Final Look

J. David Liss

Final Look

1. Aglow, Alive

2. Dreams Adrift

3. His Important Work

4. Haunted

Aglow, Alive

Returning to New Jersey from Memorial Sloan Kettering where their son lay meant traveling around two sides of a square. Tonight it was the East Side, and they moved along the FDR Drive, perched on the edge of the East River as they made their way amongst the glowing, speeding, halting cars, each shining like a cell that has sucked up sugar and radiation to set it alight.

These five boroughs of a city laid out […]

Good Boy

Jacob Moniz

A man I’ve met only an hour before rubs my back and kisses my neck, his lips thin and wet, deformed by foreign speech. Most likely Dutch, but I can’t know for sure. He’s tall and he’s blond, traditionally handsome, but this is Amsterdam on a holiday weekend. The hostels are full-to-bursting with drunk and horny tourists of a varied, seemingly endless supply. I am naked and my body responds to his hands as they should, melting like butter. His hands are soft: not the rough and calloused sort of my […]

In the Dark

Adrian Ludens

I wonder why there are suicide notes and murder confessions, but not vice versa. Whoever heard of a murder note? Not me. Sometimes a smell brings to mind a song. Sometimes a song brings to mind a memory. But a memory never conjures up a smell. Something should be done about that.

My wife. She’s done a lot of things I regret. Irresponsible. Reprehensible. Clandestine. Told a lot of lies. Fudged a lot of truths. While I spent all night searching in Constantinople, she was banging in Istanbul. Such bull. It’s […]


Timothy Dodd

Magda smoothed back a wild strand of her hair and crossed the vestibule at the Baltimore Museum of Art for the first time, stuffing the twelve o’clock entry ticket into her jeans’ pocket. On loan, Albert Bierstadt’s The Blue Grotto hung on the wall in front of her as she entered the first gallery of the exhibition thinking of her mother again—wrinkled and gnarly-thumbed, pouring tea for her daughter in the dark at their small kitchen table covered with bread and goat cheese and freshly-made cherry jam. Who would lock arms with her […]

Once the Trees Danced Beneath the Stars

Maureen Sherbondy

One night when the trees danced circles beneath the stars, townspeople wandered toward the beat. When they arrived in the forest and discovered elms and oaks in their joyful twirling, the people ecstatically began to dance. Nature and man swirled and swayed side by side until a clumsy trunk stomped on a man and flattened him.

“We shouldn’t dance together,” the townspeople said in unison.

The forest of trees bent down in sadness. One tree voiced apology by swishing its branches and bowing. Another tree spilled tears of sap onto the […]

The Capture

Maureen Sherbondy

A woman wakes up to discover her body entombed inside a spider’s web.

“Put me down!” she yells at the giant, long-legged arachnid.

“I’m still hungry.” The spider rubs two legs together like utensils. “You’ll satisfy my appetite for days.”

The woman wiggles her fleshy body, but it’s no use. She can’t shimmy out of the tight net.

“I’ll find you a squirrel to devour. There’s plenty of those in the yard.”

“Nah. Don’t care much for squirrels. Too gamy.” The spider opens her mouth, saliva dripping out. “I prefer humans; […]

Think Warm Thoughts

Allison Whittenberg

The world burns.  The sun stalks.

Can life be sustained off a windowsill’s moisture, a lead pipe’s sweat?  Someone spills the orange juice we’ve been rationing.  It spread more sunshine across the room.  We splintered our tongues lapping it off the wooden floor.

In the white glow of night, a man bursts in and steals thirty-three ounces of water.

I should have shot him, we’re all going to die anyway this way.

As want drips into need, it’s a good news bad news sort of thing.  My once optimistic roommates have long […]