Pigeons

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by Kristy Lin Billuni
Image: Flannery Bateman

Ava watched a city bus accelerate toward three clucking pigeons in the middle of the road. Their nonchalant pecking at the asphalt right up to the last nanosecond before total obliteration thrilled her. She gasped, and all three took flight, scattering to the right and left of the massive bus fenders, two landing in the gutter beside her. She rested the side of her face on the hot concrete, and a sharp pebble dug at her cheekbone. Continue Reading

Swaha

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by Liz Kay
Image: Lita

I’d had my wish and I’d blown it out all over the cake.

But I still had the blue bucket. By the door next to the coats and shoes. It was bought by the seaside in the days when we used to play.

Last year Kevin rescued it from the garden, emptied it of frogs and filled it with dreams on sorry bits of paper wrapped up tight. Gel penned goals: see the northern lights and learn the ukulele. Write a novel and compile a facebook page of rainbows. I’d done the last one, had 1267 followers and counted 336 likes on my best picture so far. Continue Reading

Buffalo Manifesto

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by Greg Burkholder
Image: Tom Moore

I remember laying in bed surrounded by buffalo. They licked my face, their tongues like wet sandpaper. The buffalo would impatiently nudge my hand until I flung my blanket off and trampled through my room with them. The carpet swayed like prairie grass and the walls stretched for miles. Time to infinity. I led the stampede through the endless plains of my room, as fleas danced jigs on the buffaloes backs and I laughed at them for being so dirty and they’d retaliate by kicking carpet dust into my eyes. I’d rub it off with the hem of my sleeve but it never all went away.
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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