One Morning, At Breakfast…

The kitchen was already alive with the sticky sweet scent of jam and eggs when Phil came down the stairs and saw Laura at the stove, spatula in one hand, firm grip on a skillet with the other. “Morning, honey,” she cheerfully called out. Phil smiled, still fussing with his tie. “Good morning, my sweet cupcake.” From underneath the table, Phil’s bull terrier Ramsey lazily swaggered over to him, eager for an approaching breakfast handout; Phil playfully scratched behind the dog’s ear before sitting down. Carefully arranged around him at…

Insects

Sheena laughed inwardly as she imagined how she looked, caught in the swarm of shoppers whose individual silences and sounds came together in a low buzz. Their sharp beetle elbows poked into her drab-coloured winter bulk until she reached one side of the aisle and started moving to the back of the store, against the traffic. Spilt grain and breakfast cereal cracked beneath her soles. She winced at the sound. A picnic table blocked the next aisle. She stepped onto the bench and looked from side to side, as if…

Home Again

H O M E A G A I N Paul Le I don’t want to go home. There’s nowhere else to go in this town, though. I’ve already spent over an hour at the only late-night grocery store, going up and down aisles, picking things up and then putting them back. That fight we had still stings. I only asked my mother if I should clean the tables. She took that as me saying she wasn’t doing her job; I thought I was being helpful. She gave me that look…

Fiction Friday: Choppers

  Choppers Mike Murphy     Henry Buckler had never caused any trouble before. This morning, however, he stormed into the dental office and straight to Anita’s desk. “Mr. Buckler,” the young, petite nurse said pleasantly, looking up from her paperwork, “I don’t recall you having an appointment today.” “Is Bernie in?” he asked tersely, clearly agitated. “Why, yes. He’s –” “I need to see him.” “OK,” she replied, unsure how to proceed. “If you’ll. . . uhm. . . have a s–” “I need to see him now.” Dr.…

Fiction Friday: Shame on You

SHAME ON YOU Seth Wagerman Kayla feels terrible. As though all her rationalizations have drained from her with the peristaltic shudders of her orgasm. Kemba buries his face in her neck, resting atop her, still holding her wrists. She closes her eyes, waiting for him to roll over beside her. She gets up; fumbles one-legged into her jeans. “Where’rye going?” he mumbles sleepily, pulling the pillow towards him. Guilt rises in her like bile. It isn’t only her husband she’s wronged. Kemba wants and deserves more than a married woman…

Fiction Friday: Minor Accident

Minor Accident JL Crews “We shouldn’t have rented a car.” As soon as the words were out of my mouth, I knew I shouldn’t have said them. “Well, thanks, Maggie for that brilliant observation.” His eyes stabbed me, a wound deeper than his sarcastic tone. He knew I hated when he spoke to me like that. As if I was an errant child it was his duty to correct. Forever. Until death do us part. “You thought it was a great idea this morning,” he said, a muscle in his…

Fiction Friday: Celery

Celery Ashleigh Hatter She liked the crunch of things. Many things. Lots of different kinds of things. Of chips and uncooked rice. Of apples and tree bark. Of fingers and celery. Yes, she liked to chew, to snap, to crunch lots of things, but she loved her celery the most of all. Hooded, cozy, sniffing the cold, she stole into the world, shutting her door, licking her lips. Imagining, picturing a crunch. Her jaw seized, and it was usual. Very normal. Very typical. The doctor said so, and the doctor…

Fiction Friday: The Milestone Day

THE MILESTONE DAY Gina Napoli I saved my wedding gown just for Raine, my only daughter. No one else could ever wear this dress but Raine. Bone-colored lace spilled out of the heirloom box, both faded with time. I had worn this same dress twenty years ago. I even put on this dress in this same dressing room in our church. My own wedding day was nothing more than a blur now. Most milestone days are like that. Tears punctuated my wedding day, just like they did today, like water…

Fiction Friday: The Pleasures of the Borden Family Massacre

The Pleasures of the Borden Family Massacre Matt Athanasiou Lizzie Borden took an axe / And gave her mother forty whacks. / And when she saw what she had done / She gave her father forty-one. –Popular rhyme concerning the Borden family murders. The rhyme on the cover of the brochure suggests she saw what she had done, but did she foresee the bed and breakfast and museum her childhood house would become, a roadside attraction, a haunt of orbs in windows, a home for the neighbors’ ghosts as well?…

Fiction Friday: Daisy

DAISY Hailey Piper Daisy encountered the boy years before she found him smiling in the barley field. She was minding her business in a store’s lot at town’s edge, poking at garbage that might hide treasures. A dirty, skinny little thing, not so different from her, the boy toddled out of the store holding the hand of an older woman. This was the morning Daisy could not forgive. “Look, Aunt Delia!” he shouted. “A puppy!” Daisy was young and small, but she hadn’t been called a puppy in a while.…