Broad Street (novel excerpt)

Christine Weiser

I took the subway to the party in Center City. I walked from the stop down a quiet street in the business district, where merchandise peeked out from behind thick steel gates. As I approached the address of the old brownstone, I heard the muffled sound of voices and the latest Nirvana album. I felt a wash of panic. I could be back home and under my blanket in twenty minutes; but my feet kept moving forward. I found the appropriate apartment number, rang the bell, and was buzzed in without question.

The party was a crowded gathering of hipsters. I scanned the room for familiar faces, feeling stupid. The few I recognized looked at me, then quickly turned away. Finally, I spotted Noelle.

Her Bear Husband

Gwen Florio

“Of course I’ve been in the woods before.”

Lucia glanced around the visitor center to reassure herself that she looked just like everyone else there, then glared back across the counter at the skeptical park ranger. Until encountering him, she’d felt impervious in her new acquisitions: stiff hiking boots with heavy Vibram soles; cargo pants of a slippery, fast-drying fabric that made soft whispering noises as she walked; a rain jacket with a thin fleece lining. In preparation for her excursion, she’d also bought a 20-ounce sleeping bag that would bob atop an unwieldy pack, itself stuffed with a tiny tent – two-and-a-half pounds – a couple of changes of socks and underwear, and foil packets of freeze-dried dinners, their desiccated contents so devoid of texture and smell as to be guaranteed not to attract bears.

Local Author Profile: Adam Rex

Aimee LaBrie

Adam Rex understands children. As both a writer and illustrator of children’s books, his work captures the imaginative world children love to inhabit. His characters are heroic kids in cowboy boots who face the world fearlessly, taking on aliens and rambunctious zoo animals. His characters also include a lumbering, strangely human Frankenstein and assorted other monsters who somehow don’t seem so scary in the pages of his books.

Breaking News

Peter E. Murphy

Cop held in killing of mute with rake
How was I to know the suspect could not hear me
shout, “Drop your weapon to the ground!”
as he continued to muster the dead leaves
which had accumulated since August?

Sunflowers

Eileen Moeller

Vincent understood them: the way they yield
their darkling faces
to the sun,
aflame for its arcing shimmer dance

Physics

Jason Jones

Every day I carry my arms and legs
in a sling suspended from my teeth.
There’s a physicist who sits in
a corner of the bar I frequent, and

Tug-of-War

Daniel Donaghy

After he hit our last halfie onto the roof of Perlstein’s Glass, Frankie Wnek stepped over the broomstick we used for a bat and shimmied up a drainpipe to get it. Frankie was my age, fourteen. Since I was pitching and gave up the home run, I was supposed to go, but when he said don’t worry about it, I wasn’t going to argue. Who knew when that pipe was going to snap away from the wall? Who knew that two older kids named Chickenhead and Toot were already up there, just for the hell of it, waiting to take turns punching whoever came up, then grab his ankles and swing him back and forth over the ledge?

Highlights

Bill Connolly

Of all the indiscreet behaviors
that colored my college years,
my deep drags of yellow highlighter
those zebra stripes I painted across textbook pages
may be my most peculiar disgrace.