Plain China

Novena

Lucas Garcia · University of Notre Dame

The Zozobra’s limbs are listless, his empty head staring out above the mass of people.

Mimosa Pudica

Michaela Cowgill · American University

This is the good part of the story. Every July we drove to the shore in our creaky white minivan to visit my great Uncle Lee. If there were a sharp turn, the whole van would feel like it was about to tip over like a red flyer wagon. The seats were blue and uncomfortable.

Transhuman Microfiction

Emily Mesev · Grinnell College

Transhumanism the belief or theory that the human race can evolve beyond its current physical and mental limitations, especially by means of science and technology

Seven Minutes of Heaven

Kellianne King · Susquehanna University · Honorable Mention in Fiction

We were sitting in the back of his older brother’s car, and it smelled a little bit like a McDonald’s double cheeseburger and a little bit like a new car and a little bit like a Christmas tree all at once. Charlie told me the Christmas tree smell was because of a thousand air fresheners his mother had stored in the trunk, those hanging tree ones with fancy names like "Evening Sea" and "Meadow Fresh." My nostrils burned and my lungs gasped, but I stayed in my seat. Charlie and I had been double-dog dared to spend seven minutes of heaven together, and I wanted, if not to actually spend those minutes as they were intended, to at least be able to step out of the car giggling softly, perhaps tripping a little into his arms, whispering things no one could hear in his ear, and know Maureen Biggert was watching from the window.

Burrows

Molly Zimetbaum · Tufts University

Jimmy calls me on Friday night. "If you’re not busy," he begins, "would you like to play some tennis with me?" Even through my shitty phone, I can hear the pitch of his voice rising. He always calls, never texts. He’s one of those "old soul" types. I don’t particularly like to play, but I accept, because I want to get out of the room. Weekend nights here have been uneventful. Mostly I’ve just stayed in my dorm, taking bong hits and blowing them out the window. My roommate’s getting ready to go out, standing naked in front of the mirror.

Kismet

Sarah Christensen · Brown University

On the first Wednesday of May it rained with such ferocity that Washington Avenue was closed, and the school bus was forced to travel the long way around.

House of Boone

Benjamin Vadnal · Boston College

Boone’s house is square and plumb. Spruce but not immaculate, kind but not religious, tucked into the depths of Picket Ridge, Tennessee. Boone harvested the trees, breaking the canopy to let in light; milled the trunks and dovetailed the logs, painted the door and cut holes for windows. At the end of his laboring, he opened the door and came home.

Everything That Is Happening Has Happened a Hundred Times Before

Megan Lent · UCLA

You don’t know who’s going to be important in your life when you meet them. This is a fact. I don’t remember meeting Emma. She says she remembers meeting me, that we were in a group together at a screening of short art films at the Hammer, and that we spent the whole time laughing at this boy in the group who kept insisting that we were witnessing genius. But I don’t remember that.

Way-Station

Shira Hereld · Mary Baldwin College · Honorable Mention in Fiction

CHARACTERS LUISA Mid-60s. Dressed like a homeless woman. Owns several blankets and a large purse with a seemingly endless supply of knitting. LEW Mid-late 60s. Stationmaster. Wears a name tag with “Lew” on it. JEANIE Late 20s/early 30s. Sensible. MAX Late 20s/early 30s. Jeanie’s husband. A man to whom you telll your secrets.

Counting

Megan Ross Rodriguez · Susquehanna University

Two days late. Then seven. Ten when Colleen went into labor. She counted them off on her fingers. Grade school math. Third grade she’d learned a trick. That was after addition went from fingers to minds. The teachers didn’t want finger-counting for addition or multiplication, but Colleen learned. Fingers held the secret to any multiple of nine. All ten fingers held out straight, bend down the multiple for a product. Two times nine needed a bent-down ring finger. A pinky. Eight fingers. Two and nine was eighteen.

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