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fiction Issue 28

Littler Women

by Ji A Ines Lee All the girls in Symor village reduced at least once a year.  Some reduced on their faces, others on their arms, and the braver ones on their legs.  They came to school with white scars running down sunken cheeks, bones visible beneath their diaphanous skin that bloomed with purples and […]

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fiction Issue 28

The Trouble of Aketch Nyar Sewe

by Edith Magak Aketch Nyar Sewe died a virgin. Mayoooo! That was very bad, badder than the matter that she had died. We were just crying a little that she had died, because to die after all, was the way of the world. But when we scooped soil from the ground and showered it over […]

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fiction Issue 28

Wood Ducks

by Helen Sinoradzki Terrence lifts my binoculars to his face. “I don’t know what I’m supposed to be seeing,” he says. “They’re ducks, right?”  “Not just ducks,” I say. “Wood ducks. Sweep the binoculars left. See how the one on the end is different from the other five?” “Kinda.” He hands me the binoculars and […]

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fiction Issue 27

Uncle Morris

by Jeffrey Wolf Probably, Great-uncle Morris had been around since I was a baby. Technically, he’d been around much longer. He was my great-uncle, after all. Yet in my memory, he appeared suddenly, a few months after my sixth birthday. This was at my grandparents’ house on Clifford Terrace in Skokie, a house I still […]

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fiction Issue 27

The Joy You Feel

by Richard B. Simon Content warning: This story contains graphic depictions of sexual violence. If you prefer not to read it, please return to Issue 27 to select another piece. To find out why we like this piece, read the Issue 27 editor’s note A Season in Isolation.  Put it in your pocket don’t forget […]

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fiction Issue 27

Disappearing Act

by Ben Powell The magician might be drunk. Kelsey catches him pissing behind the shed between acts. It’s a long pee; she’s able to wave me over before the guy finishes. “This is a kids party,” Kelsey says to him. Ozlo the Omnipotent just shrugs. He pulls black velvet gloves back onto his hands. Steam […]

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fiction Issue 27

Puzzle

by Rita Ciresi The other mothers tell me I’m lucky. Their sons are screamers, biters, head bangers. My boy is soft and silent as a bunny. Sometimes he’ll use the sign language he’s been taught at school: a hand to the throat for thirsty, a finger to the mouth for hungry. But his voice—or rather, […]

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2020 Summer Contest fiction Issue 26

Wonga Beach

by Katie O’Donnell Wonga Beach 1. Night “The thing is,” says Jan. She pauses, sucking on the joint. It’s their last one. Cath waits, but there is no thing. No joint-passing either. The silence slides down to the waves whispering on the shoreline of the mangrove-fringed beach they have found at the edge of the […]

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2020 Summer Contest fiction Issue 26

Sex-O-Rama, 1993

by Jenny Robertson This story won 1st prize in our 2020 Summer Contest in fiction, judged by Alex Segura. Cher Bebe was supposed to be a dentist. Or a minister. His parents couldn’t agree, so they kept both possibilities in mind as he grew older and taller, his body flowering far above them, his mouth […]

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2020 Summer Contest fiction Issue 26

A Lamentation of Swans

by Marlene Olin A lock and a key. A nut and a bolt. A child and its mother. Alone they’re nothing, their bearings unmoored, their future adrift. It was Nettie’s greatest fear that they’d be separated. And once the pandemic hit, her fears came true.  She and Henry were fixtures in their South Miami neighborhood, […]