Storyglossia Issue 13, April 2006
Times Square by Jamie McCulloch
The mustache smiles and ambles over to our table. Asks if he can buy us a round. Colleen takes a pull off her cigarette and says, Piss off! Blue smoke issues from her nose like exhaust from a tailpipe. She turns away from him and drains her drink. The mustache blinks and sways a little. You can see the wheels turning ever so slowly in his head. He's working on a comeback, but nothing's coming. Well, go on then, she says. Get back to your game. The boys are waiting. The mustache looks perplexed, but does as he's told. I have to smile because I could never do that . . .
Boone by Heather Holt Totty
I shift in my crouch, causing the picnic table to squeak. Both the woman and Boone look in my direction. Toby reaches out and squeezes my arm. For a moment, nobody moves. Even Boone's panting stops: a wolf in his pack anticipating an intruder. I wonder for a moment if Boone will betray us. If, perhaps, things aren't as bad for him in the heroin den as Toby and I imagine . . .
Campsite #11 by Katie Arnsteen
Ben pushed the airbag away from his face. He felt disoriented, like he might have passed out. His head hurt, pretty bad, but otherwise, he seemed in one piece, if you could call it that, but could you call it "one piece" when you were wrecked on the side of a mountain pass, chasing down your wife, your best friend, who'd just left you with only a note, a bottle of scotch, and a book of goddamned nature poetry? . . .
Here's My Hand, Take It by Katrina Denza
Now, with unfinished requisition forms lying on his desk, Leo wondered if he'd want her back at work so soon anyway. Ever since the night she was attacked, he'd been at a loss as to how to help her. At home they were like strangers made to endure an arranged marriage. Having her in the restaurant would be one more thing to worry about. It couldn't be easy for her to see Lois, their head chef. Even though Maggie hadn't said anything yet, he suspected she knew about his affair with Lois . . .
Hawk by Dawn Paul
Wes opened the door slowly. The hawk, instead of bolting for the opening, shrank against the back of the cage and beat her wings. They stretched wider than the cage and struck the sides. The coppery flight feathers caught and bent in the chicken wire. There was the soft whump of her wings and the clatter of talons on metal. Wes put one hand into the cage and moved it steadily toward the bird. She looked down at it and Eleanor waited for her to use her fierce beak. Wes quickly closed his hand around her feet. She fought. She stabbed at the glove and his bare arm, drawing blood once along the blue veins of his inner arm . . .
Life Class by Jacqueline Powers
He took out a piece of charcoal and opened his pad. The pungent smell of charcoal filled the room, along with memories of family barbecues, summers down the Jersey shore. Drawing classes. She thought of the possibilities that once existed when she held a small stick of burnt wood. Thought about the fact that there was no ocean in Iowa, only wave after wave of wheat, far as the eye could see . . .
The Hand by Benjamin Percy
I was thinking about the hand. In particular I was wondering if the owner—whoever he was—had a drawer full of different hands at home. Tan hands for summer. Everyday hands for dusting, dishwashing. Manicured hands for cocktail parties and business luncheons. Maybe a trowel- or a spade-shaped hand for garden activities . . .
What Happened to Everything by Seth Harwood
The schedule is this: we go to my mom's house for dinner on Monday but don't sleep over, sleep over after dinner on Thursday night with Mom driving us to school on Friday morning, and the weekends rotate: first weekend we stay Thursday, Friday, Saturday, second is Thursday, Friday, third just Thursday, and fourth goes back to Thursday, Friday, Saturday, with the day on Sunday . . .