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Little Girl

She slept with men who only wanted to play Settlers of Catan. She slept with law students who had framed copies of the Constitution on their bedroom walls. She slept with sound architects, sound engineers, and the second baseman from her softball league. She hardly ever slept. Sometimes she took a pill, but often she […]

Posted in Fiction, Flash Fridays

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The People in the Castle

He gave an exclamation of astonishment, for at the back of her mouth he could see something white sticking up. He cautiously pulled it further forward with his forceps and discovered that it was the end of a long piece of cotton wool. He pulled again, and about a foot of it came out of her mouth, but that seemed to be nowhere near the end. He glanced at the girl in astonishment, but as she appeared quite calm he went on pulling, and the stuff kept reeling out of her throat until there was a tangle of it all over the floor.

Posted in Excerpts, Fiction

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Departed

My husband Jack worked at the steel mill. The smell of diesel and sweat followed him home every afternoon like I once did, three years ago. He tucked his hands deep in his pockets the first time I saw him, so that I wouldn’t see the black half moons that wove under his fingernails. Ashamed, […]

Posted in Fiction, Flash Fridays

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My Jesus Year

A week after I turned thirty-three, I was listening to cello music on internet radio, contemplating that this was my Jesus year, when my roommate called to say she’d found this dog wandering alone, tagless, no collar, by the Hudson River. She’s sweet and friendly my roommate said. What should I do? Don’t bring her […]

Posted in Fiction, Flash Fridays

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Uta’s Escape

Two days before the synchronized swimming nationals, our Flyer vanished. I don’t mean she didn’t show up to training, and I don’t mean she left the pool through a door and didn’t re-enter the door. In the ninth hour of training, we threw Uta Franke into the air and Uta Franke did not land. The […]

Posted in Fiction, Flash Fridays

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The Best Buy on Reserve

At the Best Buy on Reserve, I saw my future self in line to buy an Xbox. He had twenty years and fifty pounds on me, and he’d lost his hair. But he was me; I recognized myself, like you can recognize your red Outback in a parking lot full of them. I don’t play […]

Posted in Fiction, Flash Fridays, General

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Neighborhood Notes: Rewind

The diabetic alcoholic across the street had lost all limbs by now. He only came out anymore for Medi-Van transport to dialysis. It took two strong men to hoist him and his wheelchair down the splintered wooden front stairs. He lived alone with his aging mother, who never came out to wave goodbye. That mother? […]

Posted in Fiction, Flash Fridays, General

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The Coyote’s Bicycle: An Excerpt

  For readers of Jon Krakauer and Susan Orlean, The Coyote’s Bicycle brings to life a never-before-told phenomenon at our southern border, and the human drama of those that would cross.   Prologue: EVERYBODY LOVES A BIKE   This is the story of several thousand bicycles that made an incredible journey. They were very ordinary, used bicycles. […]

Posted in Fiction, Tin House Books

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Fable of the Man by the Water

A man stops and stares at the water for a long time, looking for something. A while later, he walks away. You see him from a distance. You are sitting, watching, you realize, the man watching the water. Did he find what he was looking for? You decide to approach the water to see if you can find it […]

Posted in Fiction, Flash Fidelity

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Grandma’s Sex Robot

Grandma calls her sex robot Sony. We tell her that’s just the company who makes it. “Well,” she says, “he looks like a Sony. Doesn’t he?” We tell her he doesn’t. We tell her ‘he’ looks like an automaton with silver skin and copper eyelashes, which is exactly what he is, one of many mass […]

Posted in Fiction, Flash Fridays

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Seeing Red: An Excerpt

  blackmail (Urgent to have a break between us. We’ll be right back after the break, as the movies during the dictatorship used to announce before kidnapping the steamy scenes that never came back. A long break and then we’ll see, I thought in the midst of uneasiness. A time without seeing each other and […]

Posted in Fiction

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Breakfast

There are thick pieces of toast, but his mother is absent, even though she did place the plate in front of him and now leans against the counter watching him eat. In fact, she is waiting for him to ask for something: more butter, another flavor of jam, cinnamon, a different knife—one without these small […]

Posted in Fiction, Flash Fridays

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Wreck and Order: An Excerpt

CARPINTERIA My father inherited a small fortune when his mother died, and on my twenty-first birthday he handed me a card with a check inside. I spent a year in Paris after high school and had been living with Dad since then, working at a pottery store and reading my way through a box of […]

Posted in Fiction, General

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Apocope

A friend of mine died last month. We weren’t particularly close, but I liked her a lot—we’d have coffee near Union Square every so often and she’d talk about her budding music career and I’d talk about my long-gestating novel. I tend not to enjoy unifying conversations about art that include me. I admire the […]

Posted in Fiction, Flash Fridays

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Your Horoscope by Blakely and Jorg

As accurate now as it was when it first appeared in Tin House Issue 33: Fantastic Women. Aries—A harsh wind blows on the ram this year and heavy wool socks are strongly recommended. Hot potatoes work well too, and yelling at your delinquent daughters, who will pierce their tongues after the first Virgo moon. Taurus—Get a […]

Posted in Fiction, Poetry

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Legs

  They sat on the linoleum floor, the two of them. His watch was the only thing moving. Through the small window above the sink the rising sun was bleaching the room white. The sound of a garbage truck, a man calling his dog, newspapers hitting doorsteps. Her long, bare legs were out in front […]

Posted in Fiction, Flash Fridays, General

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Ghost Walk

  The legend you’ve heard is true. A woman did live in this eyesore house and her sister did chop her cleanly in half with a sickle. They had quarreled for two years before the older one built the house next door, the front door facing the younger’s place, as if to say: Here is […]

Posted in Fiction

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The Very Difficult Job

  “Walter fired Polly,” Marsha said. “Because she wouldn’t let him kiss her.” “Well, I wouldn’t let him either,” Sally said. “Good for her.” “He caught her near the supply closet. Not a very original thinker.” “I wonder if he really had hopes. Do you think he expected she would? That might mean that he […]

Posted in Fiction, Flash Fridays

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Birthday

My wife still wouldn’t leave her room so I had to take the afternoon off to bring Buster into the vet. At home the dog was hungry and all the lights were off. There were two more sympathy cards in the mail. I threw them away. Buster was tearing ass around the house and wanted […]

Posted in Fiction, Flash Fridays, General

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Patrick, My Great Uncle Adolphus’s Duck

My Great Uncle Adolphus had a pet duck named Patrick. Patrick was insecure, needy, foul-tempered, and brilliant. Not just brilliant for a duck either, my Great Uncle would say. Patrick possesses a keen mind. He has a deep curiosity about everything under the sun and a bracing skepticism! Patrick would hiss at us whenever we […]

Posted in Fiction, Flash Fridays

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The Sleep Garden: An Excerpt

I • Where are we? How did we come here? Where are we going? • And anyway, who lies sleeping here with us? Wherever that is— I mean—wherever we are.   II • To begin: the Burrow is a low mound that rises out of the ground. It rests on what would be, if not […]

Posted in Fiction, Tin House Books

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Ice Cream in Gaza

This story appears in Extraordinary Rendition: (American) Writers on Palestine, edited by Ru Freeman. Red wool, and falsely brightened, since we need the help.      A child because      the chambers of the heart will hold so little. —Still Life, Linda Gregerson   There was once. A little girl named Lala lived with […]

Posted in Fiction, General

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Hello From an Old Friend

The impulse comes over me when I’m bored and out of sorts. Paul would say that it’s Satan at work in me. Since I know what he would say, I don’t tell him. Looking up Marla from high school leads me to Jody, posing with two kids and a car. Her husband works for Union […]

Posted in Fiction, Flash Fridays

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The Mission Lands

While we wait Molly explains to me from the backseat the secret history of San Francisco. There didn’t used to be hills, she says.  That’s what they said at school.  It used to all be just water from where the bay is now.  That used to go on for more, where the ground is, and […]

Posted in Fiction, Flash Fridays

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American Copper: An Excerpt

An excerpt from Shann Ray’s American Copper (Unbridled Books). Tonight the dignitaries of Montana gathered with their wives in the great room, wide-eyed. The men endured with slick hair, part lines clean and straight, faces shaven, black or brown full beaver felt hats in hand, derbies and straights, tapers and cowboy hats. The women wore […]

Posted in Fiction

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