It’s the final countdown…
The Passenger, by Emily Lundgren
I try to take a picture of the eerie. The power’s out, so I’m like, okay, standing outside the Pump n’ Stuff, looking at the gas pumps. My last customer was twenty minutes ago. Down the street by the McDonald’s, the black veiny power lines seizure under the blinking traffic lights. I listen to the curdles of wind. There’s no one around. No one at the Kum & Go across the way. No one in the dirt parking lot outside Toby’s bar. Just cars rumbling along on the I-29 overpass. (5000 words)
Milkteeth, by Kristi DeMeester
Daddy told me to keep to myself after the foxes disappeared, but there’s only so still you can keep your hands when your belly’s rumbling, and you think you’re seeing claws at the ends of your fingers instead of skin. (4000 words)
Bleeding Through the Shadows, by David Rees-Thomas
The store has been here for a hundred years. It’s outlived the coal mines, the dead of world wars, the indecencies of Thatcher, the indiscriminate violence of South Wales valleys youth. (3300 words)
Rapture, by Meg Elison
Elizabeth Barrett Browning wakes up again. It’s the third time today. She thinks awakenings are far more common in springtime, but all year long she is called this way. She sighs and tucks her dark hair back under her cap. She will not refuse the call. (2100 words)
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