Novel excerpt: Little Magpie

Randall Brown

Maggie looks up. She removes the finger from her mouth. “Must be the baby,” she says. Her hand follows the curve of her belly. “She wants bugs.”

“Really? They sell crickets at pet stores. I could get some.”

The Absence of Fog

Nimisha Ladva

Usha and I were waiting for our usual treat, a fresh, buttered, sugar-sprinkled roti each. But then our grandmother bellowed from upstairs. “Who let all the fog into my room?” demanded Ba.

Master Plan

D Sprung Kurilecz

“New cereal?” he asks, and then, like the path that their marriage has taken, he renders the question rhetorical with a non sequitur. “Still working on that artery project, if you can believe it.”

Scranton

Steve Hicks

These were the drives that Stan liked best. He felt unrushed, free to go as slow as he pleased, to savor what he suspected to be the last of such journeys. In Maine, a woman waited for him and for the ring he had promised her.

The Disappearance of Rafael Arroyo

Marleen Hustead

Rafael’s job in Philadelphia was simple: keep water glasses filled, put bread on tables, bring forks, clean messes, clear plates. But his unstated job, the one that no one spoke of but everyone understood, was the most important: be invisible

The Sea Crest

Jeff W. Bens

I didn’t have anywhere else to go. Jillian had left me. I was living in a basement apartment in Bensonhurst whose only window looked out to a dry cleaner’s vent.