Elixir, Rush and Blackberry

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by Emily Boswell
Image: Isabell Rock

Melinda could already taste the delicious red cherry slushy on her tongue – already feel the cool crushed ice running down her throat. She had been craving it all day. The sun beat down, hot on her face. Literally beating me, she thought. Looking up at the fiery mass, Melinda imagined golden fists coming down and bashing her in the face, burning her cheeks. Her maroon tights stuck to her sweaty thighs, her flowery yellow dress clung to her stomach and chest. The shade of the trees that lined the narrow road offered no comfort. Continue Reading

Offerings of Blood and Meat

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by Kelsey Kimbler
Image: Jane Flett

As you look at Emily, the hunk of slimy meat that used to be Emily, while she lies in her coffin, I understand if you want to speculate about what happened to her. We, as her family, would prefer if you didn’t. It’s upsetting to us. She was so young, don’t you see? Now she’s gone. She’s gone forever and all we’re left with is the memory of her broken, twisted body. When her parents look back on her, this, this right here is what they’ll remember. You want us to sit here, at her goddamned funeral, and talk about how she died? How dare you. Continue Reading

Self-Control

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by Maximus Anthony Adarve

Vincent is right in front of me. I’m coming down, this is the fall. He puts his hand on my arm. Real soft. I’ve been feverishly scanning the restaurant we’re sitting in. So out of it. I listened to all of Rodeo by Travis Scott, and At. Long. Last. ASAP on the plane ride. I passed out. Woke up still high. I listened to what seemed like every single Red Hot Chili Peppers song. The plane started banking into a turn during the descent and I started sobbing. Continue Reading

The Brain Bank

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by Sharifa Petersen Tadini Rybolt

‘I was told I could sleep here,’ is what I eventually said to the guard, hat in hand, thoughts everywhere. ‘Yes, you see I work here and it’s very important I be here as much as possible right now, so I was told I could sleep here.’ I looked around, my eyes gliding smoothly over a couple of formalin-fixed brains I’d left on the desk. Continue Reading

Photobombing for Dummies

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by Caleb Echterling

A barbarian horde surged through the open doors of the Louvre. American tourists in flower-print shorts and plastic footwear moshed and elbowed to be the first patrons to set eyes on the Mona Lisa. Carvaggios and Raphaels whizzed past like so many cornfields. The first footfalls arrived at the wooden crowd-control barrier. A collective gasp blended with the clatter of a thousand iPhones hitting the floor. A little girl tugged on her mother’s Hard Rock Cafe tank top. “I see him, mommy, I see him. Waldo’s behind the smiling lady.” Continue Reading

Petal

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by Charlotte Wührer

The inscription on the bench reads “No one loves you more than I, Petal.” It stands in a place where people walk past with their dogs, every minute at least three. It also, not without coincidence, stands in a place where five years ago Manon and Peter would still have jogged past it once a week together.
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Billy-Sally

Wubble Gubble

by Brett Petersen

A bright light streaked across the sky and disappeared into a thicket. Billy-Sally the billy goat glanced up from the grass he’d been munching on. Something on the other side of the fence was glowing. He padded cautiously to the edge of the pasture. The glow danced on the surface of his eyeballs like Chinese lanterns above a lake. The urge to jump the fence and investigate tugged at him, but Farmer Alan would be very cross if Billy-Sally were to try. Perhaps he could sneak through the front gate when the cows were let out to be milked. Continue Reading

The Barbie Jeep

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by Catherine Sinow

Delilah’s face was always covered with crust. Sleep crust on her eyes, snot crust under her nose, and tomato soup crust on the slope between her lower lip and chin. Each morning I saw her walking with her dad to their Audi; a vinyl Hello Kitty backpack always rested on her shoulders, and the back of her stringy blonde hair was always braided into a heart. Continue Reading