Head On

Bill Hemmig

The construction truck in the opposing lane, exceeding the speed limit, careers into my lane and right at me. I am immobile, staring, my hand not getting the signal to blast the horn. I might manage to dive onto the shoulder but the truck’s driver stops doing whatever distracted him and sees me and, with two car lengths between us, slides back into the correct lane. We pass each other and continue as we were.

Comedians

Sarah Westbrook

Standing before a group of strangers is the closest thing Angela has to achieving her dreams or making her mark on the world. She seesaws her arm, delivers a joke about a merman who pools his money with a sea urchin to get a triton.

Litter Entries

Dog Cavanaugh

On the first two days, we did what they called shadow dumps. Several of us were in training. We followed people around outside different government buildings and watched them pick up litter and trash.

Clay (Second Place Winner of the Marguerite McGlinn Prize for Fiction)

Patricia Sammon

Sam asks, “What are we doing here?” and you don’t know if he means here, in Flanders, or more generally, here on God’s green earth, which here, in Flanders is not green but mud-covered and cratered and incapable of sending up any other crop but barbed wire. Or if he means still here, at the edge of this pit—because the horse that was drowning in the mire is now still.

Acorns

Ramona DeFelice Long

Dennis can’t believe Terry and I will give up a vacation day to visit the family cemetery, but once I convince him that I’m not kidding, there is silence on the phone.

Where The Rubies Live

Tyler Barton

The night before I became a failed salesman, I was wired and awake in Derek’s room, gazing out his window, reading his Anatomy textbook, and eating peanut butter with a knife.

In The Woods

Curtis Smith

The cut ran fifty yards, a scar halfway up the hillside. The cut scoured by glaciers, or so the boy had been told. He climbed atop a boulder larger than a car, and he imagined the hill and all he knew entombed in ice.

Roommates

Christine C. Heuner

John used to say that we were millionaires, but now we might lose the house. Tommy, our oldest, and his wife, Ashleigh, plan to buy us out.