Three Words

By Kaleena Madruga Describe yourself in three words, Khal says. He prods the growing fire with an unravelled wire hanger. Um, I start, pulling my blanket a little tighter over my shoulders. Abrasive. Creative. Driven. Good ones, Chris says, nodding. I don’t think you’re abrasive, Suzanne offers kindly. I shrug. I have created a misty … Continue reading Three Words


By Stephen Phillip Lupkin Carl had just begun chewing the last bite of his sandwich when there was a knock at the door.  “Jesus Christ,” he mumbled through cheap bread stuck to the roof of his mouth. “Who is it?” he yelled.   “It’s Andy; open the door!”  “What are you doing here? You didn’t say … Continue reading THE FILTHY HOUSE


By Christina Rosso On my third birthday, my mother told me she had a special treat for me. She placed a dome-shaped cake the colour of smashed berries in front of me; a flaming candle stuck in the tip of the arch. “Today, you begin your transformation,” she said, smiling. “Today, you discover hunger.” The … Continue reading Hunger

Persephone of the Valley

By Dani Herrera I was found unconscious in my little house on stilts over the sea. There were claw marks on the windows. The chimney’s bricks were ripped off their foundation. The pipes were burst, and long strands of hair were caught on the jagged steel edges.  That part I remember. The dripping water, the … Continue reading Persephone of the Valley


By Don E. Noel Jennie and the orchestra were belting out Cole Porter. Quick-quick, slow: When they begin…the beguine…it brings back a night… “He has a pigeon,” Sasha whispered as she passed Rita at the swinging kitchen doors. “Same woman, three numbers now. On the far side, where I’m serving.” Sasha was Rita’s best friend … Continue reading Gigolo


By Bill Vernon Although the biggest elephant in the world is loose in the building, I voluntarily check-in at the reception desk. A wall clock insists it is exactly 7:17, which I write down by my name then enter the lobby where about 20 residents are present. Some wear street clothes, a few bathrobes, two … Continue reading YVONNE

Some Way Out of Here

By Parrish Mother says grace isn’t given; you fight for it. Charley smiles in the mirror as she drives. Ah, Mother, grace takes many forms.  Jimi, for instance, or Kristin. Definitely Blue. She’s otherworldly. You’d admit that. Then there’s Kat. What about Charley? Hmm. Definitely not Charlotte. That bitch is dead and won’t survive the … Continue reading Some Way Out of Here

All the Best Paintings of Jesus

By Don Foster Day-drinking naps give me the best dreams, and this one’s no different. I’m with Renee, a figure I’m still connected to in a weird, offensive way. In my dream, though, it’s all honeymoon. She’s unzipping my pants, about to do something marvelous, when a knock rattles my bedroom window.  I throw the blanket off and … Continue reading All the Best Paintings of Jesus

Little Ghosts

By Aimee Brooks I was laying on my cold and crinkly blowup mattress when the phone rang. I moved carefully to avoid spilling the noodles that I made in the microwave earlier, rolling over to my other side where the consistent hum pulsed through my bed’s empty membrane.  His name flashed across the glowing screen. No. I … Continue reading Little Ghosts

Lip Blam

By Leah Sackett Lips are gross if you watch them in motion wet, dry, rough, soft, flaky, luscious, spittle, and bad breath. Harlow had asked for her tube of lip balm from Orderly Roberts.  “Can I have my lip blam?” Harlow asked. “You see, my lips are so chapped,” she said with a pout.  “Okay, give me … Continue reading Lip Blam

The Coffee Maker

By Dominic Loise The machine in the lobby was placed as a nicety. Something warm and inviting offered visitors like yourself. It maintained the body heat of their initial handshakes. A first attempt to show the corporation cared to learn about others too by offering, “How do you like your coffee?”  Your ceramic mug held the first … Continue reading The Coffee Maker

Up in Smoke

By William Cass Rosa felt flattered and appreciative when Jenny invited her to join a few other housekeepers and resort staff for a TGIF. She’d only been working there a couple of weeks and hadn’t yet made any friends. The truth was Rosa had no one she was close to outside of work either; she passed … Continue reading Up in Smoke


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