“Project Mallard” by Odette Lester Brady
“Hello, duck.” She’ll whisper. “I tried my best.” She’ll say.
“Obligatory Symbiosis” by Soramimi Hanarejima
I read her journal whenever I can.
“The Hoard” by Beth Ford
Light meant illuminating the encroaching emptiness. And that she didn’t want to see.
“Our Best” by Sarah Leslie
Our Best His wife had stormed out. He did his best to take care of their two-year-old, wiping the food that smeared around his mouth and buttoning up his jacket before they went outside. The boy was golden-haired like his father and smiled easily. “I love you,” he said when he pressed the boy to…
Take Off Your Socks for the Reckoning by Lindsey Clark
Take Off Your Socks for the Reckoning I’ll give you fourteen days starting now. After that, either your body has succumbed to the virus or you’ve slid safe into home, wrapped in a luxurious, soft blanket, despite spring warming. The problem is you have to live with yourself, which you’ve been avoiding your whole life.…
You Tell Yourself by Linzy Garcia
You Tell Yourself 1. You haven’t been on a date in a couple months, but the boy with the crooked nose who asked for your number at a bar also asked if you wanted to grab coffee and walk by the river. You worry for close to an hour that he might murder you and…
Something to Sink Your Teeth Into by Katie Kalahan
His body was strung upside down so that his head was five feet from the floor. The harness distributed his weight but gave the illusion that he was bound at the ankles. A vat above him dripped the caramel made from his own surgically removed fat down the nylon suspension and over his body. Below…
Xibalba by Stephen Ground
The sun dove as I reached the main square—sunstroked, boozy tourists mingling with buskers and vendors hocking beads and tees, washing like tide from buzzing, shoe-closet bars and markets clutching sweating beers, yapping like parakeets. I ambled, trying to decide between empanadas or burgers, when I crossed a dark avenue leaking strings and timbales and…
Stealing from Windowsills by Judy Darley
Four years have passed since the woman I knew as Mother enclosed me in my tower. Mother claimed the confinement was to protect me from the world’s cruelty. “Zel, your oddness and ugliness grow each day, and men destroy the things they find hideous.” Mother left me only one toy, a gilt-framed mirror, which helps…
Hardened Road by Deborah Trowbridge
Aisha and Ahmed’s fingers are interlaced and black with dirt. They trudge a pock-marked Syrian road, half pavement, half sand, that winds from Kafr Halab, the western Aleppo countryside, to the Mediterranean sea. Once in Latakia, their intention is to travel by boat to Cyprus. Dressed as boys, each wears a takiyah over shorn curls…