Take a look at the flash fiction, short stories, and nonfiction of our latest issue.
A flash from One Hundred Lost Letters
Sometimes fake flowers are a kindness; mock the description is gentle; mock as a verb has a bittersweet sting. I arrange tissue lilies and cornflowers around the Child’s feet; himself an imitation of our living Divinity. An old sister comes up shaking her head. She thinks to scold me for causing her fever. READ MORE.
It’s Only a Second You’re Down
Jamey Chu got baptized on a Thursday night. It just worked out that way. Pastor Dorking said he had already planned a special service with lunch the coming Sunday, and he said couldn’t really have the pool open, not with lunch. Jamey accepted he do a Thursday baptism. “Prayer service is a good time to get baptized,” Pastor Dorking had assured her, enveloping his large, thick hands around hers. READ MORE.
They’d been on the interstate for two hours when Ted began to feel drowsy. “I can’t keep my eyes open,” he said. “I hate driving in the afternoon.”
“Carbohydrates,” Augusta said grimly. “You had two pieces of cake. All that icing.”
There was an exit coming up, but it was a shame, because both the children were asleep in the back, and a stop would surely wake them. Buddy was teething, running a low-grade fever. Four year-old Laura had just celebrated her birthday at Granny and Pop Pop’s. For the first hour of the trip she had whined for her new doll. Ted had inadvertently packed it in the trunk. READ MORE.
My Ancestors Must Have Been Beasts
Sometimes I feel my ancestors must have been beasts. When I dig into that cording in my gut that drags out in a twisting line across oceans and centuries, it seems impossible that I share a core with gentlefolk in layers of well-ironed wool or ship captains in starched overcoats with finely trimmed facial hair. I try to picture myself in their lantern-lit homes, but the walls feel claustrophobic and the petticoats feel itchy and I can’t catch a full breath in a laced-up corset. No, these people were not my ancestors. READ MORE.
Come By Here
Pastor Bob rented a school bus and once year our lives were at the mercy of his erratic navigating of the yellow beast. The joyride took us from our flat northern suburb to the hills of central Ohio. We knew we were getting close to camp when the road relentlessly twisted and curved and forty teenagers began screaming and falling out of their seats. Pastor Bob was on a mission to deposit us at camp in record time every year––safety be damned––we had the prayers of an entire congregation covering us. READ MORE.
Shortly before I was born, a 1944 film starring Judy Garland and Fred Astaire popularized Irving Berlin’s 1933 song “Easter Parade.” I don’t remember seeing the movie, but by the time I was seven, I knew I’d had a new dress every Easter of my life. My older sisters and I loved to sing about wearing a bonnet—with all the frills upon on it—that could make us into the grandest ladies in the Easter Parade. READ MORE.
On the Second Sunday of Advent 2019, the Sunday we light the Candle of Peace, Pastor Ara invites people to the rail to pray, saying, “If you are broken today, God promises to give you shalom—peace—to restore everything in your life to its proper order.”
In Messiah’s sanctuary, a white-vaulted room with gleaming oak pews and a stained-glass window of a dark-eyed Jesus leading a luminous flock, people of all ages—black, white, and brown—join in the Lord’s Prayer before taking Holy Communion: “May Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven…” READ MORE.