Matt Lapata Ohio Home "Your aunt's drunk. Your grandma's catching up. There's mail for you. And Tony's here. He's nice. It's good to see you. Welcome home." And that's how she talks, Mom, in semisweet machine gun rat-a-tat rounds.
Claire Vaye Watkins The Archivist Carly lost one of her fallopian tubes to an ectopic pregnancy when she was my age. Between that and her husband Alex's reversed vasectomy, my niece is a regular miracle. I love her more than a person ought to love one thing.
Joanna Arnow Waiting for Food Stamps But is it really the things that people say and do that make them who they are? I ask this, but the question seems childish as I say it.
Askold Melnycyk Michael Jackson in Gaza The animals are speaking to us. The Times ran a story about whales in Baja, California, coming up boat-side to be petted. On Nova, a young Chinese-American scientist who translated the language of spiders played a tape of an arachnid love song.
Dana Kroos Sleepwalkers It was as though her leaving had let everyone go, or as though in the single day that she had been gone they had already accepted her loss and moved on.
Ann Hood interview by Brian Gresko Whatever it is you're writing about, if you stop short your work shows that. Good writing keeps going, it pushes past the safety zone. And that's why it matters, that's why it resonates.
Linda Legters When We're Lying I'd clung to the belief that Donald and Elaine were at the top of the ladder this was important to me since Mark and I dangled off some rung in the middle; maybe their position kept us from slipping down further.
Melissa Yancy Teeth Apart Or perhaps they'd just surmised that he wasn't the sort of man who'd complain. And they were right. It was like a mining town. As long as you stayed and kept working, everything was fine, but you could never have the means to leave.
Joseph Johns Strange Birds I resented how she'd quietly disassembled the geography of our life without my consent, my wife, that is: our street, the gardenia bushes, the slow-growing beech I'd planted. Even my pigeons, the kit of white homers I'd hatched over the years. The new owners wanted nothing of them.
Abby Geni Dharma at the Gate At first Lucy had been proud to have a real boyfriend, holding hands in the movie theatre, falling down the rabbit hole of delirious make-out sessions, her friends cornering her in the hallways to demand all the details.
Natalie McAllister Is There Someone in Here With Me? The grandmother of the family had escaped from East Germany in 1945 and she told three different accounts of this escape, depending on the occasion.
Graham Arnold A Difference of Nothing "You don't love me. You never really loved me." Regret is not always an afterthought. Sometimes it occurs instantaneously with the action. She'd played this hand before. I called her bluff. "Nobody's forcing you to stay," I said. ?"You're eighteen. Do what you want."
Anna North Everybody's Favorite Baby When her grandfather died, her grandmother had cried for a full day and then gone on as before, sprightly and self-possessed. So Mandy had iminaged that, for older people, loss was manageable, like a cold.