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Story Archives

| By Laura Venita Green

[ Issue Issue #17 ]

Mama Prayed

The wind has been fighting the cyclists ever since they entered South Dakota. A hurricane that tore up the Gulf Coast a week ago has made its way inland and is now reduced to simply battering Olivia’s cheek, relentlessly, with every pedal stroke as she makes her way east through the Great Plains. The hurricane …

| By Anne Elliott

[ Issue Issue #17 ]

The Girl in the Shadow of the Urn

Every time I paint a portrait I lose a friend. —John Singer Sargent   Portrait The first portrait Jules Johnson saw, really saw, was a watercolor she held in her hands in her uncle’s frame shop: a woman seated on a rock at the edge of a river. The subject’s shoes were off, her jeans …

| By Jake Bartman

[ Issue Issue #17 ]

Practical Argument: A Love Story

Prompt for Causal Argument essay: Using the techniques we have discussed this semester (thesis statement, active verbs, unity and coherence, refutation of a counterargument, the “funnel” approach to introductory and concluding paragraphs, etc.), trace the causes and effects of an issue. Potential subjects include: climate change, the unemployment rate, the cost of health insurance or …

| By Shari Astalos

[ Issue Issue #17 ]

So My Friend Tells Me a Story

She tells me that she is sitting in her office chair on a spring afternoon, and the windows are warm and yellow from the sun and the vinyl is cold on her neck. There is a tiffany lamp on her desk, lit, and underneath her feet are bare. Her client is on the couch with …

| By Anthony Abboreno

[ Issue Issue #17 ]

An Occult Basis for Grief

In the garage, you show your fiancé Clara what you have made for your child’s gender reveal party. It is heavy, built from the scavenged metal base of a lawn umbrella and a four-foot length of pipe. You felt ingenious in the process of welding it, using equipment you borrowed from a friend, but in …

| By Michael Nye

[ Issue Issue #16 ]

Spring 2023

To read this editor’s note, please purchase a copy of issue #16, due out in April 2023.

| By Lee Ann Roripaugh

[ Issue Issue #16 ]

Sundowning with Fat Juice

You try to make sure and leave the assisted living center before 7:00 p.m., otherwise your Japanese mother has a mood crash and initiates a hostile litany of grievances against your stroke-addled father, which—even though she occasionally makes a good point—is still difficult for you to stomach. Nonetheless, you sometimes don’t manage to make it …

| By Lori Ostlund

[ Issue Issue #16 ]

The Bus Driver

There were thirty-two of us that first day, standing in a sloppy circle as Miss Lindskoog spoke of cubby holes and taking turns, none of us doubting that we would soon become friends. We were children after all. Children like other children. Over the next thirteen years, Jane and I became—and remained—best friends, unlikely best …

| By Brenna McPeek

[ Issue Issue #16 ]

There’s a Hill Out Back Behind the Grade School

On the other side, the hill descends into a thick patch of woods. The adults warn us not to go down there for reasons they can’t or won’t—and don’t—explain. We can but won’t—and don’t—listen. After the last bell rings, we evade teachers and security guards and sprint across the teeming playground. We stutter-run (try not …

| By Louise Marburg

[ Issue Issue #16 ]

Godmotherish

I get a call on my work phone from a girl named Lyra who claims she’s my goddaughter. She might be, it’s not impossible. I have a couple of godchildren to whom I pay no attention: I’ve forgotten their names and I am long out of touch with their parents, and I don’t know how …