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Better

August 12, 2019
The thing was, she had wished a thousand times for a different child. In moments of crisis, she wished passionately that he could be someone else, someone calmer, or more adaptable, or more like her. She hated herself for these wishes because he was also precious to her beyond reckoning.

The Paper Wasp

June 3, 2019
The sun was ruthless, impressing a sense of danger with each step I took away from the road. The heat was primordial, baking through my skin, drying my muscle and bones, desiccating everything but my darkest, wettest core.

Doppelgängers

May 28, 2019
Later, when the rest of the girls said they were dipping out to another bar, Fiona stayed behind. “Use a condom!” Tish had whispered in her ear before giving her a slap on the butt, like a coach sending a player out on the field.

Lil Spin

May 17, 2019
After the blunt, I started trippin’, watching seagulls flyin’ on high. When I looked straight at the sun, everything glowed, way mellow, way marola.

We Are Here

April 29, 2019
We exchanged stories of our hosts in a sort of competition, observing everything they did like anthropologists or comedians. One of us slept on a fold-out couch in the kitchen. One suspected that the “uncle” who visited the family weekly, while the father was away in Switzerland, was actually the mother’s lover.

Iceland

April 24, 2019
The whole right side of Nancy’s body, the side closest the ledge, prickled with horror and disgust. The wind lifted and tugged at her hair, and her head echoed with her own ineffective shouts. She stood frozen by the ledge that the baby bird had just tumbled off.

Princess Bari

April 15, 2019
Grandmother searched the house inside and out, but I was nowhere to be found. Fearful of how Heaven might curse them and filled with pity for her daughter-in-law and poor little granddaughters, she filled a porcelain bowl with cold water, placed it on a small, legged tray and sat out back, rubbing her palms together in prayer.

Trump Sky Alpha

February 5, 2019
And a flood of racist memes, Trollface with turban and beard, Nyan Cat with turban and beard, worries about MS-13 rampages and looting, the “illegals” who are waiting to murder your family as civil society cracks.

The Quiet Boy

January 28, 2019
But there was no Goldilocks in his story. There were only the Wolfs, who lived together in a cave above a town. Big Wolf, Middle Wolf, and Little Wolf. Big Wolf was a brute. Little Wolf was timid. Middle Wolf was the peacemaker.

Pledge

January 17, 2019
He started by pushing her onto the bed and kissing her, and it was then that Kenlee knew she did not want to be there. She did nothing to stop Robbie. It would not matter if she had.

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.”

A River of Stars

August 13, 2018
Sometimes she would forget about her son, for a few minutes or a few hours, and then all at once she would remember. She’d spot a newborn, or she’d meet someone else with the surname Lo. She avoided the neighborhood where they lived, but as his first birthday approached, she could resist no longer.

Cassiopeia

May 7, 2018
Do the same fingers that skim her neck in bed when he returns in the early hours of the morning also press buttons that discharge AGM-114 Hellfire missiles that destroy enemy safe sahouses in faceless desert towns?

Superman

May 7, 2018
“Hey, Superman, hey, Superman,” a bum drones as he shuffles by, and Kent ignores him but also feels maybe he isn’t one to judge, broke as he is and some kid’s dried puke flaking off his leg.

The Book of Loki

March 12, 2018
Either way, the fact that she thinks I’m the Norse god, Loki, is a bit troubling. Primarily because I am the Norse god, Loki, and that’s not something I’ve been looking to feature here on Earth.

Restless Souls

March 5, 2018
Another horrendous silence descends. Baz’s eyes are screaming at me. This, just this simple social awkwardness, is his nightmare. I’ve seen him all but pass out in similar circumstances.

Moscow

February 21, 2018
Russia is a vast country. I've often imagined it rising up and throwing its entire left side over the rest of Europe, swallowing it the way a bear swallows a mouse.

Anna

February 5, 2018
The dog raced down the last few meters of the autostrada and jumped over the guardrail and ditch. Then he jumped on her—all forty stinking kilos of him.

The Floating World

October 3, 2017
He saw what the storm had left in New Orleans: a gator flipped on its back, showing its pale belly. A wild boar with a shredded coat, hung by its tusks from a tree.

See What I Have Done

July 31, 2017
When the police arrived a short time later they began taking photos of the dark-gray suit Father wore to work that morning, of his black leather boots still tied over ankles and feet. Flashbulbs broke every six seconds.

Refuge

July 3, 2017
I started having nightmares around the time we arrived in the first refugee hostel—missing limbs and phantom stranglers and dying parents were simply the price of sleep.

Kingdom Cons

June 5, 2017
The one time Lobo had gone to the pictures he saw a movie with a man like this: strong, sumptuous, dominating the things in the world. He was a King, and around him everything became meaningful.