• 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…

  • Times-bestselling author of The Lunar Chronicles and T-Town Local, Marissa Meyer.

    Following is the (entirely untouched) prologue from the very first novel I ever attempted to write, begun when I was sixteen years old and sitting on the bleachers in gym class. It was basketball day. So odd the things you remember. Though in reading it fourteen years later there are about a million “beginner’s mistakes” I can point out – things that would make me cringe in my writing today – I actually found revisiting this story to be surprisingly refreshing. Even now I can remember how much I loved this world and these characters that I was beginning to create. Though I’d been writing fanfiction for about two years…

  • When She Left By Hawwa Alam – Youth Writing Contest Winner

    Ma says the world is a bad place. She says keepin’ away is our best bet for safety. The earth is like a ship’s biscuit, and all the people are weevils burrowing away, tryna hide their evil. That’s what she says. I agree, because no-one says nothin’ to Ma that’s not what she likes and gets away with it. But sometimes I wonder what’s on the outside; behind the trees that bow and whip their leaves in the wind like hair on a wee girl’s head. I sometimes sit at the window and just think things like that. Ma says it’s a waste of time dreamin’ – that it’s just…

  • Apples for the Snow Queen an excerpt from 42 Sketches by Michaela Eaves

    The one thing the Snow Queen missed most was apples. Since moving north, she didn’t get fruit. And truth be told, she’d never been a fan of most fruit anyway. But the apples reminded her of a time before she’d left for the north, when she’d been closer to Snow White, before White had gotten married and grown distant. They ate apples by the slice off the blades of paring knives as they sat on the deck of the cabin in the woods, while the dwarves were off working. To continue reading Apples for the Snow Queen click here.

  • Gnosis by Christian Carvajal

    I earn an exceptional living; let’s just leave it at that. I owe it to one basic principle: there’s no such fucking thing as a secret. Secret Coke formula? Horseshit. Sure, there’s an eyes-only folder in some safe in Atlanta, but that formula’s used every day to make millions of bottles and send them all over the world. Any chemist worth his sodium chloride could find the secret formula in one dull afternoon. Secret Original Recipe from KFC? It’s salt, black pepper, and MSG, period. You say “what about eleven herbs and spices!” I say, “When’s the last time you heard that phrase in a commercial?” There may’ve been eleven…

  • The Blood Keeper’s Prophecy an excerpt by Brook Ellen West

    The elevator door opens on a spring dawn saturated with fog. Draped over the barrier wall, it divides between the running legs of civilian workers adhering to evacuation routes, including the two gardeners who stagger inside our lift, just as we exit, and drop to their knees to fill their lungs. Entering the motionless air I see squads of Blood Keepers bleeding from the elevator bay. Black uniforms disappear into the mist and the tracks of bodies, moving toward and away from the only outer access point, draw lines like those on the surface of an active anthill. This is the Compound—the last surviving human settlement in Monstrum. Keeper Vaughn,…