“Crock-Pot” by Meg Tuite’s Exquisite Quartet

This is the latest in Meg Tuite’s Exquisite Quartet. To go to the column page, please click here. His friends called him Crock. He smoked pot constantly and his last name was Crocker, so it stuck. Crock and Daphne had been living together for close on six years now. His mother had scolded him over […]

“Astraphobia” by Elizabeth Wade

I was not there when my town disintegrated, and you were not there, either. You probably would not even have thought of my town, some two hundred miles from yours, unless you turned on the news, unless the next morning, your daughter picked up an envelope from your lawn and asked you to sound out […]

“Love You Madly” by Marian May Kaufman

Mama never did like the humping. She said it was dirty. So I moved the rabbits from the far part of the lawn to the kitchen, where there wasn’t any dirt. Somehow that was worse, though I don’t know how.  Mama said I never had more sense than a saltlick, which I guess is true […]

Review: Domestic Apparition

The Reviewed: Domestic Apparition The Reviewer: Len Kuntz *** A lot of story collections today are idols unto themselves — bland, trite writing that makes one wonder how the author cajoled a publisher into producing the manuscript. But then there are those others. The story collections that knot your stomach with barbwire, flicking out scenes that […]

“A Better Place” by Gene Albamonte

I believed in the necessity of white lies; my Aunt Maggie believed in constant truth. I believed in perception; my aunt, reality. I believed the present could be just as pleasant as the memory of the past if you had the right materialistic distractions. My aunt thought materialistic distractions unnecessary. She turned sixty-three today, my […]

“Stark County” by mensah demary

Above, electric white magnesium exploded to throw up our hick town’s gang sign for boredom. The three of us — ensigns sharing sips of Boone’s Farm — piled into the car’s cabin, its sunroof a crucifix-bone. Saturday’s ennui plotted a plotless arc on which we drove past the BP and Sonic, underneath the overpass tagged […]

“Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire” by Dawn West

I pushed through the main doors and out into the cold night air, even my bones crying. Christmas just isn’t for the dying, I heard my father say. I turned and faced him on the swing seat. His eyes and cheeks were red but he was smiling. I hate watching him try to have fun, […]

UFR Presents: Between What is Calling Me: A Conversation with Curtis Smith

Curtis Smith’s stories and essays have been cited by The Best American Short Stories, The Best American Mystery Stories, and The Best American Spiritual Writing. Press 53 has released his last two story collections (The Species Crown and Bad Monkey). Casperian Books has published his last two novels (Sound and Noise and Truth or Something […]

“A Woman’s (Early) Life: A Hirata Toshiko Cover” by Elaine Castillo

The diminished quality of Elaine Castillo’s lung capacity was made when her honorable self was cut, suffocating in blood, out of her mother’s gushing belly, the result of too aggressive (but entirely standard) a dose of the labor-inducing drug Pitocin, a synthetic form of the mammalian hormone Oxytocin. The early dysfunction of Elaine Castillo’s kidney […]