Flame

Flame

    Seventh inning, score tied, and Shaw leans back in his favorite chair and begins another beer. I’ve already had my usual three and have turned down his offer of a fourth. Since I got here he hasn’t said a word about anything but the ballgame, one we’ve been...
Wanting

Wanting

  Maya Lang was the winner of the 2017 Neil Shepard Prize in Fiction     Gaurav Gupta set his saxophone down and crossed the herringbone floors, pausing at the threshold to hear the women laugh gaily, Lilly’s the loudest of all. It was shrill, in its way, her nerves...
This Story Is a Gun

This Story Is a Gun

  “Deer herds form quickly for protection from predators” -Riverwoods Preservation Council Back then, you would have mistaken me for a happy person. Bright, cheerful. The kind of young woman you wanted your lost-in-his-dreams-of-moneyed-youth son to marry. You would...
A Deceptively Simple Word Problem

A Deceptively Simple Word Problem

    I have always enjoyed a deceptively simple word problem. When used in this context, the adverb could mean both that the word problem is deceptive in pretending simplicity, but also that it is simple despite its deceptively intimidating appearance. The former...
You Haven’t Said No

You Haven’t Said No

    Hiram had been avoiding the gay son of his recently deceased friend Tru Rasmussen. First, prior to his friend’s passing, he had run into the young man, Eldon, and his fiancé, Jasper, when they were registering for wedding gifts at Wal-Mart. At the time, he didn’t...
Five Stories

Five Stories

  Moment of Truth Look, it was a moment of truth, that’s the point. It was the kind of absolute and pure moment where everything would get streamlined and steered in a particular direction that, at least for the time being, would be final. We’d been going for a while,...
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