I look to the nearby hill, past her and the highway, and watch it blacken. Its lines are clean and honest. (Fiction)
CONTENT WARNING: This short story contains discussion about suicidal events and ideation. (Fiction)
“I wanted to shout, but my tongue felt like the army slept on it. I wish I had a bittersweet Lick-M-Aid.” (Fiction)
I’ve never liked American reality TV because there’s so much hyperbole, yelling and arguing that reminds me of my childhood, that cramped home, the screaming matches, the constant fighting over money. (Fiction)
Moving beaters hacked and coughed like emphysema patients. (Fiction)
The space between the woman and the art flattened until she felt she was the art. (Fiction)
What does it mean when most of your countrymen live in Moscow or Los Angeles? (Fiction)
All night long, Elena tossed and turned on her thin mattress and listened to…the coughs, the laughs, the sobs, and the whispers of all these poor people who had the same hopes as they did.
So they invoked God to bless their spreadsheet. Some said God said those words were His…And others said God never really said that.
You notice she doesn’t have her usual mom smell; she smells like orange trees and flower fields.
He went into the kitchen to look for the car keys, found them on the hook where she usually hung them, and put them in his pocket.
The men frequently give aliases; as simple as John Smith or as attention-seeking as Carlos Danger. She guesses that they believe her name to be an alias too.
He wore a pair of faded bib overalls over a black NASCAR tee shirt, a red “Make America Great Again” hat, and held in one hand the electrician-taped handle of a bulging duffel bag and in the other, a leash attached to the pale pink, rhinestone studded collar of a doleful looking Harlequin Great Dane.
I turn around and gain elevation so I won’t be tempted. It’s her turn to hunt.
Mary Ann seemed more at ease, and eventually turned to Greta to ask, “Does your son obey you?”
Greta smiled, “No. Does anyone’s?”
Professional Skills: Steel-driving, of course
The mouse saw the Ghost of Death approach him as the humans struck him with the shoe, stick, broom, and a series of quick kicks.
“Exchange of Glances”
I want something in return for telling you my story. I want you to remember me. I want you to say that I was a capable man.
Our father was a design engineer whose best invention was figuring out how to disappear.
Actually, don’t bother measuring. The audience won’t know how to taste for the right textures and flavors anyway. It only matters to them that it’s an authentic recipe. The only recipe that your abuela—your last known living relative and the only brown person responsible for teaching you culture—gave you.
“He was the president of Quordoba from the early fifties until 1981, when he was deposed,” said Jean. “Of course, he was just a puppet, Alberto Machano held all of the power.”
Surely, this was a cry for help. Generally, the Governors wanted the staff to stay out of the lives of passengers. There were some things going on that passengers wanted to believe nobody noticed. There were couples swapping partners, both with and without the knowledge and consent of the people they’d arrived with. There were orgies with all kinds of drugs, especially among the senior citizens.
We can’t all be like Lotta Tornberg, environmental crusader. I, for one, never had her strength and confidence, her resilient spirit. She remained optimistic to the end, certain that her peaceful protests, with the speeches and marches and sit-ins, would actually make a difference. Back then, her image was everywhere: a slight twelve year-old girl with braided pigtails and a doughy smile. Politicians, not to mention some of the most egregious corporate polluters, paid her lip service, while working adamantly to undermine her cause and credibility. Lotta simply gritted her teeth and doubled down.
After a moment of ‘studying,’ Horsecollar said, “That’s a mighty iffy saying of Lincoln’s, but it makes a lot of sense.” He slightly nodded, but I wasn’t at all sure we understood one another.
Red’s may not have been nice, but it was ours.
I didn’t used to tell the ski jumpers about the time they have to endure at the top, but in the more than thirty years I’ve worked at the Lake Placid Olympic Jumping Complex—meeting the competitors at the base of the K-120 long jump and directing them to the start—I’ve come to realize that it’s better to get this information on the table immediately. Otherwise, they grow restless. We all do. And that’s when the real accidents happen.
After a while, I started to think she might fall for me. I thought she might leave her husband and come live with me in my small one-bedroom along the river. We’d find our own space eventually, maybe get a dog. It would be hard at first—I’d have to adjust to her working all the time, but we’d make it through.
Nobody likes it when you scream in the street, when you turn over trash bins but can barely remember your own name.
The bid-whist-playing, gin-drinking, chit’lin-cooking, barbecuing, party-loving Pattersons. That was Mama’s family–loud, boisterous and slightly disreputable. Miss Jonita declared them “country,” though the Pattersons had been established in Chicago a good half-century before Miss Jonita’s people came Up North, or as Black folks ironically deemed it, “Up South” from Arkansas.