or life. 

This city is sonless. The air continues a long history of ungodded light, but not here in the extra. A new […]

Frank does Very Little in a Desert2023-12-18T23:47:06+00:00
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