by pavlos stavropoulos
TW: sexual assault, violence
We leave the park where we stopped to rest and eat. The temperature is dropping, and we need to move again. Freema is tense. “It’s too quiet. There’s something wrong.”
“It’s early afternoon, nobody will be back yet,” Lupe says.
“This is M-Sec, not the Core. There should be people around.”
by Alicia Cohn
TW: sexual assault
When your head pops out of the water, he is there, two lanes over and looking your direction.
You wheel around. Shoving away from the wall is pressurized with adrenaline. You shoot forward like a rocket.
Whoosh air out your nose. Turn your head. Grab some air. Raise arm behind you from the elbow. Slice through the water with your hand. Repeat.
by Elwin Cotman
Halfway through breakfast at the Mexican restaurant, Kalonji was delighted to find the restroom could talk. A husky female voice coming from somewhere around the air vents said, “Lávase las manos. Wash your hands. La cuenta, por favor. Check, please.” A robot Spanish teacher.
Especially impressive considering Kim had taken them to a normal restaurant, nothing gentrified, a fifteen-minute walk from her Bushwick apartment. A normal restroom made of grimy surfaces and soggy toilet paper rolls. In the stall he listened carefully to the words, testing his dormant Spanish, at the same time peeling the Band-Aid on the back of his right calf. Last night he’d injured himself hauling his suitcase around Penn Station. The wound was cherry-red and ringed with black scabbing.Continue Reading
by Margaret Reynolds
The doctor pushes me back and asks me to scoot forward until the bottom of my butt is hanging off the edge of the exam table. She spreads my legs quickly. Without warning, I feel the hard edges of a speculum spread me open, and a moment later, she slides two wet fingers into me.
I feel the pressure deeply inside of me and blink at the ceiling to distract myself. When I turn my head to the side, I’m staring at a poster of a mother and child standing under the title “The Benefits of Breastfeeding.”Continue Reading
rua do salitre
by Ian E. Watts
Going nowhere in particular, our only aim is to catch the sun’s light among the rustling leaves around the
Rossio Square. Pointing out a couple on a bench, Vanessa mentions, “All interaction between men and
women is a guarded stalking and is always sexual in nature. A careful reading of every glance, every
word, and every gesture betrays masked intent.”Continue Reading
Exiting on Bell Road
The streets of my hometown are lined with brooding palms, dying in summer sun. The heat—sucking moisture from blades of grass, sucking souls, sucked my memory dry.Continue Reading
by Erin Armstrong
I’m sitting on my front porch smoking a cigarette because it’s 3am and I can’t stop thinking about fucking my father. And ain’t that just something. Is it? I mean, I’m not thinking about it because I want to be thinking about it, or because I want to fuck him. Even if I did he’s pretty dead so it would be something on several something fronts. Or backs, or my face and mouth… there I go again.Continue Reading
by Colter Ruland
You should pay for the hotel room on your mother’s credit card. It’s near Washington Square. There’s a park bench. You can sit there and wonder whether your mother will notice it on her statement; she paid for the trip after all. In the meantime, you’re waiting for check-in since your flight landed early—tailwinds or something like that—and there’s a whole eight hours to kill before your connection. Somebody walks up and sits next to you on the bench and you can’t help but feel ousted. You get a splinter when you move your hand across the wood to make room for him; he’s so close on the bench despite the dozens of other empty benches. The splinter turns blue under the skin. Then you hear the guy next to you say, Ouch, and you realize the person has been J all along. He’s shorter and a little heavier than what his profile had indicated just before you’d set your phone to airplane mode. You say, Shit, sorry, I didn’t recognize you. And he says something like, That’s fine, baby. You’re just fine.Continue Reading
by Matthew Pridham
One evening, beneath a new moon, a man in a robe embroidered with odd symbols finished chanting a song of desire and power. Candlelight lent only a fluttering glow to the room around him and when he looked up, he had to squint to see a clock in the corner. Almost time.Continue Reading
by Liz McGehee
Her cousin took his vows in the Texas woods, fenced by burnt leaves and wet faces, a rustic reception hall looming behind the guests. As family and others made their way toward the hall, Waide hung back, staring over the open field. Gnarled oaks marred the landscape like twisted sisters holding hands.Continue Reading