Shut Your Mouth, HélèneBy Nuala O’Connor
‘Keep your pecker in your pocket, Paddy,’ Jacques Aubry says, pointing at Mrs. Boyle’s swollen front, ‘and you’ll have less need for marching.’
Rutting SeasonBy Mandeliene Smith
He lay in the dark, eyes closed, imagining what Lisa would say when she saw the gun. Would she beg?
Moscow WindowsBy Mikhail Iossel
An unimaginably endless life lay ahead of me, almost frighteningly so. Sometimes, when I thought about it, I became so agitated that I found it difficult to breathe.
ManifestoBy Andrew Ladd
“My brave little Marxist,” she will coo, knowing that her own, modest attempts at domestic revolution will as usual come to nothing, and softening in spite of it.
Heat and LightAn excerpt from the novel by Jennifer Haigh
Fortified with sock tea, he attends his morning group, which is called Steps. This to distinguish it from the afternoon group, which is called Group.
MigrationsBy Sofia Stambolieva
Bulgarians are physical people. I discovered that when I left and came to New York.
Step InBy Zulema Renee Summerfield
Here’s Jacob, in the grip of incomparable sorrow, being a total jaggoff to his friend. Insert interior monologue: What am I doing? When did I become such a dick?
A Bridged CountryBy Xavier Navarro Aquino
It wasn’t like we hadn’t grown accustomed to male wooers after Pa danced his way out of the picture, but something about Casero, that old bag, pissed me off.
Wife!By Swati Khurana
Future of Language: WIFE!—who would not tolerate this complaint of his, who no longer indulged his talking, who could not even bear to look at him.
Snow SignsBy Emma Komlos-Hrobsky
Future of Language: Your given signs and pairs: mouth, kisses, red-pink, drink-apple, hurry-go. You have no tenses, only momentum into what’s before you.
The Tale of the HagBy Simon Han
Her feet were brown. She ambled closer. Darling, I’m you, she said. I’m you from the future.
The Vertical FrontierBy Madeline ffitch
I could tell that he preferred each and every stranger, even strangers he had not met yet, even strangers he imagined, he preferred those strangers to me.
High DiveAn excerpt of the novel by Jonathan Lee
Male staff members at the Grand waded through the myths that surrounded her, enjoying the feeling of being stuck.
The Naked Maja, or La Petit MortAn excerpt of the novel "The Mastermind," by David Unger
“You’re delicious,” he says, meaning it, remembering the taste of mango.
Treasure HuntersBy Susan Daitch
So you’re the hotshot diver, he said, if you won’t take any money, let me buy you a hot dog.
Man on the Bus with a Spider on His BackBy J. M. Tyree
There's a man on the bus sitting directly in front of you. He has a small brown spider crawling across his red shirt, near his left shoulder blade.
Blue UnderworldBy John Benditt
Area 51 has been hidden from the American people. For a long time. For their own good.
Square WaveAn excerpt of the novel by Mark de Silva
It seared their eyes. Squinting, they watched the light dilate, divide in six. The rocket fell away, limp, useless, and dark as a new star grew against the storm.
AmerikankaBy Jeff Parker
Boundaries of Nations: What a joke American pool is. They play with miniature sticks on a tiny table with a bunch of tiny multicolored balls, a bunch of toy balls, just like between their American legs.
Shakespeare, New MexicoBy Valeria Luiselli, translated by Christina MacSweeney
Boundaries of Nations: With time, I learned to love and master my scenes.
The Men and Women Like HimAmber Sparks, from her forthcoming collection, The Unfinished World
A year ago he brought the pox blankets back to the natives after a well-meaning group of illegal tourists stole them away. On return he had a sort of quiet breakdown.
SouterrainBy Maggie Shipstead
He led her away, down one tunnel, then another. He took her through a passage where the bones were piled so high they had to wriggle over them on their bellies.
The Road to AlpulluBy Aysegul Savas
I would examine the black and white photographs of Alpullu’s golden age. In their shadows, I identified the vanished town.
TorenBy Kevin T.S. Tang
Then high school came, and my brother and I didn’t talk. I was some bitch-majesty in the schoolyard, and whoever said all tomboys are loved has never been a tomboy.
The Way You Look at MeBy Jean McGarry
The husband wrote a letter every single day, sometimes more often. Sometimes, she didn’t open them, or deliberately misread them.
The Things They CarriedBy Christos Ikonomou, translated from the Greek by Karen Emmerich
They needed a way to keep the fire going until morning—that was another thing they had on their minds.
ThugsBy Anthony Tognazzini
In the deserted thoroughfares I heard the rumble of thug music, heavy with bass and shot through with electric guitar.
LifesaversBy Amanda Nazario
When I met G I knew he’d figure in my life heavily, but I had no idea if our association would be sad or happy, ultimately—and I still don’t know which it will be, ultimately.
Water ButterflyBy Sylwia Siedlecka, translated from the Polish by Jennifer Croft
No one knows when exactly he became the thing I fed upon, the thing whose body works for my body, day and night.
A Bunch of SavagesBy Sofi Stambo, 2015 Dzanc Books / Disquiet International Literary Program Award winner, selected by Aimee Bender
I have a birthmark above my butt, which is undeniable proof of gypsiness.