“The Lawyer” by J.M. Parker

The universe is expanding, a voice reported. Bits and particles of it are shooting out from some
ancient central point like sparks from a Roman candle, and some day, when all the expanding
glowing bits of matter in our universe have stretched themselves out tight like a rubber band, instead of it all coming roaring back to the center, as we’d thought, the universe may instead simply continue to expand. So any parting of ways could be permanent.

“The Ground Game: Poll-watching, Ballot-curing, and the Evening Redness in the West” by Richard Wirick

I had the gun now because it made me feel safe for myself, Dean, and the rest of the monitors at this poll site. It made me feel safe in the way that the president’s people were made to feel safe when he exercised his gun-lobby muscle and equivocated about good people being on “both sides” of an incendiary protest scenario.

“Origin Story” by Felicia Chavez

Imprisoned behind glass in New York City’s Jewish Museum: a sinister grin in graphite.  Too big-teeth and hairy brows crowned with a jester’s coxcomb.  “I wanted something visually exciting,” Jerry Robinson said of his concept sketch of The Joker.  “I wanted something that would make an indelible impression, would be bizarre, would be memorable.”