Red BrickBy Danny Lorberbaum
Sam wants to see the Mississippi River at night. He has heard of Tom Sawyer and he looks for him in the faces of boys they pass.
My Dreams Would Seem So CloseBy Stephen O’Connor
“They’re back!” we hissed over our kitchen fences. “Someone’s got to stop them! Something must be done!”
Afternoon CowboysBy Jonathan Crowl
“Smith & Wesson .357 Magnum. Straight out of a Western movie.” He handed it over to Brady, who gripped the black rubber handle and ran a finger on the sleek, cold metal barrel.
StormbringerBy Jennifer Haigh
I met Tracy Pasco in the spring of 1980—in my Pennsylvania hometown, a time of relative optimism and ease.
GramophoneBy E. C. Osondu
First there was a little crackle as the pin scratched the record and then the voices would begin to sing or talk and would float into the surrounding inky darkness.
The InfernalExcerpt from the novel by Mark Doten
“I consider myself a casualty, one of the many casualties of the war on terror.” —Alberto Gonzales
Indigo Gets MarriedBy Jami Attenberg
“I thought you’d get along.” “Why did you think that?” I say. “You do so well with wounded men,” she says.
Cities I’ve Never Lived InBy Sara Majka
There were so many places he could have lived, but he lived in the shack so he could dream of his daughter.
AmituofoBy Vanessa Hua
Religion in America: If he were superstitious, he would have blamed the monks for cursing him.
Household GodsBy John Benditt
Religion in America: The house of the Memory God is filled with junk in piles. It started innocently enough, the way a blizzard starts: a flake here, a flake there.
Festival for the PigsBy Memtimin Hoshur, translated from the Uyghur by Darren Byler and Mutellip Enwer
Soon a rumor spread through the city that a pig was riding on another pig, circling through the streets, commanding the riot.
Butterflies in NovemberBy Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir, translated from the Icelandic by Brian FitzGibbon
You’ll barely notice him, he won’t nag or pester you, doesn’t even sing the way other kids do.
Gulf ReturnBy Deepak Unnikrishnan
Only for a short time, my mother promised when she left, but the shortness has grown longer, many years, almost twelve, and I am now grown.
Seven Micro-Stories on War (and Only One on Love)By Alex Epstein, translated from the Hebrew by Yardenne Greenspan
We reported on the two-way radio that the only nut alive asked to surrender.
BecomingBy Anna Noyes
She hugged me goodbye and left in her boat. I didn’t wait for the boat to grow smaller. I walked into the jungle. I wanted to be something real.
Stand StillBy Shelly Oria
We realize, of course, that one day the force may strike again, leaving one of us breathless at the side of the road.
Ghost HouseBy Ingrid Rojas Contreras
The stories of the kidnapped always begin the same way.
For What Purpose?By Karen E. Bender
American Empires: I wanted to stop something, everything. I applied for a job in airport security and they placed me here.
Wounding RadiusBy Constance Squires
American Empires: PFC Larry Pierson, a 21-year-old Afghanistan veteran from Vermilion, South Dakota, had made off with four M-16 A2s, six thirty-round magazines of ammo, and two M67 grenades.
MercyBy Melissa R. Sipin
I only question my father about these half-truths now, after all these years, because of the nightmares. Because I think about my mother. Because I imagine leaving my husband.
You, DisappearingBy Alexandra Kleeman
The apocalypse was quiet. It had a way about it, a certain charm. It could be called graceful. It was taking a long time.
Our FathersBy Dan Sheehan
I don’t remember the trial, of course, but I’m told there was a stink of hatred in the room that would undo your tie.
A Planet for RentBy Yoss, translated from the Spanish by David Frye
Science fiction from Cuba.
The Bully of OrderAn excerpt from the novel by Brian Hart
Bigness required boundaries but this water had none save the shore we stood upon and the end of my eyeball’s reach.
Henna HouseBy Nomi Eve
I knew that the Confiscator was a bad man. I knew that my father hated and feared him.
GirlsThe 2014 Dzanc Books/Disquiet International Literary Program Award-winning short story by Laura Adamczyk
Girls, the man said, I’ve got an itch.
Switchback, 1994By Jack Livings
The pool of blood had grown a custardy skin in the cold, so that as the wind blew, it strained and jiggled.
2 A.M. at the Cat’s PajamasBy Marie-Helene Bertino
Boys cross rooms for Georgie, who is full in the way they like. Foxy is the word for it, Sarina thinks, whereas she is foxless.
More Than ThisBy Tracey Rose Peyton
The boys here looked past her, their eyes steadily transfixed on the procession of tight designer jeans and heels clicking through the quad regularly on the hour.
Who Can Shave Thirteen Times a DayBy Tracy O’Neill
“I brushed Michael Bolton’s hair once,” I said, “and moisturized George Clooney too.”