Quarantine got you down? Check out our list of our favorite new stories and essays published online in the last month!
“April Fool’s in Outer Space” by Amelia Brown | Every Day Fiction, April 1
It always starts with some recruits getting cheeky. It’s a right of passage: pull something over on the old man. Make it look like anyone could have done it. Grain alcohol in the whiskey, cutting the zero-grav connections, re-wiring the food dispensaries so that everyone eats beans for a week — this is what I’m used to. You don’t head up a military contingent of an interplanetary academy for forty years and not get pranked.
“Second Wedding” by Liam Strong | Lunch Ticket, April 9
We are the kind of people who do not deserve to love. I want to place a bouquet of flowers I cannot name in my mouth. I want to give myself something: a gift, a dowry, wrenched from within my non-existent, unnecessary womb. I want to have a second wedding for the love I never granted myself.
“Brushback” by Christa Champion | Hobart, April 16
At that moment, there was nowhere else I’d rather be than in this suburban backyard, with the smell of woodsmoke and fallen leaves, walking with my new buddy toward a bright-windowed kitchen and the promise of dinner.
“Stay at Home” by Ana Cecilia Alvarez | n+1, April 16
To someone who already can’t pay rent, the question of whether or not to call a strike might come off as splitting hairs. If tenants are already engaged in nonpayment, whatever their reason, what would formalizing this call actually achieve? One member put it this way: a call to strike would galvanize those who are still able to pay to stand in solidarity with those who can’t. It would call on tenants to put some skin in the game.
“My Weird Quarantine Obsession: The Mews of New York City” by Devin Kelly | Barrelhouse, April 22
When you come across mews in New York City, you recognize them. They stand out. They resemble nothing of what exists around them. They are wide, light-filled, solitary, and seemingly-lonely, in a city that is large, extraneous, and filled too much with too much. You want to roll a cigarette, to let a pipe emerge from a daft pocket. You want a flask, a hard and tough lean, a newfound learning of the ability to wait, simply, and stop yourself from rushing.
“Gardens” by Melissa Goodrich | Pidgeonholes, April 22
We get pregnant because we are gardens. We grow things. It says that on our t-shirts, embroidered with green thread across our hearts. ‘We grow’ our gloves say. ‘Growers’ it reads on our standard-issue shoes, our undershirts, our maternity shorts.
“High Ground” by Jackson Tobin | Guernica, April 23
Go out through the porch. Mosquitoes and stinkbugs so thick on the screens that the sunshine comes in polka-dotted. The backyard is overgrown and weeds reach up into your shorts. Lead Philip to the shed in the back, a rusty tin thing that reeks of gasoline. Kids in the neighborhood say that Mr. Parker buries his money under the shed, that he doesn’t trust banks, that he doesn’t trust his wife, that they see him out there in the middle of the night with a headlamp and a shovel. Don’t ask Adam about it. There are some things you don’t ever ask.
Curated by Melissa Hinshaw and Cole Meyer