Individual Medley

by Dale Davis

On the hillside west of the swimming pool, men with shovels followed the line of the fire, turning dirt onto glowing patches. Above them, on the ridge, a bulldozer clanked and roared as it cut a gap. The fire burned slowly through the dampened yellow grass, flaring only when a bush caught. Ashes lifted and

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Down to a science

by Ben Greenman and ChatGPT

I am in a basement. I see. Is there anything specific you need assistance with while you are in the basement? I do need assistance, though perhaps not in the way you are thinking. Which raises an interesting question. Are you, in fact, thinking? As an AI language model, I do not “think” in the

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Parable of the Perfect Translator

by Kit Schluter

It happened with great simplicity, without affectation. — Virgilio Piñera One early May afternoon at a café on Rue Scribe, a strange man presented himself to the university students as France’s greatest translator. Yet when these students looked into the name this man had given, they could find no trace of either him or his

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The Seamus

by Tara Ison

I always sensed beast in the house. From the time I could sense anything, I knew I could reach for and grip onto a shaggy coat, pull myself up to lean against a beastly wall of muscle. I knew the scent of tartar breath, the scalloped air of a swinging tail, the sponge of a

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Animals

by Uche Okonkwo

Nedu named the chicken Otuanya because it was missing an eye, a film of pink tissue sealing the space where the organ should have been. He summoned his father, older sister, and unsmiling mother to the backyard for a naming ceremony, where he served peanuts and Fanta and solemnly announced the chicken’s name to polite applause from his father and an eye roll from his sister. After his family dispersed, Nedu lingered in the backyard. He fed Otuanya leftover grains of rice and tickled the fleshy red wattles that dangled under the chicken’s beak. The chicken had come into their […]

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Phone call

by Cynthia Zarin

Caroline is standing by the north ball fields in Central Park in the snow. It is February. There is some kind of construction going on—or it was going on—the big yellow trucks have stalled, but still, she has had to circumvent them. She is walking southeast, toward Seventy-Ninth Street, through the park. It is freezing.

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Good News

by Hannah Kingsley-Ma

Like a dog, I walked in through the back door and sniffed the air attentively. A rich, woody scent met me. Before I had a chance to call her name, Kira’s head poked out from behind the open refrigerator door. She stooped down again, her hands rooting around, rattling the various jars of mustard that lined the shelves. Julia, she said brightly. You’re early. Hi Kiki, I replied. What’s cooking? You’ll never guess, she said. She pushed herself up with her hands on her knees so she was standing tall. I have no idea, I told her. I’m trying. I […]

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Any Orange Is Orange

by Olivia Clare Friedman

Since Happy started saving lives, he’s gotten superstitious. You learn quick—don’t call him up on his shift and ask, How’s the day going? Any calls? because then for sure the radio will start, and they’ll be racing over, lights and sirens, to a one-bedroom in Pelican Bluff on Cooper Candy Drive, which is all gravel

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‘Moldova’

by Ruth Madievsky

Sasha and I landed in Kishinev as the sun was rising and took a bus from the tarmac to our terminal. I hadn’t slept on either of the flights and felt the edges of reality ungluing. The bus was stuffed to the windows with blue-eyed children waving American coloring books, women in sweatsuits carrying knockoff

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The Bus

by Nishanth Injam

The bus has a bathroom. Other buses that leave Bengaluru for my hometown don’t have bathrooms. They pull over on the highway when you have to pee, or they stop at a dhaba and the driver asks passengers to go so he won’t have to make extra stops along the way. The bus is a

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After Dark

by Rhoda Huffey

When the pigeon first appeared in my front yard, I noticed because he didn’t fly off immediately. He walked over to the jade plant by my front porch and contemplated the leaves of the succulent. My mind was full of other things at that moment: what to wear to that evening, did a man named

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Obverse

by Yuri Herrera

Translated by Lisa Dillman And that was why they decided to go off and explore the other side, on which, they hoped, there would be no watery cliffs or dragons awaiting them at the end. They traversed iotas and iotas. Deserts of iotas and dales of iotas and mountains of iotas. Millions of iotas. Until,

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