All Apologies to Frida Kahlo

by Mara Grayson

I probably shouldn't have touched the oil paint. I know I wasn't supposed to. Please understand that my transgression was not an attempt at defiance or destruction. I never wanted to harm the painting, but at thirteen years old, my understanding of some things was not as clear as it is now. I wanted to touch Frida's hands, but because her hands weren't in the painting, I touched Diego's nose instead.

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Little Brother

by Kesi Bem Foster

He could feel his brother watching him from the doorway as he played video games. He heard his brother's cast thump the linoleum floor as he made his way over to their room. Hunched over, sitting on the edge of the bed, he stared at the television screen. Out of the corner of his eye, he noticed that the window to the fire escape was open, enough for him to slip through. Even with his brother hobbled by a broken foot, Lil D knew he would have to be quick. He wasn't going to fight. It would only fuel the rage behind the blows. At nineteen, his brother had him by six years and fifty pounds.

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Océane

by Jeanne Troy

At the end of November, a harsh storm swept across the northwest. Alyssa’s flight was canceled because of high winds and heavy sideways snow at the Seattle-Tacoma Airport. The weather was milder in New York. Hudson made pasta while Alyssa stood out on the balcony of his apartment, drinking warm cider. Each time she exhaled her breath became visible, mingling with the steam from the cup. Hudson was dividing the pasta into two bowls when she went back in. He added butter and parmesan to hers, and tomato sauce to his. “Have you heard anything from James?”

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Jailbird

by David Plick

excerpted from Only Whales Keep a Schedule

The doorway to B-pod was painted orange like the metal tables and chairs. Underneath in parts there was grey showing where the paint was peeling off and everyone around, the inmates and guards alike, stared at him not making a sound. They couldn’t believe it but neither could Gabe, this day was never going to come. As he passed under the opening through to the other side where the air felt colder, he pinched his eyes shut and searched for Leah’s expression, how she would look watching him leave, walking out of B-pod with his eyes closed, an orange jumper and orange floppy shoes, an unending smile, but he couldn’t piece her all together. Somewhere in there he had lost her.

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