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The uniform skirts were heaped in the corner, almost all of them unbuttoned so that they didn’t even really look like skirts anymore but kind of like very large, very ugly party garlands. One skirt stood impossibly up on its own, its pleated frame starched into a kind of sentience. “I left everything in there,” […]
So I landed this gig and I started taking my little dog out to Rancho Mirage for the weekend, for some quality-time weekends, just him and me. And I lavished one-on-one attention on him with food and treats and playing and cuddling in a nice, clean, cool hotel room, and it was his little spa […]
Shirts (049. The Six Swans) I took in mending while you were gone. At first, it was a selfish endeavor: I stitched up both our clothes, repairing holes and frayed hems, so that when you came back we’d look smart enough to deserve our happiness. Then the neighbors took notice, and I began mending shirts […]
Coop leaned against the new quarter-panel and watched out the barn as the light fell onto the still-wet grass. He looked down at Tyler’s legs, sticking out from under the front of the vehicle. “Dew’s not burnt off yet,” he said. “What? Say something that makes some sense. Hand me the wrench.” Coop slid it […]
Sometimes his apartment smells of mold, soured milk, dirty socks, the piles of laundry, but really it is the forest-animal musk of a man who has lost some power. I add soy wax candles, my underwear in corners, a wood-handled hairbrush, and dozens of DVDs—Eraserhead, John Waters—things he hates to watch. We met on the […]
My mom has narcolepsy so she bought a student driver car with a steering wheel in the passenger side seat. Whenever she drives anywhere, I ride shotgun. If she falls asleep while she’s driving I’m supposed to elbow her awake. Sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t. Sometimes when she nods off instead of hitting […]
But likely you don’t believe in God’s truth.
They talked about writing important things. Some wrote very popular things and could talk so as to make the very popular things they wrote seem important. They winnowed. They channeled. They allowed for marginalia. Brown water, vomitus, sloshes up running boards, foams into door cracks, saturates floor mats. Engine side of the F-150 sinks first. […]
I almost don’t go to the the reading of my grandfather’s will, but it’s important to my sister. The lawyer reads my name and adds, “Scrimshaw, one,” and with both hands passes me a carving of a caribou antler—not one from a large bull, but a simpler cow’s. Tracing my finger along the almost-ivory, I […]
Fifty drunk teenagers in a backyard. The girls pair off by height: tall with tall; short with short. The night is balmy, blameless. Jonah Tate, whose backyard it is, makes a ring with white masking tape. Becky Brady stands in her corner, gloves limp at her sides. A boy whispers something in her ear and […]
The man of Small Island is dreaming of a wolf.
From our 2010 Winter Reading issue (#46), Dan Chaon’s To Psychic Underworld. Critter was standing outside the public library with his one-year-old daughter in his arms when he saw a dollar bill on the sidewalk. It came fluttering by, right next to his tennis shoe, carried by the wind along with a leaf. He hesitated […]
My doctor always asked how I would prepare it, the placenta. Powdered and encapsulated for my Yuki—two, three, four or more a day depending on my level of sadness and how much I believed the vitamins and hormones within the tissue would make me whole again. Pan fried and stuffed into dumplings for Toru. A […]
I was at the hibachi restaurant in the dream.
Elliott Holt teaches us our ABC’s.
The Open Bar is thrilled to publish an exclusive short story from Shelly Oria’s debut collection New York 1, Tel Aviv 0. To dive further into Shelly Oria’s world be sure to click over to Fiction Writers Review for an interview between the author and Laura van den Berg. Saturday Saturdays we’d have brunch at Curly’s. […]
From our 2010 Summer issue (#44), Paul Griner’s “Animati.” We were going to surprise him from the closet. He was going to be surprised when we jumped out, there was no doubt about that. He was just a temporary extension of us, and besides, we’d told him we couldn’t come. It was dark, and our […]
The Bishop leaned toward the vanity, tweezers poised, and considered two uncomfortable truths.
The art teacher’s wife left him, and their two sons, for another woman two years ago.
It’s the future. It’s been the future for a while.
I walked halfway across this morning, and it made me feel ordinary. Everyone who crosses the Golden Gate thinks of jumping. Even the kid with his skateboard pissing off the pedestrians imagines their reaction if he’d careen down the cable from the south tower and launch himself toward Fort Point. It always depends on savoring […]
First we filled the holes, each only nine or so millimeters wide. The maintenance staff had tools on hand.
The bakery was hot, stifling, but Melba shivered again. Before morning, it was night, thought Melba, but what kind of night?
The Wild family moved into the house behind ours.
When people ask me something, I’ve a principle: always say yes.