Hell Employs Labradors At The Front Desk

by Josephine Bätz
Image: Jeannine Bätz

The first time she dies, it is a practice run. Clinical, under lab conditions. It takes her a long time to come round again, and it hurts like hell. The assessment afterwards is curt and with all the unnecessary pleasantries removed, the body declared stable and ready for work. They send her down with a duffle bag and a pamphlet full of instructions. It hurts when she moves too fast; at this stage, the healing process still takes a while. They tell her it gets better with time. How long that takes will depend on her. Head office warns her that taking the wings out will be difficult at first; probably won’t work at all until she has rearranged some bone structures in the shoulder blades. She should hold off attempting until after the first few months, when the body is stable enough. Continue Reading

The Rabbit Sister

by Wendy BooydeGraaff
Image: Kaitlin Ruether

We all know the story of Peter Rabbit, that naughty boy who went to the garden after his mother expressly said not to, and he paid for it with a cold and having to drink chamomile tea in bed while his sisters, Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cottontail, got to have bread, milk, and blackberries at the table. But while we were moralizing about disobeying direct orders, Flopsy over there, her furry little eyelids closed with the ecstasy of berries bursting in her mouth, reminisced about her own little adventure. One that no one else knew about, which made it all the more delicious. Continue Reading

Houses of Water and Flight / Solicited Crossings

by Evan James Sheldon

I was walking to the movie theater when a great golden bear approached me on the sidewalk. Come with me, he said.

Only if it’s quick, I said, still thinking about the movie.

I followed him off the busy sidewalk to a house that appeared to be caving in on itself in a beautiful, intentional way. The golden bear knocked, didn’t wait for a response, and went in. Continue Reading


by Delaney S. Saul
Image: Hanna Webster

Ma was the first to ascend, and by then she was no longer herself.

It started with her sobbing in the middle of the night. I would huddle under my blankets and silently beg her to stop. She cried out for Pa. I knew Simon heard her because he came out of his room every morning looking withered.

“People grieve in different ways,” my therapist said, before I stopped seeing him. I assumed Ma’s strange behavior was grief over Pa’s death.

Then Ma revealed to me that she could not see herself in the mirror.

“It’s like I’ve been erased, Savannah” she said. Continue Reading


by Kelly Craig
Image: Amanda Gibbs

Before they are friends Kyle asks her to go under the bleachers with him at the homecoming football game. She says no. Their team loses. She drives herself home with the windows down. It’s still hot. Las Vegas, late September. She wants to feel a chill but the windowsill where her arm rests has retained the heat of the day and she feels nothing but the stickiness of her thighs from sweating on the metal bleachers. She doesn’t talk to Kyle again until the next year, senior year, when their AP government teacher assigns them seats next to each other in the front row. She says hi to him, feeling her friends watching her in rows behind. She pretends she doesn’t recognize him as the guy who asked her to go under the bleachers. He tells her his name is Kyle and acts like this is the first time they’ve met even though they’ve been in school together for three years and she already knows his name. She doesn’t tell him her name and he doesn’t ask. She is never sure if he knows it. He never says it out loud. Continue Reading