“The Beta Test,” by Leah Miller

Aug 20th, 2022 | By

Mrs. Watkins checks her hat in the mirror. A mauve cap with glued-on feathers in a darker shade, and a veil that doesn’t clear the tip of her nose—perfect. It says grief, but not too much. She checks her invitation from HelloAgain. It’s her first outing since Jim’s death six weeks ago.

“Nosferatu’s Masterclass in Presenting to Stakeholders,” by Zara Karschay

Apr 20th, 2022 | By

Transmogrify, take a ceiling beam if you wish, my words will retain their meaning whichever way you choose to hang. All I beseech you is, please, save your questions until the end. Dawn is but a few hours hence. And we must use what these new men call the “small hours” to master my last class in stakeholder management.

“The Best Bo,” by Mark Brazaitis

Apr 20th, 2022 | By

In retrospect, it might have been a bad idea. But Bo didn’t have the luxury of living retrospectively. He lived in the now. And what he’d done in the now, which is to say a month ago, was to buy his lover a coffee mug. On the otherwise white mug, in red letters decorated with tiny hearts, were the words Best. Mom. Ever. At first he wasn’t thrilled with the periods. Wouldn’t the message have been better without them? Best Mom Ever. Or even a full sentence: You are the best mom ever. But, as he thought about it, he began to like the periods. They made the message emphatic.

“The Endless Televisions,” by Derek Lake Berghuis

Apr 20th, 2022 | By

I escort my wife into the home of an old friend, one Percival Fisk, where we will stay for a few weeks or until our latest folly blows over. The Fisk household casts an idyll of domesticity that we enjoy. Framed pictures of the Fisks are scattered throughout, mostly of their children and erstwhile pets (eight dogs, one goldfish; the cat was never caught on film) along with watercolors of the seaside and novelty wooden placards: Welcome to the Fisk’s. We love our children equally, there is no need to ask. Please do not smoke in our bathrooms. A cable knit throw of a horse mounted cowboy dresses the couch. The living room keeps no television, nor tolerates any appliance more complex than the old tube radio.

“The Family Company,” by Agata Antonow

Apr 20th, 2022 | By

A portal opens in everyone’s computer. My screen ripples in a round circle and the plastic seems to melt away as a passageway to another world opens. Chris watches slack jawed as Satan strolls right through the screen into her kitchen. Zven shrieks and falls from his chair as Satan walks into his home office. Tori smiles beatifically as Satan hops into his bedroom. In my own backyard, Satan arrives in a puff of smoke and the smell of sulfur. He winks at me and glances around. Everyone at the company has his own Satan.