When Gracie got neck cancer, that was a tough time in life. Her life, her husband’s life. Her husband felt it was a tough time in his life especially.

The neck cancer was bad for Gracie. It was worse for her husband, he felt, because he loved to kiss her neck. That was his thing, her neck. Just going to town on her neck. Kinda biting it sometimes.

When they first met, Gracie was choking. Her husband hadn’t caused her to choke and didn’t see how her choking was his problem. He was interested in her looks, though, despite her looking awful because of the tortured expression on her face from choking. He could see beyond her choking to the face underneath. When she survived he asked her for her hand in marriage. She dazedly accepted.

Nobody was very sorry when her husband was decapitated trying to save himself from an armed robbery. They should have been, It was a terrible thing. All anyone could think of, though, was how he’d pestered Gracie about her cancerous neck until she’d let him kiss it a little, and
anyone could see how much pain this caused.

Matt Rowan
Today I Wrote Nothing
Daniil Kharms

NO DEER - russ woods

I was trying to keep the deer out of my horse garden. They kept getting in and eating the horses. The horses wouldn't even get that big just foals before deer would come in and nibble their manes. Then my wife said I should just keep at it, that that was the price of growing things organically. I told her she doesn't understand and then I realized that she is a hotel, that I've been married to a hotel this whole damn time and I formed a plan. Late at night, when she was asleep, I took a pouch of horse seeds and a few bags of mulch and snuck into her front door. She has a giant picture window that faces out of living room in her honeymoon suite, so right there I made a little bed. I threw her curtains wide open and dumped soil down on her carpet and began to plant. I've been doing this every night for weeks now, coming in and tending the horses I am growing inside my wife. I don't think she's figured it out yet, but the horses have been coming along nicely. What a wonderful lady, my wife.

Russ Woods
Big Questions
Anders Nilsen

SIBERIA - jess dutschmann

Katie got her last chicken bag for the month, looked up at the sky. She wasn’t sure where she was any more because they’d put everyone on a train up to somewhere. Her daughter told her it was Siberia this time but she wasn’t sure what it really meant to be in a place at this point.

She imagined whole chickens sometimes, their life cycle: growing inside the egg, the little tooth lets it out, feathers grow in to cover the soft down, then the dinosaur part starts growing and eats the little bugs. Then someone cuts its head off, snaps its spine to get the breasts and legs and whatnot, and this was where she came into the picture: the chicken bag. Saving these parts up you could make soup if you really wanted to try it, but mostly you fried the chicken backs in a pan so the cartilage melted into potatoes.

The potatoes were easier. They grew outside in dirt that everyone got a patch of, and whenever Kate looked at the sky when gardening she got to remember that she was a flightless bird, missed potential, object without motion but not out of motion.

Jess Dutschmann
Wedding Day
Dana Levin

GRASS STAINS - mason johnson

You steal a bra from your friend's sixteen-year-old sister and hope she doesn't notice like that time you took those panties - the pinks ones. You'd gotten a call from your friend after you got home: "bring them panties back."

You found his sister on the lawn, her hand out, palm up. Since you didn't expect her to just be standin' there, you start thinking that maybe she's a deviant and got off on you stealin' her undies, and your thirteen-year-old dick starts to point at her, and you smile as if to say, "I'd like to steal the panties you're wearin'."

Her palm slams you across the face. You fall and realize that she ain't sex crazed, ain't gonna be your "first," she's just the bitch who made you get grass stains on your favorite hoodie.

Now you've stolen one of her bras. You want to attach it to a kitchen chair, learn how to take it apart--like MacGyver and Fonzie--with one snap of your fingers, but you get home and get a call. It's your friend.

"Bring that bra back."

You rub your cheek. You know what's comin'.

Mason Johnson
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
Junot Diaz

GREY GOOSE - peterbd

we robbed a liquor store and decided to rob another liquor store. we did this because we were high off of adrenaline. we felt invincible. after the store clerk in the second liquor store shot me, my feeling of invincibility quickly disappeared. i dropped to my knees soaked in blood. my partner made a mad dash for the back exit. he stole a large bottle of vodka on his way out of the door. the store clerk told me my partner wasn't shit. i nodded in agreement while applying heavy pressure to my bloody abdomen.

Matt Rowan’s Future As-Yet Untitled Novel
Matt Rowan

WATCHING - jon mau

Across the hallway, there is a small television playing in the lounge. You can see it if you lean forward a bit, and look through the safety-glass window of the door. The window with the green cross-hatching, because it’s safety glass. The TV is an old-fashioned CRT television, with a small screen. It could be 6 or 7 inches. No, I’m not sure. My grandfather used to watch baseball on the porch on one that size. It was black and white. If you lean forward a bit you can see. It’s hard to tell what’s on. No, I don’t know. But it could be a game show. The time is right for “The Price is Right” to be on, so it could be “The Price Is Right.” But it’s hard to tell. But it could be. Imagine that they’re playing the giant plinko-style game. To win money. If you lean forward a bit, it looks like it might be the plinko game. They could be winning at it. It takes a lot of luck. They could be winning a lot of money at the plinko game, on “The Price is Right.” I’d sure like to know. Gosh, it’s killing me.

Jon Mau
Infinite Jest
David Foster Wallace

PLAN OF ATTACK - shaun gannon

The sky is negative energy. It is our enemy. We will succumb to the sky if we do not remain vigilant in our war against it, which utilizes four points of attack:

1) The U.S. Government regularly sprays chemtrails tested during Project SHAD in an attempt to dissolve the sky.

2) The Freemasons inject fluoride into our water systems so that, upon evaporation, it will attach to the sky and cause it to sink.

3) As described in The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the brother-Jews of the Federal Reserve System siphon money from the world banks to fund battalions of shadow troops sent directly to the sky by weather balloons from Area 51.

4) In critical situations, The Bilderberg Group contacts the Annunaki (shape-shifting reptilians), who are sent to directly infiltrate the sky and collapse its infrastructure.

Through perseverance, the sky will soon come to an end.

Shaun Gannon
Winesburg, Ohio
Sherwood Anderson