• Kindling Kindness by Jennifer Chushcoff

    Owen glared out the cottage window. “There’s nothin’ to do,” he said. “Never is.” A beetle walked across the sill and he squashed it to feel its tiny exoskeleton crinkle flat. He held up his thumb to examine the iridescent shell in the sunlight. Beyond his thumb he caught sight of a woodchuck peeking out of its burrow in the orchard. He hurried outdoors and cut across his mother’s garden, leaving a trail of bruised petals and broken stems. He filled a pitcher with water and rushed to the mound. The woodchuck saw him coming and ducked back into its hole. Owen poured water into the burrow and kicked dirt…

  • Stripes by Jonah Barrett

    1 Missed Call, 1:25am Sylvia Zou, 1:26am: Are you asleep? This isn’t anything scary but could you call me? Sylvia Zou, 2:34am: Okay possibly scary. Not about us but I’m freaking out right now. I feel really bad, and I think your phone is down and…fuck. I’d really love your help right now Megan. I know you hate it when people are touchy feely but you help me a lot sometimes 2 Missed Calls, 2:39am Sylvia Zou, 2:55am: I’m a little better now. I still wanna talk though. Please. Not for any real reason, I think it would just calm me down, or something. I’m really sorry for this slew…

  • All People Poop, Some People More Than Others by William Turbyfill

    Do I poop here in my home or do I wait until I get to the sandwich shop? Like all great adventures, this one started with a choice. After just moving to a new area I needed to find work. I filled out applications all over town and the one place that felt like taking our relationship to the next level was a sandwich shop a quarter mile from my home. They invited me in for an interview. It was a great job possibility considering the circumstances. Not too many hours a week, an easy walk from my home and free sandwiches. Up until this point in my job history…

  • Shooting Stars and Open Bars by Alexandria Duluoz

    There’s just one memory I keep going over in my head. It was early morning in California and I’d been up all night leaning on the windowsill, my mind was clouded with the haze of six hash brownies and a red stripe. I loved those one dollar and ninety-nine cent tall boy cans of red stripe. It had been six months of non-drinking so I was still decently drunk. It was also my sixth consecutive month of not having sex, at five a.m. I started to make heart shaped waffles. Supposing it was nervousness and bad habit forming but I had gotten little sleep and I continued to ponder ever…

  • A Backwoods Christmas By Titus Burley

    Poppa spit chaw into his little Sanka can and told ma and the two progeny, “Put your thermals on. We gonna trek to the woods and haul back our Christmas tree.” Momma rubbed the breading for the okra off her fingers and sniffed them once before wiping them clean on her checkerboard patterned apron. “Snow likely by evening. You sure ’bout this?” “Might’s well.” Daughter Amy smiled a big gap tooth grin. “Let’s get the best one, Daddy. Missus Merton letting us make ornments during free time.” “Dress like you mean it,” reminded Ma. “If the squall comes early, lil’ brother gonna have a hard time keeping up.” Lil brother…

  • Buckminster Holiday Letter by Jennevieve Schlemmer

    Well, happy holidays everyone! Another year has flown by and it is time for the holiday letter from the Buckminster household! First of all, we who chose to live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, earthquake capitol of the world, are thankful to have gone another year without the “BIG ONE” striking. I know the Lord is looking out for us here but Tom convinced me it was time we put together an earthquake preparedness kit just in case. Better to have a little extra insurance. With the new Republican Congress assembling in January, who knows what plagues might come upon us? Remember, He helps those that help themselves! To continue…

  • Ribbon Candy by Ellen Miffitt

    The satin luster of ribbon candy resembles the reflections from the Christmas tree lights on colorful glass ornaments; it’s not clear enough to actually reflect anything but the surface gives the illusion. My grandmother always had a pressed-glass bowl of ribbon candy set out for the Christmas holiday. I don’t remember her having a tree those last few Christmases but the overflowing bowl of ribbons was a tradition during the holiday. As a teenager no one else I knew set out a bowl of ribbon candy for their guests; candy canes, mints, mixed nuts or a box of chocolates replaced the fragile old fashioned treat that had a propensity to…

  • Adjust by Nick Stokes

    Drink coffee. Pack food, gear, shingles, propane, feed, a mattress, rebar, a box of cookies and whiskey, mail, nails. Drink coffee. Bullshit. Wrap. Eat a ham-and-cheese sandwich. Feed. Fix tack, build ropes, bullshit. Knock a rock from a shoe. Dunk in the river. Long. Drink beer. Eat. Read. Stop. Coffee. Run them in and catch up and oat and brush and saddle the horse and saddle the mules. Load the trucks. Truck. Drop the visor and squint through sunglasses and creep around a blind corner with young sun horizontal in your eyes. Fall back to not eat dust. Beep reverse into the morning chill. Unload the trucks. Coffee. Load the…

  • Dedicated to Steak Knife by Nicholas Stillman

    Thomas tried to avoid eye contact with the homeless milling around his apartment. He possessed a long-standing fear of being mugged on his walks to and from the university. He knew he presented a target. His clothes might as well be a bullseye buttoned smartly to his body. Today was no exception as it was Oxford day, both in shoes and choice in button-up. Oxford, he thought about the college with longing–one day he would make it there. One day his novel would get him in. It was early and the mist limited his sight line to a matter of feet. He tried to walk confidently down 11th, but this…

  • Don’t Piss Off the Fairies by Lory French

    He’s there against the wall, straining so hard that the veins on his neck are popping out. Grunting in terror or maybe pain, he’s got his elbows straight out in front of him, hands crossed and against his neck. At first I think he’s strangling himself until I notice that he is suspended about 6 inches off the ground. An icy chill rushes over me from scalp to sole, rebounding back up into my chest. This guy looks like he is fighting for his life against an enemy I can’t even see. My instinct to help is completely embattled by my instinct for self-preservation in the face of a visual…