Tag: Society

The Auteur by Alexander B. Joy

Her co-star had been in the middle of his line, but she couldn’t help it. The instructions were to sip from her glass, right at that moment. Yet as soon as the liquid passed her lips, it burned, and by reflex she sprayed it all over the table – and the actor across from her.

“Cut! Cut!” shouted the director, in that inimitable accent of his.

“I’m really sorry,” she said, as a costumer dressed her co-star in a new shirt.

“Quite all right,” the co-star said. “Far from the worst response I’ve received.”

Useless Werewolf by Naaz Frederick

Being a werewolf is horrible. Being a useless werewolf is worse. At night you are crazy and unstable. Why did you let this happen? You wouldn’t be a werewolf if you said just said no. Why didn’t you deny it? You don’t remember being asked. You didn’t want this. Why are you complaining? Everyone nowadays claimed to be turned, you are not special. You are nothing. You hear your mother on the phone earlier, you heard it too clearly with your trained ears.

“These fake werewolves are destroying the lives of who turned them, why would you expose if someone was turning people? That’ll cost them their lives.” Your mother hates the new trend, as she calls it, of involuntary werewolves calling out those turned them.

Shelter by Patty Somlo

I don’t remember the first time I heard the term “shelter-in-place.” Like many expressions that come out of nowhere and get repeated ad nauseum, turning into clichés, shelter-in-place probably entered my consciousness from the local nightly news. Until the coronavirus began to dominate TV news coverage, reporters in my area, which covers San Francisco and its sprawling suburbs, focused on grizzly car accidents, house fires, and of course, shootings. From time to time, a shooter would be pursued, and residents warned to shelter-in-place.

The term has been used more frequently in the past two decades with the rise in school shootings. Students practice active shooter drills, in which they shelter-in-place until first responders arrive and the danger has passed.

Another Baby by Kevin Stadt

Emily stood in front of the coffee pot at the kitchen counter, holding her empty mug and trying to talk herself out of pouring another cup. Her teeth buzzed already, and she’d been having trouble sleeping lately.

She listed all the reasons. The caffeine made her sleep for shit and then that led to her being tired and wanting more coffee the next day. And of course it then fed into her drinking more wine in the evenings just to take the edge off, which was a whole other issue. She’d also read lately that it was especially bad for people with anxiety issues and panic attacks.

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.