Fiction

Cinderella’s Monster

J.E. Seuk

And so it came to be, as it very often is, that the true monster of the tale was revealed long after you, Dear Heart, had toddled off to bed.

But have you not yet grasped that, “And so they lived happily ever after,” is but a cue for innocent heads to rest on welcoming pillows and dream before said dreams have learned to sharpen their teeth?

Do you not realize that children are to be sent away at Intermission, but you, Dear Hardened Heart, must […]

Cinderella’s Monster2022-06-26T23:55:58+00:00

According to Plan

Holly Van Hare

Antoine

Chalk makes a grating sound; I know it well. I listen to its gravel talk daily as it etches numbers into memories I’ll nightly make no sense of. The room reeks of sterility, or wheat flour, or quicksand. I fear its dusty, dry residue I slip and sink slowly beneath. 

It has become a ritual—a daily perspiration. Trying to keep up to avoid the smoke on Ms. Gurney’s breath, hot as coals as she leans close to my face and reviews my paper. Stern instructions hang […]

According to Plan2022-06-26T23:56:02+00:00

When Someone Comes Knocking

Maureen Sherbondy

A teacher says that when a story stalls, I should make a person appear at the door. 

“Who is it?” I ask. 

A brown-haired monkey appears. When invited in, the creature climbs on the crystal chandelier in the foyer. Running to find the kitchen, she discovers the granite island where a bowl of fruit taunts. After devouring three bananas, the monkey then swallows down the remainder of my egg salad sandwich. My stomach growls and I throw her out.

“Who is it?” I call again. 

When Someone Comes Knocking2022-06-26T23:56:18+00:00

Like and Follow

Rodney E Schmidt

The shop had no use for a name. Everyone knew about the controversial technology inside, but very few saw it work. It was hard to get an appointment and even harder to convince people that Clarity Glass wasn’t a tool for the government anymore. The U.S. Army used it for interrogating terrorists; entrepreneurs marketed it as a cure for digital extroverts who became introverts in the real world.

Between a closed-down jewelry shop and a Greek cafe in downtown Los Angeles, the shop advertised Clarity […]

Like and Follow2022-06-26T23:56:20+00:00

Trapped in Time

Sofia Daley Sevilla

I looked through the window again, the figure still there, glaring back at me. It was him again. It was always him, watching me from the distance and judging my every move. Yet, I did not know who he was. I looked again, adrenaline slowly pulsating through my body like an intruder. He looked straight back. As soon as our eyes met, I looked away and stood up, needing to pace around the room.

I paced. Who was he? I paced. Why was he there? I paced. Why […]

Trapped in Time2022-01-19T23:06:33+00:00

The Landmine

Jack Shamash

When I was sixteen, I discovered a simple truth. If you want to make friends—friends who will stay with you for life—all you need is a landmine.

It is a rite of passage that Jewish children, when they turn sixteen, go on an Israel tour. They spend a few weeks there, hanging out with other Jewish children, discovering their roots, getting closer to their co-religionists and, although this is rarely made explicit, meeting Jews of the opposite sex, so that they are more likely to marry someone of their […]

The Landmine2022-01-19T23:06:39+00:00

Song of My Guts

Juan de Dios Sanchez Jurado

  1. Now that the sun burns my eyelashes, now that the sea salts my hips, I simply let them. The city behind me is a hot, melted shore. I’m here flirting with what this sea could give me. The sea pushes and pulls me. He tells me go and melt yourself in those streets under the sun. He tells me, come, dive a little deeper until the tide weighs on your neck, a necklace that forces me to continue, that drowns me. The sea […]
Song of My Guts2022-01-19T23:06:45+00:00

So Zoo Me

Mark Blickley

I didn’t want to go on this Bronx Zoo outing. I’ve lived nearly 67 years without ever visiting. Never had any interest watching poor trapped souls ache for the freedom of their visitors. When the Seniors Housing Commission organized this trip for my building, I ignored it, as I have every year. Why I jumped on the chartered bus right before it took off this morning was a mystery to me. But now the mystery is solved.

Thank you, Joey, for guiding me to that bus seat. God forgive […]

So Zoo Me2022-01-19T23:06:51+00:00

Sleeping Badly Became Time Travel

T. Barnes

Or something like that. At first, we woke up constantly and bleary, wondering if the world had changed or if it was us.

We sat through every mood we’d ever felt, one after another, on a creaky conveyor belt of memory—but not the kind of carousel in swanky sushi restaurants where you can choose not to lift something off the moving rubber panels. We had to order everything on the menu. It was horrendous, and we felt sick.

Perhaps importantly, it all happened very quickly. We went from […]

Sleeping Badly Became Time Travel2022-01-19T23:06:56+00:00

His Hands Washing Rice

Lynnette Li

Abby leans over the kitchen sink. She pours three cups of long-grain jasmine rice into a rice cooker bowl. It’s enough for dinner for her family of four tonight, for fried rice tomorrow. She runs cool water over the grains, swirls the rice and water with her hand. She tilts the bowl, letting foggy water spill over the edge. As she washes the rice, her mother’s voice from years ago brushes her shoulder and lands like a palm firm against her back.

You must not allow boys to touch […]

His Hands Washing Rice2022-01-19T23:07:04+00:00