Jul/Aug 2011

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f i c t i o n


(These are excerpts—click on the title to view the whole piece!)

Two Couples on Coke

Two weeks later they were back at Tony and Nancy's dining table, but this time the kids were at their respective grandparent's houses, and there was a mirror, razor blade, and small, white packet in front of each adult. Nancy had set out a plate of expensive cold cuts—thinly sliced Italian ham and cheeses and crackers, plus cornichons and shriveled black olives. There was French champagne and red wine.

Eileen Bordy

A Prayer for Gan4

My sister smiled quickly, the light from the narrow doorway striping her face like a rainbow. She was dressed for the occasion in her one festive costume: blue silk pantaloons and a red waistcoat with bright sequins. Her hair, freshly washed and braided, tumbled down to her shoulders, and she had placed a wild rose behind her ear.

Christine Phoonsawat-Hirschman

Special Relativity

"If Billy's so fucking brilliant, how come he's dead, then?"

Jonathan Pinnock

Death Ximple

A second reason for the name—my guess, again—is that you're not playing some fantastic role, a freak loaded with powers only a fevered juvenile mind would dream up. You're not young Fung-Gu, for instance, beheading a hundred red-haired ninjas with one swirling kick and instantly morphing into a winged serpent to elude the Virile Virgin's lethal pounce. No purple fantasies in this game.

Paul Zakaras

The Gecko on the Wall

"Hi Nanu!" says Choti, the little one. She flings her arms around my waist with such force that I stumble backward, almost slipping on my dead wife's rug. In my old house with the grainy floors the rug was a solid thing, but this shiny new house with its slick flooring has made it dangerous, an accident waiting to happen.

Meghna Pant


Even in the dark I know the way to the church where Sandro and his gang live. Alison and I moved to this area, Highgate, after we married, drawn by its cobblestone maze of Victorian buildings and urban-chic, child-friendly pubs. A good place to raise a family. We dreamed of a happy life, a healthy baby, pushing a pram through Hampstead Heath, our lives unfolding in a series of smiling snapshots.

Rupan Malakin

Booger Eater Forever

"I made her give up smoking. Smoking was the first domino to fall. Then the rest of her bad habits went."

Alex Shishin

The Great Thames

He struggled to remember. For a while nothing, then recalling a few weeks back this man had brought him hot soup and bread in a bag from the café nearby before retreating in haste. The man had stopped some way off, turning to see if he'd eat the food, which he did sooner than he should have, burning his mouth trying to appear grateful.

Vincent Wells