STORYGLOSSIA Issue 20, June 2007
Timothy's Mother by C. Robin Madigan
Well, anyway, yeah, I was the first to find her.
I saw her from the road comin' to work, early.
It was about nine or so. Hot as hell, anyway. She was still, hanging, wavering with the heat.
I went down to her hanging there. She had on a black dress that was live with flies.
Done got sick when I saw her face. It was dark and swolled.
Well, I had Harry call the cops . . .
Ana by Eileen Corder
Girls. You can almost hear disappointment in the downward slant of that word. Girls. Rhymes with curls. Eat the oyster, save the pearl. Watch your mouth, don't talk smut, girls are born with a pit in their gut. A pit . . .
What Was Meant by Elizabeth Ellen
She didn't mean what she said. I'm fairly certain of that. Or, if she did mean what she said, she probably didn't mean for what she said to come out the way that she said it. Perhaps she didn't mean for it to come out at all . . .
Orange Crush by Myfanwy Collins
"Drink up, Care Bear," Jay says and pokes Carrie in her belly where a roll of fat sticks out over her low riders. Same old story: he teases her and she giggles. She won't say it out loud but I know she likes Jay. But Jay has liked me since we were little kids and would play in the sand with our bottles filled with apple juice while our moms drank wine on ice in their chaise lounges . . .
Time Traveler by Mark Spencer
Then Ethel can't help remembering who she used to be, guilt and longing mingled like gasoline and rain water. Decades ago she felt the fever and the weakness and the power. Many girls, prissy girls in knee socks, said terrible things about her. She wore tight skirts and stuffed her bra with tissues. A cute girl. A wild girl, they thought, but not really. Bud was the only one she let . . . . The other kids called her "Ethel High Octane." "Ethel burns," they said . . .
The Painting by Jacqueline Powers
Her father always said she had seawater in her veins. He was right, Dara thought. Two years ago she was sure she would never return to the beach. Now she was back. She still wasn't sure it was a good idea, but she felt she didn't have a choice. This was her place, this island. She was tied to it now in ways that would never change . . .
Don't Tell Your Mother by Marcela Fuentes
The spoon tip smokes and she knows the hot metal will burn more than the mashed up peppers, but she looks him in the eye and opens her mouth. She doesn't let her lips flinch away. She tears up, but swallows and holds her mouth steady. "Too hot?" He's smiling, but he's watching her too. Her eyes are burning, but she can't blink, because she'll cry. She shakes her head. He studies her a beat longer, until she almost can't hold out, then he tousles her hair, his hand warm and rough against her forehead . . .
Difference by Shubha Venugopal
He needed her to listen. He needed an audience; she pretended to be an apt one. He went out of his way to teach her the order, the workings, the origins of things. He'd explain string theory with a spool of thread, a guitar string, and if desperate, with spaghetti. He'd pull taut, saying strings needed to be stretched in order to be excited. She said, Why don't you use me to demonstrate? . . .
The Swans of Tuonela by David Michael Wolach
"I am dissatisfied with you," she said, and then she broke into a run . . .
Dr. Mechanic by Sabrina Tom
He's successfully wooed me with multiple choice: fix the bump on my nose, lift my eyelids, or puff up my lips with collagen. I like the sound of rhinoplasty, a cross between rhinoceros and plastic, which is exactly what I want to be. Wild like a beast, unbreakable like Lexan . . .
Pseudocyesis by Jocelyn Johnson
I know that the Spanish word embarazada means "pregnant", but there I was, traveling alone through central Guatemala, balancing too many foreign words on the tip of my tongue. Those bare syllables sounded so familiar, like they should translate to mean "embarrassed"—which I was at the moment I uttered them. Anyway, I didn't start off a liar. . . .
I'm Not Tom Cruise by Michael Wigdor
"I'm Tom Cruise." He said and smiled his multi-million dollar smile. He picked up his electric toothbrush and brushed his perfectly white teeth. He washed his face and dried it with a face towel. Then he looked back in the mirror and winked, "I'll see you later." . . .
The Hollywood Diet by Priscilla Rhoades
Almost immediately, I knew I'd made a mistake. My original plan had been to keep going, to hitchhike north to San Francisco and then disappear among the hundreds of other runaways finding shelter that summer on the streets of the Haight-Ashbury . . .
Bio-Mom Returns by Julee Newberger
For as long as he could remember, Rollin knew that he was adopted. For years, his kids had nagged him about finding his biological parents. "Maybe when I'm fifty," he said, incredulous that he would one day find himself at half a century. Now Zoe was pressuring him to enter his name into a national registry that matched adopted people with biological parents who were searching for them . . .