The Lip

Tom Larsen

For days afterward Leo’s life was like a dream. He thought about Julie and Mario driving across the country. In his head they were always whooping it up. He wished them dead in the desert, their bodies black and bloated. The image so disturbed him he wished them back to life.

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

In Memoriam: Denise Gess

Julia MacDonnell Chang
It is with great sadness that we report that our friend and long-time Philadelphia Stories board member, Denise Gess, passed away on August 22.

Local Author Profile: Lise Funderburg

Jamie Elfrank

I was getting older and my father got sick from something that he later recovered from, but I realized my father was not going to live forever. And so I felt a kind of urgency to fill in the gaps.

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.

From the Editors

Carla Spataro and Christine Weiser

As usual, things rarely slow down for us at Philadelphia Stories, and this spring was no exception. With the introduction of our successful fiction writing workshops, taught by Aimee LaBrie and Marc Schuster , we’ve branched out into another area of professional development—one that we hope will continue to thrive.

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.

The Origins of Sadness

James Pabarue

Seven a.m. on a Monday morning and my mother is the only one awake. She pads downstairs. In the kitchen, she raises the shades, letting in weak, gray daylight, then turns to find the coffee pot.


Kate Delany

since it was halloween anyway,
they carved a big jack-o-lantern grin
just above my pubic bone
and from inside that sinister smile
they scooped you out, pumpkin seeds and all.