Storyglossia Issue 15, August 2006
Vashkatsoba by Irakli Iosebashvili
They put his arms behind his back and yanked up his sleeves. Gio felt cold metal clicking into place against his wrists. The truck's engine sputtered to life and its body shook. As he was lifted off the ground to be tossed into the trailer, he caught a momentary glimpse of the yellow light of his second-floor window. Then he was flying through the air, into darkness . . .
Summer Peaches Versus Pocket Holes by Mike Young
Let's get it out of the way: I don't think I love Marise. Isn't love where you cram down every glance? You're greedy, you can't resist it, like eating just one more little peach. I feel that with Alma. Can't stop looking at her. But I feel this soldier bond with Marise. It's like Alma came first, and then us under her . . .
The Euchre Game by Ann Rushton
"It's fine. It's fine. I know how much he wants to see you and this way we can spend all day tomorrow with you. Let me call you right back." She ends the call. I hold the phone up to my ear for a moment, then turn it off. Towards the back of the building is a festering, fly-ridden brown dumpster. I walk over next to it, take the phone, and throw it as hard as I can against the concrete wall. The phone breaks apart, little black pieces fly in all directions. I pick up the bigger chunks, and toss them into the dumpster, which smells as wretched as the stink of Cedar Rapids . . .
Ralph's House by Seth Harwood
Jack tries the bell and doesn't hear anything happening for a while, so he knocks twice, waits, then knocks twice again before trying the door. It opens before he can turn the knob. At a normal person's house this could be weird, but at Ralph's, a place Jack hasn't been in a while, it's not that out of the ordinary. The last time Jack came over, he found the front door unlocked and Ralph tripping his head off on acid in an upstairs bathroom, eating pizza in a bubble bath and listening to Led Zeppelin as loud as his stereo would play it. That was enough to keep Jack away for a while . . .
Mercy Flight by Colleen Mondor
When it happened, Mike was in Galena with a plane-load of passengers, picking up some mail, getting bags all sorted out and giving everyone the five minute warning to head to Town. Then the Clinic PA came charging into the office yelling that he needed the plane, he's taking the plane, he has a patient in Ruby and she is for sure dying if they don't get her to Fairbanks quick. Mike had the only twin-engine on the ground in Galena, so he was the one that had to go. And just like that he had no choice; just like that he was saving someone's life . . .
Awakening by G. L. Griffith
It was the life of hard work, what Reverend Terry called God's plan of suffering for redemption, the sorrow that would remind us to care for others. Not so. Not so. Because this sorrow made her mean and guilty, this sorrow would cause her to bring the rod down across my neck and make me cry out and the tears come flooding into both of our eyes, her looking down at me, much in the same manner as she now looks at the ceiling. I knew it wasn't me she hated, not me, really, but God and His plan, the plan that kept her in servitude all these years . . .
Miss Neurosis by Kristen Tsetsi
I tried to look good for Dan when he called to say he was coming home for lunch, yesterday, and when he touched my arm and said I looked pretty, I thought, "We've lost something." He couldn't have thought I looked pretty—he just couldn't—and we've never lied to each other before. Our conversations have been stilted, too, even forced. In my defense, I've been drugged-up and droopy, and there's not much in your head when you're sick and sleeping most of the day, and it's hard to pay attention to the things people tell you . . .
The Raincheck by Matt Bell
When the door opened to the parking lot, heads turned and silence fell deep enough that you could hear the sound of our spines shivering in the bar's wet darkness. Eventually, knuckles were cracked and exploratory fists formed. Men flexed muscles they hadn't used in years. We tested our jaws with probing fingers, checking for glass, hoping for steel, and yes, I do know that a reasonable person might say that we were all criminals, that whatever we got would be half of what we deserved . . .
A Tin of Mints by Aaron Gilbreath
Alex approached from the east side so no one would see where he'd came from and trudged, chin up, toward the figure. All of Alex's old movements came back to him: the casual strut, the forceful stare, glancing peripherally for cops without moving his head. As the dealer's face came into focus, his hands emerged from inside a puffy Phoenix Suns coat, and their eyes met. Alex nodded. The guy nodded back and followed with an invitation. "What's up?" . . .
My Seventies Stories by Richard Grayson
John and I both lived alone. Each of us ate dinner at the counters of neighborhood diners. All of the diners in our neighborhood were owned by Greeks and all of them looked the same: the Venus, the Five Brothers, the Californian, the Athena, the Ram's Horn. When I went to diners, sometimes I wore my glasses and sometimes I wore my contact lenses. I convinced John, who was an actual idiot, that I was two separate people, identical twin brothers who hated one another. . . .