184 lede

The Archivist by Estelle Birdy

The Archivist, leather satchel in hand, picked his way through the tables and chairs to his spot in the corner of the terrace, overhanging the river. Nodding to Raul, the waiter, he took comfort in this, his daily pre-work habit. The sun was already warming the glass table top as he leaned his weight onto it, propping his oak walking stick against its edge and finally settling himself into the yellow cushioned chair.
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Insupportable Haughtiness in Countenance. by Jacob Kobina Ayiah Mensah

Nothing would content the crows ahead of me in the winter storms, save that I should appoint a day for myself to be rebuilt like a snow elephant. I set a date ahead, prepared a room. I opened the front door of the abandoned chateau in the late morning, and borrowed a skin with some shades from a fairer in Spain. I wished to see whether my appearance would accord with the description: the noble torso, the sloping head, the long and graceful neck, big eyes in a dark husk, and black ringlets. This gargoyle.

Looming in Their Futures by Adam Giles

P L U M B  A N D  P L U M B E R

Jo is elbow-deep in thick slimy godknowswhat because her partner forgot the sewer snake at the shop. Her partner, Joe, meanwhile, stands with his hands on his hips at the living room window admiring the penthouse view.

Lepidoptera. by Robin Ray

Light-saturated gypsy moths     at it tonight,
flapping       twisting       amelodic preludes to
a dream   shifting from stucco to concrete, the
many reasons husbands come home late. What
is luck        but a desperate gut           yet to
spill. The throats of moths hum tunes harsher

Living the Sims Dream by Caitlin Farrugia

There’s this game called The Sims. You know it likely. The one that everyone had in the early 2000’s as a child and you could get like Sims University Life, Sims City, Sims Pets, Sims Showtime. The game where you create avatars and try to make their lives fulfilled or kill them in a house fire for fun. Anyway, I still play The Sims.

A Question of Circumstances by Kim Farleigh

Shocked murmuring erupted around the arena as the bull’s horns unexpectedly rose before El Fandi, whose cape, draped over a sword, fluttered in the wind, confusing the bull, producing haphazard signals, like a bad parent.

The cape bumped over the sand as El Fundi backed away, a woman in the whistling crowd snapping: "This isn’t bullfighting!”

2 by Cameron Morse

Older Brother
If I step outside to scrape burnt bacon and egg over a bowl of dog food and sense a childhood ghost squatting in my periphery above an oak leaf, I, too, might think twice about saying hello, especially when only he and I are home. I would find his behavior strange, far be it from me to speculate on the particular properties of the leaf, the frost glittering on the spine, say, or serrating its edges. Nor would I pay him any mind if he follows the dogs as they go about their day, patrolling the pickets or sprinting into a flurry of barks at the passing of some jogger beyond them. Why should I greet him? He seems more interested the patio’s dark tributaries of dog water spilled perhaps by me, perhaps by accident, than in forming a connection with one of the living. To me my older brother died a long time ago. Why does he linger on, like smoke in the kitchen, long after I’ve finished breakfast? Why does he push my captain’s chair back in after I have gone upstairs to take a shower?