Fiction Summer/Fall 2021 Issue 19

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Keening

I have my own personal banshee. Most mornings, usually during my second bowl of cereal, she lets out a soul-melting wail to give me a heads-up on my impending death that day. I used to get worried, but it’s been going on awhile. And I’m still here [. . .]

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Gap Year

For Martha Kaas, half the thrill of going bohemian was not letting her husband suspect that she had. She appeared to commute to work at seven every morning but drove the opposite direction from her former life as a middle school math teacher. She parked in a garage in the garment district and spent the day exploring her creative side from within a rented loft space she shared with three artists: Somi, who worked in plaster of Paris; Fango, who altered thrift store paintings by painting in pop-culture characters; and Asia, upstairs, who made the ceiling breathe whenever she brought in her cadre of dancers [. . .]

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Zoom Yoga

iPad’s camera adjusted so she was silhouetted, surrounding flat light showing only the outline of a form. Could have been savasana. A cloud moved, another Zoom self-adjustment, there was her face again. But it wasn’t early savasana. No one could go that long without blinking. I threw on a robe, turned my video on, and unmuted myself [. . .]

March

The low whistle of the northbound train broke a silence made of the shovel’s grating, of birdsong, of the rasp of Eva’s breath. Maud frowned at her daughter, then stepped again on the shoulder of the shovel, forcing the blade into the March soil. This plot of ground, heeled in against a patch of woods, had been worked for garden at one time. […]