• The Cutest Cat that Ever Lived by Joe Wilson

    When we buried Jellyroll in the grass lawn across from our tiny home—the Baptist church’s lawn—the tears did flow. The sadness was so deep only gasps could be heard between us, neither me nor Lil-e could talk. We placed a stone over his body —a nice stone I had found which Lil-e put an epitaph on. A few days later Lil-e left for a trip, to get away, to get her mind off of why Jellyroll had so slowly succumbed—dying a slow, insipid death. I stayed in town because of my job at the paper mill. One evening, while I was chasing cheap whisky with Pabst Blue Ribbon, there came…

  • Five Myths of the Creation of Daniel Wolfert by Daniel Wolfert

    I. In the beginning was the Word and the Word was a singularity that spoke amid darkness, “Let there be light,” and from this singularity came all things: white dwarf stars and sea lions and ricotta cheese and all things were entropy as Space/Time raced inexorably away from itself. As it raced onward, the Word that was a singularity that spoke amid darkness folded itself up into an infinitesimal idea, collapsing ever inward until it fell like a star into the belly of a woman that lived by the Pacific. Inside her belly grew a boy, and although she did not know it yet, his hands would be small and his…

  • My Soundtrack by Jamie Gogocha

    In The Stand, Stephen King writes, “No one can tell what goes on in between the person you were and the person you become. No one can chart that blue and lonely section of hell. There are no maps of the change. You just come out the other side. Or you don’t.” There aren’t maps, but there’s music. Through each section of life we walk through, there’s a song. Maybe it’s overt, like a movie’s star singing karaoke. Maybe it’s floating somewhere in the background. But there’s always a song. “Send me all your vampires” (I Want You, Third Eye Blind) (September 1999, Puyallup) The day after I graduated from Powell…

  • The Protest, a novel excerpt by Dianne Kozdrey Bunnell

    “Feminism causes women to abandon their husbands, commit crimes and perversions, and become lesbians.” —Reverend Logan Churlick, 2015 Summer settled with a vengeance on the dusty little town of Rathcreek, a dry August heat eastern Washington was known for, the kind that wrung sweat and energy from everything living. By nine o’clock in the morning, the clapboards of the Crownhart home were seared in dust. Janey Crownhart Powers stood at the kitchen sink peeling potatoes. A shaft of sunlight bore down on her from the skylight, and the long chest­nut hair shone in a neon halo of copper highlights. Her open face wore mischief like a jaunty hat cocked as…

  • Cooper Motel by Leah Mueller

    I fell in love with red-haired twin brothers who ran a highway fruit stand on Route 36 in Tuscola. They discussed the price of apples with me for my social studies assignment, which involved pretending to eat for a week in Canada on a limited budget. I loved Canada, imagined it as the stream-filled environment I’d seen only on beer commercials, where friendly bears and reindeer scampered beside my tent, or hovered majestically in the distance. The twins had an apple sale, six for a dollar. I recorded this in my spiral notebook, transformed their words and numbers into a story, one in which I got the hell out of…

  • An Understanding by Samuel Snoek-Brown

    Like the people he drew, the caricaturist outside the museum had good days and bad days. On good days, the people would laugh and clap their hands, touch his shoulder— they would point to their hairdos or their cocked grins and say, “Oh, that’s me exactly! That’s me to a tee!” On bad days (and he’d learned to see this coming, even as he sketched them), some people would stand away when he’d finished and scowl at themselves. Their noses were too big. Their breasts were too prominent. “Who the hell do you think you are?” they’d say. They’d demand their money back, and he’d give it to them; then,…