(from Issue Two)
IN THE BEGINNING, the girls say, there was only one house, and they all lived there together. At night, Emma brought them hot cocoa and slipped peppermints under their pillows. They grew beets in the garden, and used the heart-shaped leaves in salads. They boiled the roots and dipped the red circles in butter. On long, rainy afternoons—all the afternoons were rainy, and most of them were long—the girls would pickle the beets, dropping them in glass jars full of vinegar. read more
WELL, WHAT WOULD a good ol’-fashioned euphemism between spouses be if it didn’t make Bob Coffin feel like marvelous shit? His wife saying that he’s looking more like his father every day, which means fat and bald and defeated, which was what led her to suggest that Coffin ride this godforsaken bicycle to and from the office.
Catherine Earnshaw leaves her lover at dawn
THE THING IS, the thing is,
I never do leave. How modern that would make me! How spry,
to slip away while you lie
Drowning in sleep, your mouth open, pulling great gusts of air from the night.
How cunning I would be to sneak away and die.
But the thing is, Heathcliff, the thing is, the last time I left, I stopped hearing from you.
What happened? Not a single letter, or telegram or telegraph or phone call or email or voicemail or IM or SMS or BBM or tweet. Not a peep for 226 years.
And then I saw you on Facebook. We had nine mutual friends.
(from Issue Four)
DRIVING HOME, he said to himself, I might die today. It was his wife’s incoherence that scared him, not the rage but the wailings and gasps of a woman who’d possibly lost her mind. So if you were really so smart, he told himself, you would’ve hidden the guns when this started.
(from Issue Five)
ALICE BLINKS, LOOKS UP at the circle of women looking down at her, every one of them a stranger, wondering where she is. Old, wrinkled faces creased with worry. Inquisitive little monkeys who have climbed down from the trees in the forest, only the trees aren’t real and neither is the forest.
“You don’t look so good, sweetie.”
“Just sit still for a while.”
“Are you okay, child?”
“I’m fine,” Alice says as calmly as she knows how. “I’m all right…I’m fine.” If she says it enough times, maybe they’ll believe her.
“You had a seizure,” says an old white woman with a pile of bleached white hair on her head, like the tip of a cotton swab. The other women nod.
“No…I fell….” Alice tries to suppress the panic rising within her. She cannot have had a seizure. Not here. Not now. Not again. read more
(from Issue Four)
I WAKE AND find my mother has been replaced. She looks like herself or like someone who looks like her—I have long since given up looking at my mother straight on—but she is unusually gentle with me. Not once as I slurp my milk-sogged flakes does she remind me of the toll the months I spent fattening her belly took on her career. I know from my father that she paid her company cash to erase the time afterward she spent at home with me at her breast from their records. read more
(from Issue Two)
DOWN THE ROAD from my father’s house, the house I grew up in, there’s a bluff that overlooks Lake Michigan. There’s a fence and a sign that says Private Property. But who can own a view of Lake Michigan, Queen of the Great Lakes? I’d jump the fence, the place was mine. Some prick wants to build a fence and put up a sign, what do I care? read more
(from Issue Six)
THEY WERE BORN on the same day at the same hospital because back then, the town was only large enough for one hospital. Both were named Kim; one from the Conger family, the other from the Conner family. Kim Conger should have been named Kimberly, but her mother was frugal and wanted to save on the monogramming. Kim Conner’s father didn’t like the name Kim; he thought it sounded too foreign. But he didn’t say anything since his father-in-law was also named Kim. read more
(from Issue Three)
FIRST, LET ME say this: I do not hate Jonathan Green anymore. Not in the least bit. Really. I’m over him and I’m over hating. I mean, he can’t help it that he was, and maybe still is, a weirdo collector of wine bottles and women. Or that he’s crazy. These things probably help his performances, which he says are biographically fictitious. read more