Fiction

“The Labour of Love,” by Sean Fallon

Apr 20th, 2018 | By

The novelist sighed. Romance is the hardest genre, she thought as she stared at the white screen in front of her. It made her furious when people and so-called critics told her that romance was a genre reliant upon tired tropes and clichés. They were wrong. It was an art-form, a science. Scaring people? Easy! Making them laugh? Child’s play. Making them swoon with love and have horny dreams about being stolen away by pirates or marrying a billionaire? The most challenging task of all.



“Don’t Embezzle, Kids,” by Natalie Ho

Apr 20th, 2018 | By

“I wanna be a billionaire, so freaking bad…” Yaritza hummed the catchy tune to herself while scrolling through the WikiHow page “How to Embezzle Money” on her middle-class 11.6″ MacBook Air while sitting in her middle-class 448 square-feet studio in the Upper West Side of Manhattan, across the Central Park and a few subway stops to the Wall Street in the Financial District. She hated the small laptop, her tiny apartment, and her middle-class life. She had always wanted to be rich. All things considered, she just knew in her heart that embezzling money was the only sure way for her to afford a lavish life. A sumptuous surrealism kind of life.



“A Few Words About Gary,” by Wim Hylen

Apr 20th, 2018 | By

When they asked me to say a few words at Gary’s retirement party, I was nervous. I’m not much of a public speaker. But when I started to think of what I’d say, I got nostalgic. Gary and I go way back. We started together at the County in the Payroll Division 26 years ago. We were young men then, in our early thirties. Both of us had left the private sector to take our first government jobs. This was back when government work was still considered honorable, ha, ha. We were itching to show everyone what we knew. We had full heads of hair back then, too, believe it or not. We learned the ropes together



“Sad Acorn Review,” by Hayley Rosenfield

Dec 20th, 2017 | By

It had not been a good Christmas Eve for the Nyhus family. It started off all wrong when Eric arrived late donning a new girl on his arm, a woman the family had no idea even existed, let alone would be joining them for the evening. Her name was Eden, and while friendly enough, she wore so many fake gold bangles on her arm that it caused a racket while taking communion at First Lutheran that night.



“Anabasis,” by Daniel Galef

Dec 20th, 2017 | By

Mr. Stevenson must have had a first name, but, if so, his teachers didn’t know it. “Is that so, Stevenson?” they inquired. “Speak up, Stevenson, so that the whole class can hear you.” Mr. Stevenson’s parents probably knew his first name at one point, but may have forgotten. His friends didn’t know it, for the same reason that unicorns don’t know the capital of North Dakota.



“Caged In,” by Adam Millard

Dec 20th, 2017 | By

We sat, seven of us, in a room with surgical white walls, and for the first time since arriving I felt discomfited. Being an addict is one thing, but being addicted to… to the thing that each of us present were addicted to, well, it was just plain embarrassing. Alcohol, drugs, sex, all were preferable addictions. The sooner this madness was over with, the better.



“Restroom,” by Kim Gibson

Dec 20th, 2017 | By

“Hi, may I use the restroom?”

Of course. First it’s Can I use the restroom? Blink, blink, blink! then boom, toilet paper mâché all over the goddamn floor because gas station bathroom floors are gross and can’t be stepped on. Pee all over the seats. Paper towel thrown around the room like she had herself a good ol’ paper towel ball fight.



“Weird Stuff,” by John Abernathy

Dec 20th, 2017 | By

I told her, “I like weird stuff,” and she didn’t immediately leave.

In fact she said, “Mmmmmm,” because her mouth was full of calamari rigatoni, and then, “I like weird stuff, too.”

I leaned toward her and kept my voice down so the other diners wouldn’t hear. “Yeah? Like what?”



“Knick Knack Wars,” by Brooke Reynolds

Dec 20th, 2017 | By

Fred opened his apartment door at Shady Maples Retirement Home to a crime scene; someone had fiddled with his knick knacks. All residents at Shady Maples were given one small end table and a smidgen of wall space to display their memories. The halls were filled with old ceramic Christmas villages, poodles made from plaster, and all the precious moments of life carved out of stone. The scent of moth balls and musty yellowed newspaper articles filled the stale morning air.



“Office Cleaning,” by Klaus Nannestad

Dec 20th, 2017 | By

Jason was a charming and attractive lawyer working at one of the biggest firms in America. He was almost everything a man could wish to be, except for one thing, he was dead. Rick, meanwhile, was a cleaner who was plump, socially awkward and who had just discovered a corpse in the kitchen while mopping the third floor of the office.