"The Ex-Mermaid Buys Chocolate Milk," Paper Darts
- The new girlfriend hugs the ex-mermaid as they part, and she smells like puppies and gardenias. The ex-mermaid smells like musk and firewood, like hers is a body that knows earthly pleasures and earthly pains.
"The Collar," Third Coast (print only)
- Orange is the happiest: a person well-fed, well-slept, well-loved, well-sexed; a person exercising their full intellectual capability on a daily basis, whatever intellectual capability that might be; a person who feels appreciated and secure; a person with utmost certainty in their future.
"Alone, Together," Redivider (print only)
- When we first heard the redistribution plan, only a few of us believed it. After all, we knew things were bad, that too many countries had the bomb, that the powers that be thought it might drop any day. But still, it seemed impossible that the bomb would actually drop.
"Carapace," Wyvern Lit
- By that point, I was used to the first moment of surprise. The doctors, the nurses, the other parents, coming in to visit their bland, generic babies and thinking they’d stop by to say hello and congratulations, one bland, generic baby’s parent to another.
"When Out Looking for Antlers in Wyoming in January," Tin House Flash Fridays
- Out here, the deer shed their antlers in December, January, February, the cold, white months that reward a watchful eye. How they shed, you don’t actually know, but you picture them dancing in the snow, a careful choreography that involves no pain, only joy, the way you used to feel sometimes but now feel less and less.
"The Day You Begin to Forget," Front Porch
- Security Questions:
- What is your father’s middle name?
- How would you describe your relationship with your father?
"At Night in the Wig Shop," Booth
- Sometimes, when they’re all getting along, they drink wine spritzers and eat salt-and-vinegar potato chips, and they talk about the customers instead of one another.
"Two Weeks After My Thirty-Fifth Birthday," Word Riot
- I bought a pair of neon Aquasocks that just barely covered my hooves and a new swimsuit. At the party, I stood by myself, wearing my new swimsuit, my first one-piece since I was a child. I drank a glass of spiked lemonade and thought about my panini breast.
"dreamPod," Necessary Fiction
- But no. You have not dreamt of triumph, of celebrity, of thrill. You — strange, sick little you — have dreamt that your eyebrows are taking over your face. And now you watch yourself — mini, dream-you — on the tiny screen as you stand in front of your bathroom mirror, tweezers in hand, desperately yanking at them, black and bristly, but they are spreading faster than you can possibly pluck, first across your forehead, then your temples, then your cheeks, until they cover your whole face like you are some kind of beast. A small furry beast.
"Celebration," Paper Darts
- Driving home, you feel a little embarrassed, but no one gives you a second look. At a red light, you see another driver, also wrapped in gauze, stopped across the intersection, and the two of you give each other a nod of recognition.
"Night Blindness," Bluestem (online and print)
- “If anyone there asks us why we came to Hawaii,” Matthew warned her on the way, “I am going to say, ‘Actually, we’re getting a divorce. We had just already booked this vacation, and we couldn’t get a refund.’”