• Baptism by Fire by James Gilletti

    Saturday, August 16th, 1952 — 12:45 a.m.      The room sweltered like a sauna. My temples ached and my throat was bone dry, but I wasn’t about to walk out of there, not until I got what I needed. After four hours of listening to this punk shuck and jive I’d had enough. I leaned across the table and spoke low.      “It’s over, Sol. We collared your crew tonight and every one of those bums just rolled over on you. Why don’t just you just come clean?”      “Come clean with what?” he shot back. “I already told you what happened, heavy. I called the orders in and I showed up at…

  • Grand Theft Auto, South Seattle by Leah Mueller

    I was a single mom, six months pregnant when thieves stole my station wagon. The rusted, sky-blue vehicle cost four hundred dollars, and its back seat and floors were covered three inches deep with plastic thrift-store toys.

  • How to Steal Copper Wire by Jonny Eberle

    Step 1      Hit absolute rock bottom. Sell your guitar and move back in with your parents. Send out resumes. Admit that a studio art degree was an unwise choice in this economy and allow yourself to be humbled by the experience of losing it all and starting over. Send out a few more resumes, but you can stop personalizing them for each job, because you know they’re just going into the junk folder. See how long you can coast on paying your debts, do elaborate budgeting on the back of a past-due envelope and realize that you’re screwed.

  • God’s Will by Jack Cameron

         “Does it help?” I don’t mean to have the sarcastic tone in my voice but given the situation, I can’t help it. She looks up at me like I’m an idiot, as if this whole thing is my fault or something.      “Of course it helps. You should try it some time.” I decide not to continue the topic. Prayer to me has always seemed like something for people who never outgrew having imaginary friends. And in the two-year history of our relationship, I’ve tried to ignore Lisa’s religious proclivities.      “You think the cops are here yet?” I ask. She doesn’t answer. We’ve probably been in here for twenty minutes now,…