Prose

THE CLUE OF THE ACRYLIC NAIL by Holly Morse-Ellington

THE CLUE OF THE ACRYLIC NAIL by Holly Morse-Ellington

My mom crouches on the backseat floorboard. The divorce has driven her, no, us, to new lows of curiosity. “Not so slow,” she whispers. My dad would hardly recognize us in the rental car, let alone hear our conversation. Still, my mom whispers. Instructs me to drive with an air of nonchalance as though this […]

EIGHT-POINT BUCK by Eddie Jeffrey

EIGHT-POINT BUCK by Eddie Jeffrey

Richard Aldinger had never seen his father fire a gun. In fact, the only real firearm in their house—until just a few years ago when his father purchased the handgun he eventually used to kill himself—was an ancient single-shot 16-gauge shotgun once owned by Richard’s great-grandfather. It was a useless relic with rusted hinges and […]

ROAD WARRIOR by Amy Lynwander

ROAD WARRIOR by Amy Lynwander

My mother’s frugality is legendary. Our cabinets were always stocked with generic food–the plain white labels declaring “coffee,” “chocolate syrup,” and “whiskey.” My theory: her obsession with money stemmed from losing her father. When she was ten, my grandfather was rear-ended by another car. He hopped out with an offer to fix the other driver’s […]

THERE IS A SEASON: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY IN FIVE ROCK SONGS by Dave Housley

THERE IS A SEASON: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY IN FIVE ROCK SONGS by Dave Housley

Theme from S.W.A.T., by Rhythm Heritage. It is my first record, a 45 single bought at Montgomery Ward with allowance money I’d saved over the course of a month. I am eight years old. I am a huge fan of the television show S.W.A.T., which follows a special tactics police unit as they go about […]

UP THE BROOK by William Loizeaux (excerpt)

UP THE BROOK by William Loizeaux (excerpt)

In my novel, The Tumble Inn, Mark Finley looks back to when he and his feisty wife, Fran, unable to conceive a child and bored with their high school teaching jobs, followed Fran’s wild plan and left their friends and families in suburban New Jersey to begin new lives as innkeepers of a ramshackle hotel […]

PRINCESS DIARY by Jean Roller

PRINCESS DIARY by Jean Roller

FIRST YEAR OF TEACHING. NORMAL DAY. MY CLASSROOM. “OK,” I began. “Look at the sentences on the board. Can anyone see where we might be able to put a semi-colon? Where do we need more than just a comma? Stan, stop talking, please . . .” Lakita looked up from the desk she was tattooing […]

GHOSTS by Diane Sward Rapaport (excerpt)

GHOSTS by Diane Sward Rapaport (excerpt)

PROLOGUE If you are student of history, as I am, you study ghosts, the people that came before you, that grew up in the house you live in, planted the crab apple and apricot trees you eat from, plundered the mountain where you now walk your dog, and try to figure out what they created […]

DREAM ON by A. K. Small

DREAM ON by A. K. Small

When I was seventeen and dreamed big ballerina dreams, I also revered Aerosmith. I sat on the window ledge of Pacific Northwest Ballet memorizing Steven Tyler’s lyrics with my friend Jenna Butala. Crystals dangled from our necks. Names of boys like Santo vibrated against our lips, as we threw our buns back. Joe Perry jammed […]

LOST by Caryn Coyle

LOST by Caryn Coyle

Today, my dad is eighty-eight years old, but I do not remember his birthday. When I look at the folded skin of my eyelids in the bathroom mirror, it comes to me. It is the thirtieth of March. A dozen years ago, we celebrated my birthday together in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Under the veranda […]

HIS WIFE LEAVES HIM by Stephen Dixon (excerpt)

HIS WIFE LEAVES HIM by Stephen Dixon (excerpt)

This is one of his favorite memories of her. He’d just got off the elevator on her floor, was going to ring her doorbell. He had a key to her apartment, which she’d given him a few weeks before—two months after they’d started seeing each other—but it still didn’t feel right using it if he […]