by Daniel Payne One of the guards opened the door to the Warden’s office and Zane walked in and looked around at the half-dozen men standing there. They were all wearing suits like him and they all looked worried and scared and unhappy.
by Amber Cook "Take it low." There was never a question of who carried the burden in the Mitchell family. It was an unspoken agreement between siblings, signed in blood and dated back twenty eight years prior when one was on the bottle and
by Chris Antenen "Got change for the machine?" Mel Cooper pulled a crumpled bill from his pocket. Sven jerked his head toward the door. Mel got his change inside the store, pulled a Dr. Pepper from the dispenser, and stood at the edge of the porch, drink in hand, looking over an array of life-size wooden birds. He chose one of them with his free hand.
by Tom Honea Even for a week night the crowd had not been good. None of them seemed to understand music. Warren did things with the guitar that he knew none of them had ever heard before. He played Jimmy Rogers railroad songs in a four–four beat, played it again in an eight–four beat.
by Angela Spires The voice of Darth Vader comes out of my Tom Tom, followed by his mechanical breath. “You have arrived at your destination. Whooo-perrrr.” I hit the brakes of my black Chevrolet Aveo: my rental—economy class. Not that anyone here could tell the difference between a Chevy Aveo and a Gemballa Avalanche. To my left a row of evergreens leads up to
Gardenia sat in the hollowed out old cypress tree and rolled her tiny white paws together in her lap. Her hind foot patted the cool soil with anxiety as her crystalline blue eyes blinked out at the dawn's pink light. “Oh, if only today could be the day. It's not like I don't deserve it,” she whispered to the rising sun. “I'll bet my britches that today will be the day, alright. Today's a good day. Good things are bound to happen for me today.”
West Texas cacti and starved poles of yucca riddle the landscape. Only the charred road disturbs their prickly presence. Before him stretches a snakeskin of pavement. When asked, he says there were options he didn’t take, things he would do differently. Thank God there were no kids. Few possessions to speak of. According to the last marker, he is 98 miles from nowhere, but surely the road will end.
by Kelsey Savage Hays Christine started the shoplifting. Until Saturday night they’d stuck with make-up: fancy lip gloss in flavors like blueberry cheesecake and mint chocolate chip embedded with fine pieces of glitter that left their lips sparkling like a disco ball. They swiped sample blushes from the Clinique counter, tossed perfume test bottles into their purses, snatched grape purple eye shadow from the bins at Claire’s.