Drive

By Maria Zoccola
After the diagnosis, Aunt Jessie quit teaching and bought a racecar, oxy-white, a real hot ride.

Hindsight

By Lisa Ahn
Trouble came because we didn’t waterproof the birdhouse. The paint held up, at first: a child’s pastel palette that drew sparrows and made the tree look festive.

Maze Runner

By James Yi
I have wandered this maze for long. The ground is jagged, the walls uneven. The path is never easy.

Yosemite

By Michele Finn Johnson
Ever since his wife Irma died, Martin's been starting fires. They were small fires at first—tea candles and Sterno...

Photo Story: Devil̵...

By Kathryn Kulpa
Some days there wasn’t enough starch in the world. Jessie’s shirtwaist wilted against her body. In the street the ice wagon raised baked-dust clouds.

Improbabilities

By Natalie Coufal
Our existence defies the odds, our parents’ second set of identical twins—a one in 70,000 chance.

Three Stories Inspired ...

In honor of "Midwest Surrealist" Sylvia Fein's 100th birthday, Ron Nyren, Maw Shein Win, and Sarah Stone wrote 100-word stories inspired by Fein's fantastical imagery. Evan Karp accompanied the stories and paintings with his musical interpretations.

Your Girlfriend as a We...

By Cathy Ulrich
They’ll call her Big Bertha, they’ll cover her skin with paintings of pinup girls that you will finger-trace in bed...

Far from this Howling C...

By Charmaine Wilkerson
It took the gazebo, first, the one on the beach where we used to picnic, the one where we’d made our baby on a crickety night.

When Maisie Draws a Hou...

By Mel George
Whenever Maisie draws a house, it’s a square, pointy-roofed affair with four neat windows and a smoking chimney.

After the Whipping

By Bill King
A boy stands knee-deep on heron-thin legs, stung skin numbing now, as stars prick creek water sliding slow, slow beneath him.

After a Heartless Winte...

By Juliana Gray
In May I tilled the garden, so swept up in the work that I churned beyond the boundaries of Grandma’s old plot into rocky soil.

Photo Story: Goat Yoga

By Lisa Fairman
We take revenge during goat-yoga class. A herd of ladies arrive each Saturday, and Friday night we gorge ourselves like horses before a race.

Instructions for Cleani...

By Sarah Freligh
I have my secrets. I take my time, stare at my face until I’m a stranger, a she who is not me. A she who helps herself to whatever will buff the sharp edges of the world.

Palm Funeral

By Adam Schuitema
The tallest palm on the atoll lost its fronds long before falling. King tides and storm surges had breached the walls, poisoned it with salt.

The Quiet Sadism of the...

By Heather Bourbeau
She woke to news of another stalemate, more children dying on the border, mounting humanitarian crises overseas, and a small mass in her breast.

Photo Story: The Trumpe...

By Natalie Wu
She waits in the corner, haughty and lacquered. I always sit close, inhaling her delicate scent of beeswax polish.

Catching Rose Baxter in...

By Sabrina Hicks
She slid through her memories, trying to capture one, fireflies filling summer near a croaking pond...

Cleansed

By Gary Duncan
She says don’t look in the bedside cupboard, so I look. There’s a Bible, a spare pillow and a small pile of toenail clippings.

Photo Story: Hydroponic...

By Tamara Stanley
It is mostly summer now. Above me there are skyscrapers, McMansions, slums...