A Funeral in Provence by B F Jones

“I wish I could have told her more. Explain better why she was here.” Dad takes his steamy glasses off and wipes them, puts them back on. His grief reminds me that he is still someone’s little boy, always will…

A Temporary Quiet by Vicky Waters

A huge beast had flung itself against our walls. Words and pictures caught inside us were retrieved to heave up to our conversations. This is how we feel. This is how we understand. The first Saturday was spent in hand-wringing…

Spitting Image by Keech Ballard

Clair had a love-hate relationship with his Uncle Mike, who always took him along when he went hunting, shooting, or fishing with his drinking buddies. He taught Clair how to pluck birds, skin animals, and clean fish, but never how…

The Cube by Emmy Favilla

I didn’t have a lot of friends at college. I grew up on the Brooklyn–Queens border. When I was accepted to NYU, a 40-minute commute away, I had to decide: Do I rack up the student loan debt to live…

How Not To Become an Accountant by Chris Walsh

All summer long, mum dropped heavy hints, and made carefully crafted statements. Money did not grow on trees, she said. I had my life, and now I urgently needed to do something with it. Over our tea, as a tight-lipped…

Your first Queer Valentine’s Day by L Scully

Your last name is Scully, like The X Files. And you’re a redhead. In third grade you move across the country to a new school. Two boys start picking on you. They call you “Scummy Scully.” One day in art…

Memories of Ambivalence by Rachel Newcombe

I misuse the word. After bantering, you lug a fat dictionary from your desk, riffle the pages, offer me a stage whisper sigh, and begin reading the definition of ambivalence. “Oh,” I say. “Yes, oh,” you say. We laugh. We…

To a Time I Thought Would Break Me by Lauren Woods

This is a love letter to a seven-hundred square foot apartment, to the bedroom with the bunk for you two and the full bed for me we called the dormitory, to waking up with two little bodies tucked into the…

The Warrior and the Fishergirl by Traci Mullins

My grandpa whispered through life, puffs of conversation here, the scuff of a slipper there. During football season, he sank into the folds of his recliner, a battered transistor radio pressed to his ear and the TV on mute so…

Pet Negotiations by Hema Nataraju

My six-year-old daughter wants a pet. No, she needs a pet –her words, not mine. As much as I love dogs, I’m not a pet person. Not at this point in my life. This almost-40, perpetually exhausted mother of two…

Counterpoint by Jared Povanda

This boy feels for tumors along his neck. Fingers roaming, mapping, little-by-little, he stands before the bathroom mirror, yellow lights making heat crawl, making his skin falter on his bones. This boy believes he will die on a snow-covered hill,…

The Bicycle by Marilyn Duarte

Sweaty, red-cheeked neighborhood boys tightly gripped their hockey sticks, as they ran up and down the middle of the street with abandon, chasing after the puck. Between two goalie nets, set a short distance apart, the boys smacked and scraped…