featured fiction

First paragraphs of totally untrue stories from the 38th issue: 

Good Potato Soil

eliot treichel

Then Dude and I went down into the old barn foundation and broke stuff.  He shot-putted a car battery through a storm window.  We sought out every scrap of glass just so we could hear it shatter.  We found a garbage bag full of empties and pitched them at the wall.  Laughs were like the splinters of glass in our hair, clear and sharp and dangerous.

It's Cold in Hell   

ezra titus

When I got the phone bill, I had a panic attack.  Seriously, I had to take three Valiums, and they didn't even really work.  The phone bill was double my rent, and I had to pay it.  I couldn't give up the phone.  I'd been living on it for months.  I thought, Relax.  It isn't the end of the world.  But, I'd rather see everyone except me die rather than pay this phone bill!  No.  No!  It's good.  It's an investment .  This could give you what you need.  You want a sweet wife who cares.  So, the phone bill was an inevitable, absolutely necessary explosion of money.  Relax.  "Listen" to the Valium.  But, the way I feel at the very beginning of a relationship (nervous, sad or inexplicably enraged) is often exactly how I feel at the end.  I've noticed that over the years.  But, too often, I've chosen to ignore myself.

 Shucking Knife

sharon kunde

Today will be better, Max promised himself.

He squinted at the sky above Kroger's parking lot.  After ten overcast days, fissures had opened the even shale overhead, and now in a sky so blue it hurt his eyes, sunshine enameled high, tiny clouds.