Invented Love by Mir-Yashar Seyedbagheri

I’ve tried to invent the perfect mother. I should be packing boxes, but it’s exhausting stripping a room of history. Connection. One mother is foul-mouthed, rife with gruff glamour. Smoking cigarettes, with one of those voices like Marlene Dietrich. She’s the kind who doesn’t pronounce […]

Leave a comment

Where by Erica Dawn

“Where were you last night?” We’ve already had this conversation twice this morning. She’s forgotten it again. So I explain one more time. Slowly because she has to read my lips and now her eyes are going, too. “Mom, I was here last night.” It […]

1 comment

Curb Sofa by RJC Smith

I came home from work and sat in the sofa we had dragged off the curb a few weeks earlier.  I say ‘in’, rather than ‘on’, because I would sink into it. It was way too big for one person, but not big enough for […]

Leave a comment

2020 Pushcart Prize Nominees

It gives me great pleasure to share the following six stories, which I’ve just yesterday sent to the Pushcart Press for consideration in next year’s Pushcart Prize selections. Whether you’ve given these pieces a read already or are reading them now for the first time, […]

Leave a comment

Photoreal by Vasilios Moschouris

That morning on the porch, I held my breath—the familiar pressure inside my chest greeting me—then exhaled; the burning tang of nicotine blended with the minted pines across the water, its hanging cloud dissipating as a cool breeze washed over the lake. The smoke singed […]

Leave a comment

Faint, Faint by C.C. Russell

I was never romantic enough to offer you my umbrella. Of course, where we lived you couldn’t even buy umbrellas for the most part due to the wind. And that isn’t the kind of people that we were. But the point still stands. I wouldn’t […]

1 comment

Please, More by Melissa Maney

My father begged me to come home.  He told me that he had closed the cellar door, locked it, and thrown away the key.  “It’s over now, it won’t happen again,” he kept repeating over the phone. There was something in his voice that sounded […]

Leave a comment

Lunatics Outside of the Asylum by Mandira Pattnaik

I am not a mercenary–the word infuriates me. Only Asma used to call me so—she paid the price. We’re messengers. This moonless night, I and my people march through the crepuscular streets. Our wooden masks—colored outrageously in reds, dark greens, oranges and black—with bulging eyes […]

1 comment

Jigsaw Puzzle by Robert Boucheron

On a clear December morning, I park the car amid banks of snow and scurry over a sheet of ice to the dermatology clinic. I am on time for my appointment, but the cold air stings. In the waiting room, the sun streams horizontally through […]