They Don’t Mean To

Pamela Main

Bridget is in the giftware section of the department store, running her fingers over the deeply discounted snow globes, when she feels

Under the Bagel Volcano

Robert Hambling Davis

He returns to his favorite table and trusts zoom of pen over page without stopping or reading what he writes or sweating punctuation grammar syntax or pedantic rules like when to use lie and when to use lay and boy, would he love to get laid, it’s been a long time, this dry spell he equates with the African Sahel drought from over-cropping, to ironically imply man’s rape of Big Mama Gaia!

Excerpt from the Novel Monkey See

Walt Maguire

In the next house he could see that the good professor’s wife had gone up to bed. The professor himself seemed to be stalling in the kitchen, weakly filling ice trays. He kept meaning to climb over and see what happens behind the upstairs curtains, but he resisted, not wanting to risk trouble with the human police before he had a chance to complete his plans.

Excerpt from the novel When Love Was Clean Underwear

Susan Barr-Toman

Lucy took the oxygen tubes out of her mother’s nose and turned off the tank so they could share a last cigarette together. Marge’s last cigarette. It was October 30, Mischief Night, the day her mother Marge had chosen in the hope of being buried on All Souls’ Day.

Tupperware

J.A. Klemens

It was inevitable, but all the same he hadn’t thought they would get there so soon. Not one lid would match up with one receptacle. They had reached perfect Tupperware entropy.

Goodbye Apollo

Mary Kate O’Donnell

I went to the beach in a blindfold today, because once you asked me to. I wore the scarf you chose for me by touch: the one I wore often. The same one I told you I loved, and never mentioned the garish pattern made me cringe. Tied around my eyes, I could not see the pattern any more than you could when you chose it. It was a fitting penance.

Leap Year

Tracy Shields

He used earth words and planted gardens and liked going down south and road trips to nowhere. He had tattoos of the Devil on his forearm, and looked like God, with big gentle blue eyes, open, steady and true, able to see beyond the simple human spirit. He was a great kisser. Like me. But quiet.

I-80

DJ Kinney

They woke together at a rest stop on the interstate, car windows dimmed by frozen breath and through the glass, anemic blue dawn swelling over Wyoming.

She struggled out of the sleeping bag, wrestled with the nest of blankets and pulled at the door. She poured herself out into the empty lot and shuffled a few paces from the car before she buckled over a strip of grass and vomited. It slapped the ground and steam rose from it. The man got out of the car and went to her and put his hands on her shoulders to steady her, to hold her. She heaved again, just water and foam.

Excerpt from the novel LOVE Park

Jim Zervanos

[img_assist|nid=880|title=Love Park|desc=|link=node|align=left|width=130|height=195]On the night before I drove Daisy Diamond home, I picked up my parents at the hospital, where they’d been visiting with a parishioner whose wife was dying of cancer. As the man walked with my parents to the curb, his glistening bald head shone. He wore a wrinkled corduroy sport coat, despite the heat, and loosely tied sneakers that shuffled like slippers on the concrete. He was hunched over, less from old age, it seemed, than from grief. But when he came into the light of the streetlamp overhead, I could see that he was smiling gloriously.