Penny almost tossed the letter from the adoptees’ group, but on second thought to set it aside to read. She’d sent them ten dollars just to be on their mailing list and keep track of their maneuverings, so she should at least glance at this latest missive.
Standing at Harmony Acres’ bank of mailboxes, she still had the slim, upright posture that had helped her command schoolrooms, her dark pantsuit blending a teacher’s casual neatness and a widow’s severity. Her complexion did not […]
“Professor?” Cora calls up from a deep pit, holding a pickaxe. “Can we go swimming before dinner?”
I stand on the edge of our excavation site, on dry dirt, hovering over her. My student is drenched in sweat, caught between jagged, white stones where walls used to be. “Of course,” I say, crossing my arms to hide the sweat stains under my breasts. “That sounds lovely. Of course.”
“So you’ll come, too?!”
“Not a chance.”
Cora swiftly returns her attention to her pickaxe.
We are in Paros, a Greek island in the Aegean Sea. Across from where […]
They were small children Jacob and Ava, just nine and five respectively, but their mother was ridiculously old-fashioned, and allowed, in fact, commanded them to go to the park devoid of parental supervision so that she could get on with her chores. If they were big enough she would have made them do their own chores, but she had decided that their little hands were simply too useless in a domestic setting for now, and so wanted to be free of them and their little requests for a time.
Candela said she was going to eat three tacos, because her ex-husband would tell her, “Eat one taco,” and her ex-husband wasn’t there. I was proud of her because she left him. Because for years she kept saying, “I’m going to leave him.” Now she finally did.
It was midnight, and we’d been drinking tequila, and Tacoria was about to close. Candela went up to the counter, to explain why we were eating so late. She said, “Hola, hoy me divorcié. Tres tacos, por favor. Y nachos con Nutella.”
The common octopus is renowned for its impressive intelligence. For instance, Octopus vulgaris has been observed in captivity to flatten itself and squeeze from its tank, sometimes traveling several meters through open air, in order to hunt fish in adjacent containers . There are reports of puzzle- solving behavior , play , and long-term memory formation  in controlled experiments. In the wild, octopi have been observed engaging in complicated hunting tactics, employing the chromatophore pigment cells in their skin for both camouflage  and for communication during pack hunts . On […]
The student mentions her issue with run-offs. I picture storm water finding an exit from
the streets. Hog waste sneaking into a family well. Finally, I read her essay and see what she
means. Black letters have escaped the page’s margins, have fled from format and rectangular
“How do I keep them here?” she asks.
I suggest a lasso, rounding words up like cattle.
She shakes her head, says, “I’m no good at throwing and looping.”
Handing her a plastic bowl, I say, “Hold the Tupperware at the edge of the printer.”
Note: Due to its unusual formatting, this piece is best read on a computer screen, and not suited for reading via phone.
“What do you think?” Will asked her one morning, when she’d slept over.
“I think the oatmeal is burning,” she replied, getting to her feet.
They were a mid-twenties couple. They had been dating —long enough. She was bad with dates. Her head fit snugly under his chin. It was love, like she hadn’t known was quite possible. He loved her and she loved him, which felt big enough to be a fact. […]
It began as a minor border dispute and quickly escalated to a state of total war.
“I don’t like the way he looks at me or my hedgerow,” Bob Phillips told his wife on the day the Joneses moved in next door. “That type of disdainful expression from somebody who doesn’t even belong in our neighborhood is way out of line. I planted that hedgerow (or at least hired the guys who planted it) and made my home in this town long before he even […]
Living crushed under a constant level of noise that never lifts, I had long since stopped measuring where the months lurched into years. I had spent too long growing accustomed to the weighty drone of metal wheels that rattled my windows deep into the early hours. I never thought to fear the quiet that could take its place. The horn blaring of artificial dinosaurs kept me up at night, leaving me squirming and red-eyed as I counted the few […]