Building the Butternut

By Alisa Golden
It didn't seem right, but we set the clocks and got the children up at midnight to go out and yell at the squash.


By M.J.Iuppa
In 1969, I became an exchange student. I left home to spend the summer with my girlfriend’s family.

Temporary Kin

By Tony Press
We soon realized we were both 15, but Freddy looked much older. He was taller, broader, even had the beginning of a mustache.

Things You Can Take

By Corey Miller
A name. A message. Nobody’s shit. A hike. A hit. A beating.

Oh, For a Bee’s Experie...

By Faye Brinsmead
The bee boards the crowded bus. Pulls out her copy of Emily Dickinson, plunges into its nectar.


By Hannah Miet
She hated how easily he slept, his body draped on a diagonal across the bed. She could fit only when she curled herself into a ball.

Asparagus Pee

By Kim Magowan
Two days into the grim, doomed camping trip, Regina called off their wedding.

In Every Girl There Is ...

By Jonathan Cardew
In every forest there is a cabin. In every cabin there is a stove. In every stove there is an ash pile.

In This Drought

By Tommy Dean
Before, we blamed things on the rain: canceled parades, flooding and mudslides, flattened hair, postponed races, baseball games, our happiness.


By Maura Way
Doris’ balcony bends toward the sea. She is in a high rise looking down at birds. Gulls scream and fly north to the next resort.


By Edvige Giunta
The 30-year-old recording carries little of my father’s sister, no more than she was in life, ever-present shadow of her mother...


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


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.


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.


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.