Photography by Leeta Harding

Everyone Likes Chocolate
By Carrie Lynn Hawthorne

She frosts the last layer of the three-layered cake, and she hears his key in the door. The first layer is for her, a guiltless cloud of angel food. The second is for the baby-allergen free, organic, and all natural. 

The third and smallest layer teeters on the top for the man.

The Beech Tree
By Grant Kittrell

Just don’t linger beneath it, the arborist warned us, this one’s known for its capriciousness. Don’t set your hunting stand in it, he said. I’m not a hunter, I said, in fact I’m a vegetarian, and he said, that’s not the point. 

Ensemble of One
By Steven Ostrowski

In the twelve years that the trio has been recording and performing together, Mara has slept with Abon three or four times and Gunther once. Abon is a fabulous lover in his way, inventive and a little kinky and always ready to laugh, but Gunther is, curiously, tenderer and very silent and intensely present. 

Mara’s current boyfriend is Lewis. 

Fifty-Four and Fat
By Denise Tolan

“Quick,” I said to the girl. I pointed my index finger and pinky straight at her chest, like double horns with an attitude. “I curse you. Your life will be as ugly outside as you are inside.”

Autopsy and The Physics Sweater
By Maureen Sherbondy

When the novelist died, the coroner made his first incision.