a taste of ‘Five’

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The next right turn forced eye contact with it, then him. He was staring at me without flinching.

The Boner by Nancy Stohlman


I was flailing my hands in the air, telling him I did not understand where he was coming from. And why he had to go.

Just a Digit by Abha Iyengar


Again and again, I’ll replace your neck, your collar, your sleeves. Stitch and patch and grind down cloth, worn and weather-beaten as your body.

Sashiko by Alex Reece Abbott


Word of Ezra’s talent crisscrossed Davenport in an hour. “Uncanny,” said the Davenport neighbors. “It’s sorcery,” whispered some.

Odd Bird by Jan Elman Stout


I had learned to hold on tight when someone swung me by my arms, or pray, when tossed in the air.

Crib Sheets by Annabelle Baptista


My head was throbbing and when the trumpets started blasting it felt like someone had hammered a spike into it.

Cinco de Mayo by Todd McKie


Daumen understood the risk of leaving sperm and egg to collide in thoughtless conception.

Impossible Sonata by Heather McQuillan


My mother handed her the $7.50, and carefully unzipping the lining of her pillbox hat, she stashed the money inside.

We Called Her Mrs. H. by Joanne Jagoda


Balloons still need to be blown up, piñata hung. I reach for the bottle under the sink, take a long pull.

Merry-go-round by Andrew Stancek


“Down the hatch, darling,” she says, wiping her hands down her apron. “Let’s not make a fuss.”

Togetherness by Matt Potter


… in school it was worse. Everyone knew how to ski and that’s what they did for PE, climb into a van and head four miles up the road.

Vagabond by Gay Degani


A full moon bounced off the white marble paving, illuminating the square. They hurried into a small black car waiting in via Cavour.

Nighttime in Sicily by Townsend Walker


She was from Arkansas and moved north and hid her accent, then got the man to buy a house and dumped him for my soon to be crappy dad.

Families of Five by Jason Half-Pillow


“You’re not fat,” I say. Maddie looks down and pinches the skin at her belly.

Mass Effect by Jessica Clements


I am ahead of the pack. I know exactly where I am going and I bolt up the nearest escalator, two steps at a time.

Round One by Irene Buckler


After my ex-husband ran off to Alaska or Las Vegas or wherever he ran off to, I worked nine hours a day at a telemarketing job and smoked cigarettes on my breaks.

Five Men and My Tits by Shannon Coghlan Reiss


No one thinks to call the resort nurse or doctor but we do decide to have a backgammon tournament and the winner gets to pee on Mirsky.

Spring Break by Paul Beckman


Her next film, The White Widow, saw three manhoods chomped.

Let Them Eat Cock by Stephen V. Ramey


… their voices just a little skewed, a notch down from normal. There is no such thing as normal. Not after this.

Murder in Five by Guilie Castillo Oriard


From the shoeboxes we found in his closet, it seemed he had once sold porn to the Navy boys.

Five Boxes of Pornography by Sally Reno


They take care to reuse the coffee grounds. The liquid is a dull brown and not black. It is faded like their roots.

Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition by Hillary Leftwich


“Sorry,” the suitor said, “It’s just… nerves, I guess. I appreciate females who don’t focus on size.”

Speed Dating for Widows by Helia Rethmann


Neither said a word. Bev folded the betting ticket in two and tucked it away in her purse.

Happy Again by Mandy Nicol


It was only five weeks, the best five of my childhood, for once a classroom perfectly in tune.

Moving by Diana J. Wynne 


front cover artwork and illustrations by Allen Forrest

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