• Silver by Christian Carvajal

    In those days, the year of our Lord Jesus Christ one thousand seven hundred and eighty-seven, Paris was a city abuzz with death. It buzzed as a topic of conversation: in the private apartments of His Majesty King Louis XVI at Versailles; in the salons of nobles (who fretted, too, about the aroma of revolution in the air); and in taverns, soon to be called bistrots, in which lesser men shouted and sang around mouthfuls of veal. It buzzed in the clouds of pernicious insects thickening the air over churchyard cemeteries. And it buzzed in the streets, as soldiers, executioners, and laborers made use of what few livres they earned,…

  • Coming Down The Mountain, Excerpt from the forthcoming book, THE HERMIT by Gabriel Roberts

    My poor bike was covered in ice for days on end and it took some time for it to warm up.  I had moved it before the first snow into a shelter that was being used to dry out the weed.  Before I could even get to the road, I would have to travel three quarters of a mile through foot deep untouched snow up a hill.  Trying to do this with my motorcycle alone, packed with a fully loaded bike and 50 lb backpack was simply impossible.  My boss pulled their quad up to my bike and wrapped a car towing strap around the front forks of my bike. …

  • Riviera Jet Lag Party by Joshua Swainston

    The story takes place on July 2nd 2000 “Why do you want to sleep? You slept on the train,” Claire said, exiting the Sephora boutique. “I’m tired. What do you want me to do?” Adam tailed behind. They had been shopping their way through Nice, France since they arrived that morning. “I want you to come with me. We’re going to meet up with Alice and Sonia for dinner.” “I’m sure you would have a much more fun without me sleeping through the meal.” “We’re only in Nice two days and you want to sleep. When we were planning this trip, you insisted we see the French Riviera. You said…

  • The Music Lesson by Alec Clayton

    As first dates go, this one was outstanding. She had the biggest eyes he had ever seen, and deep dimples. He loved dimples. The meal was enjoyable and not too heavy. He was confident that he came across as witty and sincere.  When he took her home she invited him up for a drink. They sat side-by-side on the couch, she with her feet tucked yoga style. At last he worked up the nerve to kiss her and she responded, if not passionately at least firmly. Deciding not to pussyfoot around, he reached between her legs. ”No,” she said, pulling his hand away. “No? Not gonna happen?” “Nope. Sorry. Not…

  • One of Time, an excerpt for a work in progress by William Turbyfill

    “I guess we’ll have to have class indoors then.” This was not the first time Professor Clifford Barrow made this joke but his students laughed just the same. Despite his tendency to be a bit of a recluse and his inability to make a good joke, Professor Barrow was well respected. Some of his students even liked him. The class room was bright which stood in stark contrast to the rain and darkness outside. Before Clifford arrived on the planet, he did not realize that when they say it always rains on Ravis, they mean it always rains on Ravis. The sun never broke through the constant rainstorm and the…

  • Fly on the Wall by Rockford Rowley

    Most people we encounter don’t understand us. They merely occupy the relatively fleeting, disposable roles in our lives we inadvertently have but seldom gain insight from. But we can hope. We can hope to be understood. We can hope to find people who perceive our personality exactly the way we so carefully present it. There are a lucky few who find people who perceive it exactly the way they intended. As if they’ve been an un-perceivable fly on the wall your entire life, carefully observing you, only to be miraculously transformed into a human being the moment before meeting you. And on one unsuspecting evening last summer I felt like…

  • The Faithful Wife by Lory French

    “I told you I wasn’t ever going to go into sordid details,” Olivia sighed, tired of the drawn out conversation.  Dave could be such a little bitch when he wanted to be.  She was tired and knew that tomorrow morning was only going to bring a long march of more whining from the kids she’d be chaperoning up to Everett for a field trip on some whale watching boat. She ran her hand longingly over her empty pillow. “I need to know now.  I know I said I was ok with it, but I just …. I can’t take looking at every guy we know and wondering ‘Is it him? …

  • Approval Rating By Titus Burley

    Jerry ushered the aide and intern into his office gesturing for them to sit in the two leather chairs that had been placed in front of his mahogany desk. He hated afternoon meetings but his chief of staff had been adamant that he block fifteen minutes for these two. He appraised them as they moved to the seats, his eyes roving from the shorter young man with his Caesar cut bangs and lingering on the slim-waisted blonde in the teal mid-thigh skirt that accentuated her impossibly long legs. If it had been a morning meeting, he would have held court formally, ensconcing himself behind the desk in his throne-like, though…

  • The Observable Universe by Jonny Eberle

    The young man buys a ticket and wanders around the exhibit on the history of the spacesuit before disappearing. It takes more than forty minutes before the observatory volunteers find him locked in the Clark Telescope Dome. He refuses to come out. The man demands to know why he can’t see Saturn through the telescope’s eyepiece. He doesn’t believe them when they explain through the closed door that the rotation of the Earth has shifted the planet out of the telescope’s field of view. They offer to come inside and reposition the telescope for him. He tells them that he is not a fool. That he will wait. “I want…

  • The Barista by Jonathan Dittman

    The barista had a dream in which she was a bartender.  The bar was dimly lit with only a baby handful of barflies hovering atop sullen barstools, swilling cheap hard liquor and spewing misogynistic banter that normally offended her.  However, in the dream the barista was genuinely engaged and even slung her share of sexist observations.  As she turned to reach for another bottle of JB, the barista caught a glimpse of her sallow reflection and shuddered.  Her countenance rebounded off the liquor-stained mirror and, much like the men she was serving in that hole of a bar, projected a sickly hue that reeked of destitution.  Aside from her ghastly…