A Note from the Fiction Editors

This issue invites the reader into worlds that exist between the visible and invisible, the public and private, the living and the dead. Revealing glimpses into the lives of five different female narrators, these stories introduce us to the spectrum of hyper-visibility and invisibility that frame women’s lives and environments. Read more →

The Burn

Photo by Thomas Schaefer on Unsplash

I found myself travelling to South Australia as a buyer for Mark Anthony Wine Merchants—nice work if you can get it, as the song goes.
The position with Mark Anthony’s, which I no longer hold, was acquired partially thanks to a Wine Lovers Magnetic Poetry kit I picked up at a yard sale along with a croquet mallet and the game Operation that incredibly had almost all the tiny plastic body parts except for the funny bone. During my interview I mixed and matched the words I’d spent the weekend making haikus with on my fridge Read more →

Everyone Keeps Me

Photo by Jon Sailer on Unsplash

I’m six years old when I’m propped up on a stool and covered in a barber’s cape in front of my entire elementary school for my first haircut. Volunteers for a charity carry large bristol boards into the gymnasium, all wearing matching white tee shirts with logos involving scissors and hair and hearts. The gym fills with rows of kids, and a choice few are taken to sit in a row near the front: two girls from kindergarten, one other from grade one, another in grade three, a boy from grade eight. I offer my permission slip, and a volunteer—herself with short hair and bangs—pumps the chair up with a lever, raising me high enough so the kids in the back can see. Read more →

To the Child I Will Not Have

Photo by Ishan @seefromthesky on Unsplash

I saw you yesterday in a grocery store. I caught your eye and, when I made a silly face, you mirrored it back at me. That’s how I knew it was you. Sometimes you come to me like this.
There are stories I have always wanted to tell you. Stories I think you might laugh at, like the time your great-grandma got stuck climbing through a fence and I had to pull her out, or the evening your uncle and I got yelled at for following a stray cat and forgetting to come home. I would want you to have all of these stories and more, the stories you will miss by never being born. Read more →

Night Shift

Photo by Bernard Hermant on Unsplash

Cora and Joan walked side by side from the lobby of their apartment to the courtyard. They were headed to the community mailbox to collect bills. Neither of them had regular access to the internet so they hadn’t opted into receiving their bills electronically. Besides, walking together had become a type of ceremony, though not one Cora looked forward to. It was just more evidence that she needed to do something drastic to keep everything intact. She felt nervous for the first time about her interview later that night because no matter which way she crunched the numbers, she needed more money than she currently had. A lot more. Read more →

Bigger and Gentler

Photo by Carlos Arthur M.R on Unsplash

When we first started dating, the ten-year age difference was really difficult for Dev, as was the fact that I was married. “Hey, don’t mention your in-laws around Maria, okay?” Dev made me promise the week before she arrived from New York for a conference. He wanted to ask her to collaborate on a project and didn’t want her thinking he was “a shitty guy.” Read more →

Monster

Photo by Franck V. on Unsplash

There was once a woman who went out with a man whom she was pretty sure was going to kill her by the end of the evening. She knew this when she gave him her email address. She might have even told him, email me. Now they’re at an elegant wine bar about three miles from her house, sitting at a table between two tall slim plants with fat, waxy leaves. She takes a sip of the wine that he’s probably filled with drugs. She went to the ladies room a few minutes ago in order to give him a chance to do this. Read more →

He Will Cover You With His Feathers

Photo by Willian Justen de Vasconcellos

Lima, 2017: My uncle’s car smells like Vienna sausages and bad eggs. We’re driving through Jesus Maria, and then to the ocean. He keeps fidgeting with the windows, unsure of where the smell is coming from. The car battery broke down on the way to the airport, he tells me. It shut off at a gas station, and the attendants had to push the car into the street, so it could start after picking up some speed. Afraid that the battery would shut off again, my uncle left the car running, and waited for my call in the parking lot. Read more →

Sprinklers

Photo by Kevin Nice on Unsplash

Yesterday, Father takes me aside as I’m leaving and asks me, have I noticed Mother’s…? He fails to find the words. We’re on the landing outside. The porch light gives us this comforting embrace — the night kept at bay — only a few glittering excursions of insects, like sparks or flakes in our little snow globe scenario.
I take a long moment to think of Mother saying she feels good-strong. Capable but just nicely lazy…Read more →

This Side of Doubt

Photo by Maxim Shklyaev on Unsplash

Friends have half-joked about their relationships being propelled forward by life’s practical circumstances: Jan’s apartment was being sold, so she finally moved in with her boyfriend; Sarah got married so that her partner would be covered by her health insurance package. But for M and I, seeing each other uncertainly, cautiously, for just a few weeks, it happened quickly. It was the season the city changed, becoming new and strange to us. Read more →