Plain China

May 2013

Tear-Jerker Monodrama

Milo Cramer · Bard College · Honorable Mention in Fiction

My mom is dying. We are in her hospital room. It is 2 am or 4 am. It smells like hand sanitizer. There are watercolors of cows on the walls. Mom was in a terrifying car accident and has cancer. She is wrapped in hospital plastic and damp rags that cling to her pale skin. She is fat and beautiful. She is covered in pus. She shrieks or makes small gurgling noises.

The Mackenzie Walrus

Toshi Casey · American River College

Brian’s snore raked through Eleanor’s ears. His nasal strip and her earplugs had failed her again and she was up, smothering a pillow over her face. No remedy ever worked a permanent miracle. No food after seven p.m. only kept their cholesterol down, but throwing out the cigarettes had its benefits. Their sleep-by-number mattress cost more than his month-long expedition to the Sea of Cortez, yet he remained a bullhorn.

A National Tragedy

Olivia Weissblum · Pomona College

On the day the sky wept blood over Texas we stood together a little apart

Actually, I'm Jewish

Seth Winger · Stanford University

Actually, I’m Jewish. It’s a phrase I’m used to saying, for one reason or another. What are you doing for Christmas? Actually, I’m Jewish. (Subtext: going to a Chinese restaurant.) Why are you dressed in a suit and walking away from class on the first day of the quarter? Actually, I’m Jewish. (Subtext: going to shul for Rosh Hashanah, and then probably to a Chinese restaurant.)

Hicksville

Laura Creste · Bennington College

An hour west toward the beginning of Long Island we drive to a party in Hicksville. We pass a series of one-story houses. Airplanes, coming or going, chase the birds from the sky.

Tear-Jerker Monodrama

Milo Cramer · Bard College · Honorable Mention in Fiction

My mom is dying. We are in her hospital room. It is 2 am or 4 am. It smells like hand sanitizer. There are watercolors of cows on the walls. Mom was in a terrifying car accident and has cancer. She is wrapped in hospital plastic and damp rags that cling to her pale skin. She is fat and beautiful. She is covered in pus. She shrieks or makes small gurgling noises.

The Mackenzie Walrus

Toshi Casey · American River College

Brian’s snore raked through Eleanor’s ears. His nasal strip and her earplugs had failed her again and she was up, smothering a pillow over her face. No remedy ever worked a permanent miracle. No food after seven p.m. only kept their cholesterol down, but throwing out the cigarettes had its benefits. Their sleep-by-number mattress cost more than his month-long expedition to the Sea of Cortez, yet he remained a bullhorn.

A National Tragedy

Olivia Weissblum · Pomona College

On the day the sky wept blood over Texas we stood together a little apart

Actually, I'm Jewish

Seth Winger · Stanford University

Actually, I’m Jewish. It’s a phrase I’m used to saying, for one reason or another. What are you doing for Christmas? Actually, I’m Jewish. (Subtext: going to a Chinese restaurant.) Why are you dressed in a suit and walking away from class on the first day of the quarter? Actually, I’m Jewish. (Subtext: going to shul for Rosh Hashanah, and then probably to a Chinese restaurant.)

Hicksville

Laura Creste · Bennington College

An hour west toward the beginning of Long Island we drive to a party in Hicksville. We pass a series of one-story houses. Airplanes, coming or going, chase the birds from the sky.