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The Absolved

November 29, 2018
The man’s cheeks are so hollow and gaunt that the yellow skin on his face hangs off them like dead weight. When he gasps for breath, I notice that there are more teeth missing than not.

Come With Me

November 22, 2018
The first three months of the start-up they’d worked out of Donny’s room in the “Entrepreneurs’ Dorm,” but that hadn’t lasted long. Thank God, really, because it smelled like a dorm room, and there was always pee on the toilet seat, just like in the twins’ bathroom at her house.

A Very Good Man

November 12, 2018
How funny to hear Grandpa Zhang say something other than, “I’ve got candies!” He seemed very excited to have some duties at last. When I stuck my head out of my window to greet him, he put on a serious look and shouted, “The typhoon’s coming. Close your windows, little Qin! Stay safe.”

The Wolf

November 6, 2018
For that one night, the moon takes away our animal memory and illuminates our past, our present, and our hopes for the future. It makes you feel sick and deranged and filled with unbearable and exquisite longing. It drives us nuts.

The Elevator

October 25, 2018
She banged on the elevator door with her left fist and then fumbled through her purse. All she had that approximated a weapon was a ballpoint pen. Her purse revealed some tawdry, ill-conceived faith in human nature. The elevator door made a deep, echoing thud as she hit it, and the doors remained shut.

Destroy All Monsters

October 8, 2018
She likes how he listens, likes the easy cadence of their conversation. Despite herself, she moves a little closer, intrigued by his faint aroma of spicy cologne and sour sweat. It’s not a bad smell.

Dzole, Our Champion

September 17, 2018
Before a seizure, I’d get really cold. It felt like a chill, one that crept up on you while lying in bed or washing dishes, just a shiver. But the chill didn’t shake a limb. It’d lay me down and take minutes from me. It’d put me on the moon.

Training Module

September 10, 2018
You’re twenty-two in 1975, and you’re with your bud walking past the candy store at the beach where the kids hang out, and you see two eighth-grade girls hanging out. Do you say: a) nothing b) anything or c) “Two more years.”