Fiction

Lucye & Serenity
Murfreesboro, NC—Covid Summer 2020
Photography by Leeta Harding

Rebecca Jensen
Carrying 

The weight in my stomach doesn’t scare me. I always thought I would be afraid of giving birth. Most expectant mothers I have known feel impatient in their third trimester. They are eager for the last few weeks to end.


Chris Kassel
A Stone is Frozen Music

Kyle Virtanen sat in driver’s seat of his Silverado 1500, engine idling, two-barrel over/under shotgun across his lap, waiting for his daughter’s murderer to step from the doors of Bluewater State Prison. back to her side. There were petals floating in the water. Five petals. Bright, fuchsia  petals.


Mim Lindblom
Perse-phony

She glanced down into the toilet as she reached for the flush handle, then blinked, her hand falling back to her side. There were petals floating in the water. Five petals. Bright, fuchsia  petals.



Ann Stewart McBee
An Apothecary of Errors

The smell of First Baptist is quite a cocktail…something sweet and something else. Aerosol hairspray and clove gum drops. Vanilla body spray and the inside of a cardboard box. Butterscotch and bleach? Burnt coffee and fabric softener? Jason said his church smells like the inside of a hat.ch doesn’t scare me.



Mallory Owen
Consultations

Ellen rubs her fingertips along her temples, straightens her dove grey wool coat. She turns down Whinside – the houses lose a story, the tidy row of auburn trees ends at the corner.


Cheryl Pallant
Standing

Her fingers toured the burn of torn flesh of her cheek and shoulder and the hard cold of the cobble stones. Knocked down again, she reflected. She heard their unsurprising cheers and laughter.own Whinside – the houses lose a story, the tidy row of auburn trees ends at the corner.


Henriette Rostrup
Children’s Stories

She collects them, records them in neat red ink in her lined journal. She follows a system.  Every day she reads the newspapers, both dailies and weeklies.  She reads them from start to finish, on the lookout for even the briefest mention.  Everything must be accounted for.