Candy Canes

by Amanda Crum Donetta Cain was an eyeballer. Everyone else at the factory relied on measurements, and she had too, in the first year. She had poured the syrup precisely, kneaded the sugary mass until her hands ached, rolled it finger-thin against a yardstick to cut perfectly formed candy canes. It had seemed important back … Continue reading Candy Canes

&&& By the third Friday of October, the worst of the cold hasn’t found its way east. Shelby thinks it wants to snow, but it can’t yet. Nature has to wait sometimes, too, even if only on itself. Freezing rain hangs translucent buds from the cat’s cradle of naked branches outside her house. &&& Shelby … Continue reading

Sea Foam

by Hayden Moore Smooth runs the water where the brook is deep–William Shakespeare: Henry VI part II It was a place where the sea met the rocks and the rocks melted into the sea. In the shade of a twisted palm tree hosting thousands of glistening blackberries at its base, the girl watched as the … Continue reading Sea Foam

Killed Steel

by Carolyn Drake After Cathy’s death, she found me in Hendriksville. Hendriksville rots beside the Ohio River. The ‘Welcome’ sign reads Population: 5,000, but they must’ve been counting gravestones. The steel mills are two decades deceased, yet the mesothelioma remains, robbing the former workers and their progeny of health and life. Breathing the air in … Continue reading Killed Steel

Shipwrecked

by Aaron Hicks The family and the house fell on hard times, only to never recover again. What happened next was both unforeseen and yet expected. Poverty had passed itself down from generation to generation through the family. Weariness sitting deep within our souls, and defeat swimming in our bloodline. I remember the days when … Continue reading Shipwrecked

The Road Home

by Bryan Grafton He had been driving for what seemed like hours now. That was the problem when you owned your own business you had to do everything yourself. He had been in the undertaking business all his life having inherited it from his father. Now he was old, real old, at the end of … Continue reading The Road Home

Blemish

by Jimmy Broadlick You know, they told me I was the most beautiful seventh-grade boy. My brother Little Joe would say, Pa, and even Ma— and that’s surprisin’ too. But you know, it didn’t feel real. Others would say it too, at school and around. Dream blue eyes with sand hair, but I was not … Continue reading Blemish

Home Repairs

by Hannah MacAfee She stretched out and tried to recapture that multi-layered furnace between her legs, but it wasn’t working, it was dead. She said nothing as she lowered her extended leg back down and tried to occupy her mind with anything else besides the bag of chips that sat opened in her pantry. Eventually, … Continue reading Home Repairs

Pulled Over

by Christopher Bell “I still don’t know what to do with that spare room.” Elaine let her fingers edge in and out of the window. “I mean, it can’t just be for all that shit we don’t wanna deal with.” “I thought that’s why we got the two bedroom.” Tim drove faster than usual in … Continue reading Pulled Over