by Alexandra Mae Jones
Image: Verena Spilker
The man running the fifth record stall in the flea market had pink beads in his hair. He was shaking them to the beat of the smoky thick drums coming out of the speakers at his feet, and the appearance of his unselfconscious joy had driven away three customers now. Only five remained: a middle-aged couple, a teenage girl and her father, and an elderly man. The woman in the couple was leaning heavily against the man for something more than support, the edge of her smile pushing folds into his jacket’s shoulder. He was muttering about the organization of the ‘80s records—“The Smiths next to Madonna? Might as well spit on their legacy,”—and ignoring the way she kept sighing, louder and louder, in a showily content way that slowly grew more pointed.
by Kathryn L. Hall
Image: Samir Bhimji
When it starts, it may be hard for you to understand. Talking about it can be uncomfortable because these things usually stay hidden. It’s awkward, a hassle, and can confuse you. It might even cause you to act out. However, this is essential to talk about. It happens to everyone. A physical change that occurs when a child is ready to become an adult, one that is capable of reproduction, the basis of life. The years between ten and seventeen can be a lot of fun but also very puzzling. If you are reading this, it means you are about to or are already experiencing changes. This book is designed to help you through this challenging, awkward time in your life. It may not answer all of your questions or solve your problems, but after reading, you should know more about what is happening. It may seem like forever, but trust that this is a temporary state. Continue Reading
by Timothy Day
Image: Timothy Day
When Jane visited her parents on her 26th birthday, she found them stricken with a persistent wetness. The three of them sat on the towel-covered couch and Jane listened as they told her about work and the cats and holiday vacation plans. They asked how she was doing and Jane did her best to inflate the recent small victories. Jason was starting yoga; the car was running fine; that mould that had been on the wall of their apartment when they moved in? Gone. Continue Reading
by Riley Vainionpaa
Image: Riley Vainionpaa
I needed them to exist. I set the table for the ritual, spread a yellow sheet filched from the hall closet over it and placed an element in each quadrant. Fire was a tea light, plucked from the bag in the cabinet where my moms kept the bone china platter with the painted lilacs and their collection of limited edition Peter Pan plates. I always chose Tinker Bell. Water was the conch shell from that time we went to Mexico and the whole trip all I did was search for aluxes in the gardens outside our hotel, convinced the knee-high tricksters could get me out of the dance contest that night. Air was a feather I’d found at school, probably dropped from one of the Canada geese that liked to shit all over the soccer field. Randy Ayzer said it was dirty and said I was dirty for touching it. I told him everything in Sudbury is dirty, even if you can’t see it, because of the refinery fumes. Earth was a pebble from the driveway. Continue Reading
by Haran Sivapalan
Image: Haran Sivapalan
“Life will get better”
Lenny the Lemming always hated this phrase. It was a phrase laden with hubris, as if the person who uttered it could confidently predict the trajectory of one’s life. Life could get better, perhaps. But it could also get worse. The trajectory of life was as capricious and unpredictable as that of the best-made North Korean missiles. Continue Reading
by MiKA MiLK
She prayed for some light for the photographs that would become his internet presence.
Her skirt caught burdock as she kneeled down in the deep soaked snow to frame a right angle. The sun came out and smiled down on her. Each burr needle entangled in the fabric felt like the one found in some haystack. How many barns must a man walk down..
To what rarity shall one go—when coming from afar, all this way to see you. Continue Reading
by Rose Cullis
Image: Kate Dembski
It was one of those cases where the neighbourhood recluse had died – and when they cracked open the door of the little row house on Robinson Street where he’d lived, they discovered that he’d been creating magnificent works of art that would likely prove to be of great importance.
by Terry Doyle
Image: Mario Campos Castellano
When the fires stopped burning I pretty quickly realized there was no reason for me to stay in Fort Mac. The job was toast, my company truck had burned, and my ex seemed committed to remaining my ex. Her new man owned his own Ram. Owned it. Outright. Continue Reading
by Isabel Rock
Images: Isabel Rock
When I was young, I always wanted a pet. My parents wouldn’t let me have one so I made a poodle out of broccoli. I called her Tallulah Flooff. She was beautiful and I was so proud of her. I entered her into the local animal vegetable competition which she won. Then I entered her into a poodle competition, which she didn’t win, but she was spotted by a TV talent scout and invited to star in a dog food commercial. The dog food commercial was a big hit. Something about the look in her eyes made you really believe that the dog food was delicious. She landed a part in a movie called ‘What are you looking at?’ playing the poodle of a blind gangster. Tallulah totally outshone the lead part and became a movie star in her own right, starring in ‘What are you looking at now?’ Continue Reading
by Michael Díaz Feito
Image: Naomi Binnie
It was too hot in the banquet hall—like a jungle!—so we were distracted, complaining and searching for the thermostat, and no one saw Tío Kiko give Rita the knife.
It was her twelfth birthday. Kiko stopped her by the buffet table. He asked if she already owned a knife. She didn’t answer, looking down at her sandaled toes, instead, because he scared her. He was giant. Bald, red-faced, and broad-nosed, our only blue-eyed relative. He finished picking from the plastic tray of pyramid-stacked croquetas and clapped his big hands clean of crumbs. He asked her again. Continue Reading