Category: Fiction

The Smell of Seashells by Vera Hadzic

An old friend of mine could sense storms by smell. When I asked, she said they smell like water. I must have smelled water a million times, but never like this, she claimed. When a storm’s coming, water smells like soil and metal, as though the earth is cut open and the storm is its blood, pouring out into the world.

It had been months since I’d spoken to her.

“Smells like a storm,” I said one day over break. Nobody listened to me – they had more important mysteries to solve. I hadn’t really been talking to them, anyway. The fog made the sun a pink and hazy fingertip, smearing its oils over the sky. Conversation carried on as though I hadn’t said anything:

Autofictive Athletic by Matt Fallaize

This is a work of fiction.

I need to clarify this, as there’s been quite the fashion of late for novels based, with almost no alterations, on the minutiae of the day to day life of men.

Nearly always men.

And in these alleged fictions they catalogue their bowel movements and fear of death and there’s generally some tedious byplay about the taut flesh of much younger women. None of it is terribly edifying, but then they call it a novel and everyone falls over impressed.

The Winds of Change by Dvora Wolff Rabino

When the caseworker dropped Derek and his two black Hefty bags at the new address in Morningside Heights that breezy second Saturday of May, the ten-year-old was not expecting much. He’d been blowing in the wind like dandelion fluff most of his life; this was his third placement just since January. But the green doormat read “A hundred thousand welcomes,” and he supposed it was possible this family actually meant it. Lacrosse sticks and boxing gear, probably for the couple’s real kids—sports equipment like that might as well be made of gold, that’s how out of reach they were for foster kids like him—was piled up just inside the front door. A one-armed teddy bear hung off the living room couch. The coffee table had a plastic chess set laid out; someone was in the middle of a game. And John Green and John Grisham library books lay open on the dining table. Derek wouldn’t be the only reader here.

Found Footage by Lee Ashworth

Glyn Evans: A Life on the Edge
Stooky16
23k views – 3 days ago

“You’re always an outsider on an island like this.” We see a close up of a metal halide bulb reflect in the mirrors of a powerful lantern. As the camera zooms out, the tower of a lighthouse is revealed, the white surf lashing against sharp black rocks. A ferocious wind rips through the air. We hear the voice again, shouting to be heard over the elements: “There is no interior!” The profile of a man’s face in shadow comes into view, the lighthouse receding into the background. “Only what’s in here!” he blasts, staring out across the channel between the headland and the lighthouse, tapping his temple. The lantern is glowing against the darkening sky. The light is fading. The picture is grainy. Another voice speaks, clearer, closer to the microphone. A voice of sudden concern: “I said, you want to step back from the edge?” The camera refocuses, blurring in and out, grappling with the last of the light as the man turns slightly toward the lens, buffeted by the gale, transfixed by the view out to sea. The man behind the camera raises his voice: “You don’t need to be quite so close to the edge…” He does not reply. There is only the sound of the wind. We fade to black and a caption fills the screen: Glyn Evans: A Life on the Edge.

Imitating Dopamine by Matthew McGuirk

The rush of euphoria is something unmatched. It starts with an almost unnoticeable prick in the back of your head and the comfort just washes over you and the world melts away, you are floating in the clouds. Your body is filled with a sense of relaxation and elation, the worries and worldly things take a back seat. Most pair D2 with what we call augmented reality, it’s a little more expensive, but you get what you pay for. All this came to be just a couple years ago.

I was 25 when D2 came out. I had just gotten my job in sales; Maureen and I had just gotten together at that point and I had beers with the guys on Friday and Saturday nights. That was two years ago and I do remember those times pretty distinctly, but I don’t really miss how it was before I got it put in, before D2. Sales was always a buzz; I work mainly on the phone pushing supplies for a computer company. Really, this was how I got into D2; I was pushing it without really knowing it, so I decided to get the chip, it just made sense. That’s also when Maureen started to waitress at my favorite bar. I remember those tight jeans waiting for the tray of drinks to go out, then the plain white t-shirt she had on that night that pushed her tits right out there and the smile she sent my way was something else. Before we knew much about each other we were out to dinner flashing each other our best smiles and then running back to bed. We could hardly leave bed outside of our dates, couldn’t get enough of each other. The outside opportunity for drinks on Fridays and Saturdays really kept things lively though. Andrew, Alex and I hitting O’Malley’s, throwing back the suds and checking out the ladies, look but don’t touch.

Consuming Life by Philip Charter

Each class was costing Sarah nearly one hundred Dirham, even if she went to Yoga twice a week. That was nearly thirty dollars an hour. She could imagine Arnold’s look of disapproval at her indulgence, but keeping in shape made her feel better about living in a city surrounded by desert. Sarah couldn’t go running in the humid evening like her boyfriend.

She stole a glance in the mirrored walls of the all-women fitness club. Most of the other members were in much worse shape than she was. It wasn’t their fault; some Arabian women barely got out of the house. But, the instructor helped them much more than her.

When Everything Goes Right by Hannah Dadd

Kate stumbles into the cafe, welcomed by the smoky smell of coffee and a thick blanket of heat, her glasses fogging up. Thank goodness, it was freezing outside. She unwinds her scarf and stamps her boots on the worn mat. The afternoon is bleak, on the cusp of evening, cold and damp with the lingering promise of rain. Hopefully she won’t catch it on the way out. She scans the room but he isn’t here yet. That’s fine, she is early. Eager. And he is always late.

“Can I take your order?” A smile is drawn to kind lips, the barista’s pen poised, watching Kate who watches everyone else. 

Carlos, A Dying Dream by Justin Meckes

Sean opened his eyes and found himself seated at a table adorned with a single calla lily, which stood erect in a slender glass vase. Beside him was an otherworldly bright and shining cobblestone street. If it wasn’t for the dazzling shine, Sean might have believed he was in Paris. Then again, there was the pungent odor of garlic, tomatoes, and freshly baked bread, which made him think he might be in Rome. Sean also noticed the hint of a floral perfume wafting through the air. Thie scent was not coming from the white flower in the table’s centerpiece, so he turned his attention to a dark-haired woman behind him.

Her cheekbones were high and modelesque. She was wearing dark sunglasses, perhaps because of the ethereal radiance being emitted by the adjacent roadway. Staring into a compact, the woman methodically applied a bright red lipstick. When she noticed Sean, she closed the case and smiled before crossing her long legs and picking up her menu.