Nouns XXX: Short Fiction Edition

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I. “For what is love if not an invitation to grieve? She had acquiesced to this grief, this sorrow of love, when she grew him within her and let him slide out. Even he knew this, though he did not, does not, yet know the word “acquiesce” nor understand grief as distinct from his other feelings of frustration, hunger, and elation.”

“The Child Runs Away” by Craig Morgan Teicher at AGNI

II. “Since coming to the desert you feel exhausted and sexual. You feel like you have been drunk since noon. You feel like you are at the end of the party, like it is two in the morning and a boy is following you around and you know that he’s in love with you and it would be easy.”

“The Blood Mouth” by Zachary Doss at Passages North

III. “The Farmer’s Almanac is always right. It tells me how farmers believed there would be no rain until the fields were burned to the ground. It tells me the difference between a raven and a crow is ravens always travel in pairs. Farmers can’t speak of the storms in my heart.”

“The Difference Between a Raven and a Crow” by Hillary Leftwich at The Airgonaut

IV. “But what if I really was to find one? What if it was just there again? After I’ve sketched equations on forests of notebooks, consulted hundreds of scientists, maniacs, broken fingernails scratching at graph paper, killing myself just to find patterns in the ripples of skipped stones—what if it was just suddenly there again?”

“Void” by Adam Gianforcaro at Cheap Pop

V. “He watches her go and does not go after her. She doesn’t know him, and he wishes he could be unburdened with his knowing.”

“The Dead Are Not Hungry” by Justin Daugherty at Smokelong Quarterly

VI. “I search high and low for an orange. For oranges. I want more than one orange. One I can eat really quick, and one I can savor. Actually, three oranges: the one to scarf, the one to savor, and one to keep for later.”

“The Peculiar Draw of Orange” by Eric Dovigi at Hobart

VII. “Certainly, yes, such storms cause great damage and inconvenience throughout the affected regions, and yet, at the same time these storms offer us the greatest and most spectacular of scenes: when the sunlight shifts down through the atmosphere and strikes these icy surfaces, the millions of crystals shimmer throughout the yard, the ice-coated trees glisten, the bushes and grass blades and sidewalks seem to glow brightly, and the brother and sister cannot help but sit upright in their beds to overlook the great white expanse beyond their windows, for such an expanse offers some hopeful landscape, one that vastly differs from the familial landscape within the heated environs of the house.”

“Ice and Sleet as Onslaught of Memory”by Ryan Call and Christy Call at The Collagist

VIII. “What I enjoyed most, however, was imagining the moment the pair parted. Not because I liked to see them separate—this was a trial for them and I—but because of the rush of inarticulate affection such a split engendered. I felt protective in those moments.”

“Why I Killed My Canary” by Allegra Hyde at Baltimore Review

IX. “She might as well be from Venus, so strangely do these words fall on her ears, and she shrugs her incomprehension, yet he’s so different from the men who crammed her in a windowless van with forty others and brought her to this continent where she sleeps on a steam vent outside the biology labs, and she so loves the way he laces his fingers in a nervous bouquet over the table as the waiter takes their order, that later, as they reenter the night, she kisses him.”

“In Eden” by Hannah Lee Jones at Cleaver Magazine 

X. “The doctor took a fat black crayon and marked on her ear. He said, This is where I would cut.”

“a little saw” by Monique Quintana at Lunch Ticket

XI. “You cry harder and I strain to pull you closer, to be larger for the holding. You cry even harder and I feel I am billowing out, unfolding, undone.”

“We Mistook this for the Beginning of Something” by T.A. Reeser at NANO Fiction

XII. “I could do it. I could do anything. We could do anything. Anyone could do anything. We didn’t need to escape from anything in order to escape. Escape for escape’s sake. We could run and run and run and run and run. We could be running. We should always be running.”

“Out of the Strong, Something Sweet” by Leesa Cross-Smith at Paperdarts 

XIII. Art: “Mawu attempts to catch the moon.” by Karon Davis at the Wilding Cran Gallery.

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