Apr/May 2017

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f i c t i o n


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

The Kinoapparat

Weir was ablaze last night. Our Jews celebrated Poorim, our Christians the Feast of St. Zeinur, and the Zarathustrians some devilry. But I was nowhere near these revelries. As your correspondent, my task was to stand beneath electric light in the laboratory of Herr Doktor Geshmak, notebook and pencil in hand, waiting for the unveiling of the kinoapparat.

Mike Malloy

The Sunflower Seed Spitters

My coach had no better place to put Gutman though, because if a guy can't field, he plays in the outfield, where he can do the least damage. If he can't hit the ball to the outfield, then he rides the bench, except for nowadays, with that stupid new "two innings in the field / one at bat" minimum rule that is supposed to keep the parents from squawking. My 11-year-olds can't hit or field. Can't run for anything, either. But in two days, I have to play them both—one in right field and one in left.

Lou Gaglia

The Intakes

As the chickens stabbed at the food and each other, she looked to the property's edge. The woman was still there, though now she was kneeling, hands parting the tall grass like curtains. She wore sunglasses with lenses the size of tea saucers. The sun was positioned so the lenses flared on her face like twin stars. It figures, she thought, such a woman would wear sunglasses instead of a hat.

Kami Westhoff

The Outsider

The path was so narrow, we had to walk Indian file. I preceded Maggie. She reached for my hand to steady herself. For such a big woman, she had delicate hands, and she kept squeezing mine. I wasn't used to being squeezed by a pregnant woman, and I got a teenage erection. Doug let the frantic young dog tug him ahead. Every now and then he'd stop to loosen the Windsor knot when the choking became serious.

Simon Barker

Long Shadows in the Almost Fall

I've tried to tell that story, the one about the coach taking me out and running me around when I was seven years old. I tell it when people ask me, "Hey Mikey, why you like football so much?" I try to tell them about the coach and the long shadows that fall afternoon, but it doesn't come out. I get stuck somewhere. My muscles catch and bite and fight against the words in my head. My mouth's gotten to where it just slides over to the side of my face and bunches up in a hard circle. My tongue clicks. I'm sure it looks like bullshit.

Eli Cranor

Two Opinions on the Death of a Bird

You've made this too still, too pacific. You've forgotten the way the bird was struggling in the wash at the beach, how it danced like its bones had been broken, its wings broken, how much it shivered in pain.

Benjamin Buchholz

White Trout

When it ended, she tried to recall details of that first bus ride and wondered if there were something in her face or composure that told him she would be easy to fool. How did he know she would not demand reasons for his cancelled dates or his departure from her bed in the early hours of the morning?

L.M. Brown

Black Doll

Today, the troop of high school boys visits Dawn again. They are not the boys who yanked her inside the shed years ago. That happened on National Heart Day. Today, though, is National Blueberry Muffin Day.

Michael Graves