Literary short stories by established and emerging writers.Excerpts:Robert Schirmer Blackout He stared up toward the blazing sky, following the hawk's weightless flight over a breakfast-cereal billboard and out of sight, leaving Sam again to his life, such as it was. Kathryne Young Roadrunner My... show more
Literary short stories by established and emerging writers.Excerpts:Robert Schirmer Blackout He stared up toward the blazing sky, following the hawk's weightless flight over a breakfast-cereal billboard and out of sight, leaving Sam again to his life, such as it was. Kathryne Young Roadrunner My grandmother's house floated like a wayward sailboat on an ocean of fine-grained dirt, scrub brush, and yucca trees. Crisp desert mornings, we sat outside eating cottage cheese and frozen peaches in ancient white bowls with ancient silverware, talking about men and families and what happens to women when they grow old. Lydia Fitzpatrick In a Library, in Saltillo Brenda's was the only place in town that tourists ever went, besides the sauce plant. On weekends there'd be a line of them parents on cell phones with a string of sticky-faced kids waiting for vinyl booths and overpriced hot dogs. Sean Padraic McCarthy The Piper Jack wasn't sure what that meant, but Danny explained. "You can have A, B, C, or D. If they're bigger than a D, then it's a double D, and if they're bigger than that, forget it. They wouldn't be able to walk." J. Kevin Shushtari The Vast Garden of Strangers Old Reza finished his noontime prayers and knelt to fold his rug. He put it in the suitcase under his twin bed and went to the window. His son insisted on air conditioning, but he preferred the humid Boston summer, even when it smelled like spoiling feta, as it did today. Paul Rawlins The Corn God I would take them out the shirts, the pants, the tie, the little pup-tent cap and lay them around me carefully on the floor, unpacking the trunk until I reached the bottom, then running my hands along the edges and into the corners for anything I'd missed, every time thinking there ought to be something more a letter, a photograph, a bullet, a ribboned medal. Laura van den Berg Interview by Jeremiah Chamberlin I think it's beautiful and terrifying at the same time, because it's easier to not believe in things in a way. To decide these possibilities don't exist, that there aren't things out there, that there's only daily reality. Nick Yribar The Getaway Driver Eli's performance was staggering. I have no idea exactly what he said, but he was evidently able to establish that the unloaded pistols in his car were antique family heirlooms that he kept in tribute to his grandfather, who'd presented them as a legacy before his passing. The pistols were tokens of remembrance, nothing more, and Eli had never even fired them he wasn't even sure they would fire. Joy Wood The Man in the Elevator Nina was late to her own birthday dinner. Not Chinese-late, but full-on American late, 7:17 according to my father's Casio watch, tromping through the door of Evergreen Palace with her boyfriend, Christian, who hadn't been invited. Dennis Bock Improvised Explosive Device On the sixth morning of his reconnaissance he drank down the last lumpy gulp of his coffee, anachronistically tipped his baseball cap to the Sri Lankan cashier, who smiled shyly, and caned his way out into the bright Manhattan sunshine.