by Brad Koski
John Adams called to say he’d be visiting my town soon. He’d be speaking nearby, at a convention in New Orleans, and he wanted to have dinner with me at some point. He said something that made me laugh. I don’t remember what had been funny, but there was an awkward silence afterwards, and then I remembered that I had stolen his laugh. It made him stop cold in his tracks - he never regained the thread of our conversation.
John Adams was a rommate from college. He had been on the fast track since birth. I stole his laugh years after college, shortly after he appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated as the youngest head coach to win the NCAA basketball championship.
I didn’t feel bad about stealing his laugh. John lived 800 miles away, and I knew he’d probably never find out. Besides, I had rationalized, he’d probably stolen it from somebody as well.
John called me the week before his arrival. He unveiled his plans regarding me: we’d meet for drinks Saturday, go to dinner, and visit some jazz clubs.
The day before John arrived I woke earlier than normal. In a series of previous apartments, it never
by Barbara Donnelly Lane
She met him at one of those small town barbeques: neighbors milling around the grill amidst thick smells of burnt hamburger and bug spray. He was hunched in a plastic chair like an old bird perched in its nest,
by Amanda Inman
The room quivered like rising heat on asphalt. Mary gripped the edge of the counter, dropping the spoon she was using to stir green beans. Tiny black spots crowded her vision like a swarm of gnats and caused the trees outside her window to look like ghosts. She held on tighter, but her grip gave way and her hand hit the metal pot on the stove on her way to the floor.
A searing pain gripped her hand and shot through her arm and she couldn't help but cry. She screamed behind closed lips. Needle-like pain pricked her arm, but she couldn't get up from the floor to run her hand under cold water.
She saw her husband pushing himself toward her in his walker. His face wrinkled and his glasses intensified his wide eyes. “Honey, what happened?” he asked, coming to her side.
“I’m all right,” she said as she tried to get up from the floor. “Just have a little burn is all.” She covered her burn with her other hand.
“Let me see,” he said, trying to help her up. She took her left hand off and revealed the burn. Her skin was raised and red, and torn in
Dare taught me all the really important things: how to throw rocks, keep from flinching when playing chicken, walk in the woods without making noise, shoot a gun and maybe the most important, how to spy on people. He was the one who saved me from my stupid name.
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 Kathleen Lewis
The phone rang and she answered it. It was her mother.
“Meriweather, I hope I’m not calling too early.”
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