Fiction in a minute: Superstition

My wristwatch was stuck at half past two, even though the morning sun indicated otherwise. Most people would get a battery, reset the time and move on with their day. But I had old superstitions rattling around in my head, a legacy of my Nana’s myriad household warnings and omens–like if your right palm itched […]

Fiction in a Minute: Dude, Part 5

Editor’s note: you can read Part 4 here. He knew as he walked to the waiting room with Melly that he couldn’t leave. He texted Ray that he was tied up, then slumped into a chair like a man knocked down by a haymaker punch he never saw coming. His mind played back Linus’s request […]

Fiction in a Minute: Dude, Part 4

Editor’s note: you can read Part 3 here. The smell of diesel fuel and exhaust hit Neil’s nose, then gave way to the disinfectant and alcohol smell of the emergency room. Last time Neil was in an emergency room, his mother was still alive, a cut on her head needing stitches on Christmas Day. They […]

Fiction in a minute: Letting go

I’m hiking the steepest part of Wildwood Canyon in the late afternoon. My muscles are screaming for oxygen but each gulp of air seems to bring only dust. This hike is both real and in my head, for I am scaling the internal terrain of my disappointment with Liam. He walks ahead of me, leaving […]

Fiction in a minute: Up on a roof

Dylan Brody stood on the rooftop of his North Hollywood apartment with his telescope and notebook, looking for what unkind people referred to as “little green men.” The science of ufology was so misunderstood, and he hadn’t done much to help it gain mainstream traction. He still winced inside when he remembered his speech at […]

Fiction in a minute: Unlikely aid

Bradlee felt thick with lack of sleep. Her body was moving at the speed of sludge and her mind couldn’t keep up even with that. Her keys should have been on the counter by the door, but they weren’t. Merry babbled in her baby carrier, her hands bouncing in the air like she was conducting […]

Fiction in a minute: Fight

They called them points for a reason, Marlene thought, because that’s how you keep score in a fight. And without the score, how do you know who won? Her husband Carlos kept score by how he felt. The fights made Marlene feel safer and more in control, which was odd, because they were having the […]

Fiction in a minute: Panhandling

Mark made it halfway through the first day of his construction job before deciding he wouldn’t make it back the next day. Not because Joe would fire him. Joe was the owner of a construction company and a good guy who saw Mark panhandling outside the diner two days ago. “Swing by the job site […]

Fiction in a minute: Sparrow

The portal had dissolved the hospital wall, but only Netta seemed to notice. The nurses flowed in and out of the room without so much as a glance at the garden that had materialized. Netta tried to get the night nurse to pluck her a flower from one of wild bushes on the edge of the path. But her […]

Fiction in a minute: Method acting

“Surprised!” Grayson typed in the caption box under the selfie he just posted. It was part of his “emotional expression” series of self-portraits he was posting on his blog, a reaction to a casting director who recently said his facial expressions weren’t subtle enough for on-camera work. Jerk. The doorknob on his apartment door rattled. […]