War & Peace: Crossing the Curtain

War & Peace: Crossing the Curtain

Crossing the Curtain David X. Lewis USA Vienna, Sunday 6 March 1988, 20:26 hours Central European Time Edward parked his car with care. The Hofburg palace loomed to his right against a gray and star-less sky. A stray dog lifted its leg at a lamp-post. He heard the...
War & Peace: Crossing the Curtain

War & Peace: Smoked

Smoked Gregory Von Dare USA When a dark-haired young man walked up to the Honorable Desmond Bernard in the public room of the Aristophanes Club and silently presented him with a fresh Cuban cigar, the old spymaster couldn’t hide his delight. He turned the Cohiba...
War & Peace: An Imposition of Greatness

War & Peace: An Imposition of Greatness

An Imposition of Greatness James Michael Dorsey USA On February 23, 1945, in the final year of the Second World War, the following words were transmitted during a vicious battle from a bird speck of an island in the East China Sea: Naastosi, Thanzie, Dibeh, Shida,...
Lost: Dressed for Eden

Lost: Dressed for Eden

Dressed For Eden Stephen Frech USA “But the heart has its own memory.” – Camus   We are always burying the dead. In this way, we are like the church interiors of old Dutch prints. Often in the background, workers have removed a stone from the...
Lost: Swallowed Things

Lost: Swallowed Things

Swallowed Things Amara Okolo Nigeria “Love has a way of killing people. Slow, but definite. Uncertain, but true. My love began to kill me the day I met you.” Lagos, 1976 Today I will tell a story of a man I never married.  Like water, some things are meant to be...
Seen: Philippi

Seen: Philippi

Philippi Sean Murphy USA “There’s a story here,” she said. I told her I didn’t doubt it. “Each town has at least one or two stories behind it, right?” “Well, I suppose that’s true,” she replied. “But most of them are never heard, you know? It’s the same ones that get...
Seen: Repeatable Sequence #5

Seen: Repeatable Sequence #5

Repeatable Sequence #5 Ian Woollen USA The dangerous ingredients are all there. Baja California and everything that conjures. Sun, ocean, tequila, rip tides. A handsome, young couple in the throes of a rough patch. Eight months of failing to get pregnant, and sex has...
Seen: What Better Way Than This

Seen: What Better Way Than This

What Better Way Than This Shebana Coelho USA July 1 I’m slowly making my way south.  Today I watched goats, grape vines and sunflowers from the train to Sicily.  The sunflowers were enormous—elephant stalks, brown centers, yellow petals frantic for sun.  Their keening...
Seen: Four Days

Seen: Four Days

Four Days Vimi Bajaj India The International terminal is a bustle of activity. Strong lights illuminate a massive stone sculpture, with a dazzling effect because of all the sand particles embedded within it. Vidya tries to make sense of it but can’t. The artistry is...
Seen: Flames and Shadows

Seen: Flames and Shadows

Flames and Shadows Nicolas Sampson UK ‘I would like a coffee with milk and a sandwich with ham and cheese please.’ ‘Bitte?’ She stood there, pen and notepad in hand, her brow raised ever so slightly, the tiniest furrows on her nose ridge, looking at me through...
Open: The Leaving

Open: The Leaving

The Leaving Christopher Woods USA The streets were empty, as were all the houses in that village. He walked from door to door, ringing doorbells that made no sound, climbed stairs in silence, crossed lawns and left no mark with his boots. Feeling forlorn, he decided...
Open: Fermentation

Open: Fermentation

Fermentation Scott Thompsen USA There had been bombings, small ones that failed for the most part. A detonation in front of the Israeli Embassy that wounded only the bomber, a minor blast (three reported injured) outside the mall near Phrom Phong, Thailand. Still, I...
Open: Win

Open: Win

Win Jacob William Cox USA Capable—if unreliable—little motorcycles, a used Honda Win can be had for around US$200. Boasting 110cc engines, endlessly replaced, welded and salvaged clutches, wheels, brakes, handlebars, frames, rims and gearboxes, with not a one having a...
Open: Boulevard of Open Dreams

Open: Boulevard of Open Dreams

Boulevard of Open Dreams Ingrid Garcia Spain Plaza de la Cathedral, is an open space except during special events like Liberation Day. On Liberation Day, bands, stands and volunteer hands fill the plaza, inviting curious pedestrians and bon vivants. The Church of...
Open: Looking for Joe

Open: Looking for Joe

Looking for Joe Steven Carr USA I am looking for Joe. It is early morning and the hot winds fragranced with the aromas of sun baked earth and prairie grass blow through the car. Ahead the interstate is straight and flat for as far as I can see. On both sides of the...
Open: Keisha Goes to Harvard

Open: Keisha Goes to Harvard

Keisha Goes to Harvard Anya Lewis-Meeks Jamaica Illustrated by Sophia Khan USA When Keisha wrote down Harvard University on the list her college counsellor gave her parents, it was because she knew that he would tell her that she wasn’t Ivy-league, straight-A, or...
Treasures: The Ice Cream Scoop

Treasures: The Ice Cream Scoop

The Ice Cream Scoop John G. Sarmiento USA The frightened moon and stars were hiding. The typhoon howled and dredged the Philippine Sea in search of living things. In a stolen outrigger with a broken motor, Ligaya gripped her jeans, shut one eye, and breathed the...
Treasures: The Ship Breakers

Treasures: The Ship Breakers

The Ship Breakers Anna O’Brien USA The Bay of Bengal in Bangladesh devours her children. I’ve worked in the delta’s sludge for five years, and already she has consumed the big toe on my left foot, and wounds like red open mouths fester along my right arm. For my...
Treasures: Hair

Treasures: Hair

The Hair Bob Majiri Oghene Etemiku  Nigeria “Papers please…!” Abdul didn’t hear her say those words. But that’s what he imagined she would be saying to the men in front of her. She made the requests garnished with something that resembled a smile. And with the...
Weekend Reading: Mystery at Jackass Gulch

Weekend Reading: Mystery at Jackass Gulch

Mystery at Jackass Gulch Keith Skinner USA He’d been silent, the other man at the bar, gazing into his glass of whiskey before growing animated at the mention of Mark Twain. “I met Twain one time, you know, out near Jackass Hill.” I looked quizzically at the bartender...
Weekend Reading: The Rumour

Weekend Reading: The Rumour

The Rumour Kaylen Baker USA Once upon a time, the Princess circulated a rumour. It began on her island at the top of her tower, in her round room, at her bedside. She slipped a message to her chambermaid, whispering in the lady’s left ear. The chambermaid turned...
Firsts: Our own archipelago

Firsts: Our own archipelago

Our own archipelago Gary Budden England   Two days since midsummer passed. We partied all night on summer cottage decking and drank strong beer with a bear’s face snarling at us from the tin. We sweated it all out in a sauna that smelled of birch. When the heat...
Firsts: Mutola

Firsts: Mutola

Mutola Pauline Chiziane  Mozambique Translated by David Brookshaw   1 Chivambo loved to tell stories, but this one was his favourite. He told it as often as he could. Some heard it when he was preaching in the Presbyterian Church at Chamanculo, back in the 1960s....