New Stories for July 6th, 2015


Why I Married the House Carpenter by Elizabeth Beck 

A phantom is always easier to chase/The chill always easier than/warm sheets on summer nights. Wrapped in the comfort of your distant interest and cold vows/The ghost of your jawline against the very present curve/of my cheek and I can almost smell you lingering in the doorway/The prickling wind, heavy/with tidal changes, delivering/then casting



I am the anchor, I am the sturdy mast to which you are lashed

Each harbor, screaming,

Each voice, singing,

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The Many Sisters of Helena Odraz by TCAM RANGER

The theatre was called The Triumphant Stage and all the actors from the area surrounding Kazpest wanted to play there. You see, it was situated underneath the train station, two sets of train tracks crossed over it. It was a stage, all traditionally, with one added bonus, at one end of the stage, another stage extended out at a 90 degree angle, out of necessity to support the train track that came from that way.

On The Triumphant Stage, tickets were cheap and shows were short. Mostly around 15 minutes to twenty minutes, the time it took one train or another to arrive and depart until the next train did the same. And even if the show ran long, you wouldn’t miss your train, you’d see it barreling down the track above the stage and excuse yourself, and you would arrive at the departing area with plenty of moments to spare, while the actors froze and waited for the din to quiet.

On this particular day, I arrived very early at the train station. My niece was coming into town

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me water (1) Cities Where You’ve Lived, As Boyfriends by Leah Mueller

Portland is your hipster boyfriend with a tongue ring, the one who is always stoned, the guy who can’t be counted on for a commitment. He wants to have many other lovers, and doesn’t care if you have them, too. Portland will get together with you when he feels like it, not the other way around. Portland insists that you be hyper-aware of popular culture, and treats you as if you are stupid if you are unable to keep pace with him. You won’t be able to keep pace, because Portland lives for Doug Fir concerts, shots at the Sandy Hut, and standing in long lines for doughnuts and tacos while sporting a three-day beard growth. You and Portland have a stormy but loveless romance, and you finally leave him for Kalamazoo. When you see Portland again a few years later, you marvel about how much he has matured, and feel sad that the two of you met at the time that you did. Portland then acts like he wants you back, but he really doesn’t.

Kalamazoo is the boyfriend who gets drunk, smashes your possessions, and steals your laptop so he can sell it to buy crack. Crack this week, and meth the next. Who’s keeping track? Not you, because you’re too exhausted to keep track.

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