Kira Homsher


We exit at the same station, the girl with the gray off-shoulder top and I. We glide through the turnstile like factory products, with synchronized strides. Her low-hanging hips look like an afterthought to her torso; their easy sway ends and repeats with each smack of her sandals on concrete. I stare at the spot where the snarl of her curls meets her lower back - the spot where beach girls have angel wings and butterflies. My top lip is numb from mint chapstick and biting. Staring at women makes me feel lecherous when I do it the way men are supposed to, which is to appraise the body in pieces. The arch of a foot; hair lifted to reveal a neck; navel. The suggestiveness of specificity: when the body is taken in pieces, there is more to adore and more to amend. 

She ascends the grimy subway stairs. I wait until her hips and butterfly spot are swallowed by evening sky. Upstairs is my street and down the street next to some construction is a crooked townhouse with gray paneled walls and three floors. The top floor is mine. I am lucky enough to have a tall window in my bedroom with a view of the little gray garden outside. Now that spring is here, the old wooden fence has begun to collapse under damp ivy. Someone has arranged several large rocks, enclosing a cluster of lilac and ferns on three sides of a square. If it were my garden, there would be more yellow. If it were my garden, I’d invite the girl with low hips to come sit on the rocks; we’d sit cross-legged and admire each other in pieces. I do not have a garden. I have a window with curtains that do little to keep the morning from coming in.

A Philadelphia native, Kira Homsher is currently an MFA candidate at Virginia Tech. When she isn't writing or greasing up the pages of a book with her nose, she enjoys playing music and scuttling about in the dark.

Emilee Martell

september 2018

here is fear:  

it is late september and you are a field organizer for the democratic party and governor scott walker must not must not get reelected or it will all be for nothing (it may very well all be for nothing anyways) and you have 153 calls to make to unpleasant and disinterested people but it is already dark outside and it is late september and you open the door to the back porch to seek reassurance from the large yellow moon but the door is still warm from the day’s sun and it is covered in boxelder bugs and they all fall inside onto the kitchen floor and if your parents were there they would crush them with a paper towel but here is fear and what if the callous murder of a blameless boxelder bug tips the karmic balance of the universe? so you get the broom and sweep up the bugs with care (tears press on the back of your eyes like tiny hot suns) and you take them across the kitchen to the other door which is north facing and not sun warmed and therefore not covered in bugs and you fling them (gently) back out into the moonful night and you go back inside and catch a straggler in your hands as she flies for the ceiling fan and throw her outside too with some kind of whispered prayer like she is an oracle or a messenger and then you go back inside again and there are more boxelder bugs (always more boxelder bugs) but you have 153 calls to make so you convince yourself that the bugs are out of reach and also they clearly want to be inside and so you sit down at the kitchen table which is made of yellow maple and you turn on your laptop and you turn on your cell phone and you pray to the moon and the boxelder bugs and whatever god is out there in the universe that you will not fail, that this is what you are supposed to be doing, that here is the fear but the fear will not press you into nothingness.

Emilee Martell grew up on a hobby farm in rural Wisconsin, where she absorbed innumerable life lessons from her land and her cats. She attended St. Olaf College in Minnesota, earning degrees in English and Environmental Studies. Mostly, she writes science fiction and fantasy novels, but sometimes the flash bug bites and only God herself knows what happens after that.

T.J. Butler

The Pines

The Pines Residential Center, on Portsmouth Boulevard, was surrounded by a tall, iron fence. We believed it was there to keep us in. At that point, we expected locked doors, staff with keys, and intricate systems of levels and points that determined our value, our movements, our freedoms. Most of us would have stayed inside the fence, not for what the levels and points earned, but for the consistency of the arrangement. 

Years later, I drove there with my husband. We were on a weekend getaway one town over in Norfolk. The day before, we'd gone vintage shopping and had dinner at a wine bar in a gentrified neighborhood. As we drove past The Pines the following day, I took in the neighborhood's vagrancy: liquor stores and pawn shops, empty newspaper boxes with their doors hanging open, litter clogging the gutters. I realized the fence was there to keep people out, not to keep us in. The campus was long abandoned. Tall grasses and vines wove themselves between the bars of the fence. My husband slowed the car as we passed. I strained against the seatbelt, craning my neck and turning backward to take in every bar of the fence, the graffitied outbuildings, the dorm, the cafeteria, and the school. I wept. 

In places like that, they don't know you when you arrive, save for the dull, oxblood accordion folders stuffed with reports, family history, and paperwork that decides whether what you've told them is a lie or something your social worker wishes was a lie because you are fair-skinned and blue-eyed. The reports garnered from your hours spent with clinicians and do-gooding grad students who were so noble in their endeavors to help kids like you, will bore you when you read them as an adult. You'll be left to wonder, however, drinking wine alone on your couch with the files spread across your lap, why nobody pointed the finger at your mother, and how it was possible for the well-meaning grownups to agree that a twelve-year-old child could singlehandedly take down a family. 

When you arrived at The Pines, you told them you were allergic to grass so you would not have to go outside. That did not work, and you had to participate in grass-based activities or risk your points being deducted. You told them you were a vegetarian, so they gave you an eating disorder protocol: a guarded bathroom two hours before and after every meal. In the beginning, you had to sit in a chair in front of the nurse's station with your tray on your lap. Vegetarians could not be trusted on their own in the cafeteria. They brought you trays, always something soft and green, and a glob of peanut butter warmed to liquid by the vegetable's heat in the styrofoam to-go container. You no longer eat peanut butter as an adult. 

Your first roommate, Chrissy, said she was Lita Ford's cousin. You did not know who Lita Ford was. You learned she had a song with Ozzy Osbourne. That made it okay for you and Chrissy to shatter cassette tapes and dip the tiny metal pieces into pools of ballpoint pen ink, and gouge upside down cross tattoos and pentagrams on your ankles. You met another girl who said her mother was a witch. You told her your mother was also a witch, and she gave you an address in Florida. You wrote letters asking for witchy guidance, but they were never answered. 

Christmas was a bounty. Oh, how difficult it was to arrive at the perfect gift, valued at ten dollars or less, from the Methodist Aid lady. One year, you asked for a Def Leppard tape, which was surely under ten dollars. It was still the eighties. You received, instead, a hollow, plastic California Raisins bank with two boxes of Sun-Maid raisins attached to the bank with a cellophane wrapper. Without the Def Leopard tape, you had a silent cassette player. The points you'd earn for not being sent to the quiet room and for making your bed every day did not take the form of coins, so the California Raisins bank sat empty. You never liked raisins anyway.

T.J. Butler lives on a sailboat with her husband and dog. She writes fiction that is not all fun and games. She is a Pushcart Prize nominee and a contributor to Tiny House Magazine. Her work appears in BarrenRiggwelterAbstractFlash Fiction MagazineAnti-Heroine Chic, and others. @aGalWithNoName 

Cameron L. Mitchell

Can I take my Pants Off?

As I got the news, a wave crashed into the room, filling it with water.  I fell under, looking everywhere for the surface but failing to find it.  A pair of lips continued moving across from me, but the words floated away.  I left like that, still submerged and stunned, my hand gripping papers with more words I couldn’t understand.  This drowning would be long and slow.  I had to get used to life underwater.  

Later, when I got a text message asking if we were still on, I remembered that I had plans to meet some guy for a date.  Or a drink thing.  Or just sex.  It’s hard to tell how these things will play out.  I never know what I’m doing.  But I sent him a message back, saying sure, why not?  Let’s meet, let’s see how it goes.  That’s the story of my life, moving from one thing to the next, always waiting to see what happens.

We were to meet at a nearby bar, close enough from my place to walk.  It’s one of the many college bars lining the street.  I’m here for grad school.  He’s a local, someone I know very little about.  I liked his pictures.  He liked mine.  That’s usually enough.

The news hadn’t devastated me, at least not yet, so I figured meeting up with this guy would be fine.  It might offer a distraction, at least.  And though that day would forever be the day that separated my life into two distinct parts – before and after – I guess I was trying to hold on to the old me who still lived on land, the one who existed just that morning.  He was so close I could almost reach out and touch him.  If only I could go back, before that morning, to the moment it happened to me.  Honestly, I have no idea when it happened.  I’ve always been careful, almost obsessively so.  Maybe the doctors and counselors don’t really know what they’re talking about.  Maybe bad things just happen, no matter how much you think you’ve protected yourself against them.       

So we met up, had beers and burgers.  How all American is that?  He was about five years older than me, had dark hair that was just beginning to recede, and matched the pictures he sent.  He was the boy next door, all grown up.  Sitting out on the patio in the fading sunlight with no one else around, I stared at his lips moving up and down, suddenly aware that he was telling me something important.   

“It’s different from what most people think,” he said, sighing into his beer.

“Wait, what?”

“You know, being married, having a kid.”

Oh, another closeted married guy, I thought. Figures.  You’d be surprised by how many I’ve met down here.  He seemed genuinely nice, and at least he was being honest.  Without the wife and kid, without my recent news, it could have worked.  And then, unsure of how or why the words spilled out, I told him my news.

“Gee, I’m sorry man,” he said.

We finished our beers, split the check, parted ways.  About ten minutes later, he sent me a text asking if he could come over.  Sure, I texted back.  I sent another message with my address.   

When he arrived, I looked around my mostly empty living room and wondered if I should be embarrassed for the lack of furniture.  There was the futon and a couple of lawn chairs, as well as a television propped up on a large plastic bin filled with books.  Since I was only there for grad school, I didn’t see the point in buying real furniture.  Being a real adult was something I had put off.   

He made himself at home on the futon.  I handed him a beer and popped one open for myself.  After taking a long gulp, he looked up at me.  “Can I take my pants off?”


He stepped out of his sandals and awkwardly removed his pants.  He folded them neatly before setting them aside.  Sitting in his underwear, he looked at me from across the room, telling me about his wife in between sips of beer.  The rush of water returned, filling my ears, holding me under.  He was on an island of his own, still above the surface.  But just barely.      

After finishing his beer, he placed it carefully on the floor.  He pulled his pants back on, stepped into his sandals, retrieved the beer bottle and brought it over, leaving it on the counter.  Before heading out, he gave me a limp hug.  “Hang in there,” he said.  

I never saw him again, and I didn’t tell anyone else about my news.  It was easier to tell a stranger.  Somehow, that was enough.  As for friends and family, I’m still not ready to see the new me reflected in their eyes.   

Days, weeks, months have passed.  I never knew it could take so long to drown.

Cameron L. Mitchell grew up in the mountains of North Carolina. His work has appeared in Vol. 1 Brooklyn, The Queer South Anthology, Literary Orphans, Gravel Literary Magazine, and a few other places. He lives in New York and works in archives at Columbia University. Find him on Twitter: @CameronLMitchel.

A. Martine

Summer Hush

There’s a hush that descends over the air in summer: the world goes quiet, the lushness of the trees cushion and contain every meandering sound, the cicadas’ song swarms the air, and the sky is still and cerulean blue, so at odds from the turbulence and movement that the other seasons’ inclemencies bring about.

It should be peaceful and quiet, and in many ways, it is. But that summer hush also offsets another kind of silence, a silence that paves the way for less lovely things to come slithering in. It is a deceitful hush, a hush that wears bright, garish clothes — but it is no less malevolent.

We peg winter as the bad guy: it can be bitter, it can be raw, it can be isolating. It only feels right, then, that SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) is most often associated with this season. The long nights, the absence of sun, the increase in time spent indoors… it is enough to send even the most misery-averse person into episodes of deep melancholy. 

And indeed: studies show that all the above can lead to episodes of mild depression, lasting months, and/or exacerbating the depression a person may already be dealing with. As the awareness concerning SAD has grown, so have the preventative measures taken in anticipation of winter, as well as efforts that aim to lessen its impact when it makes landfall. Light therapy, tinctures, aromatherapy, vitamin D and the like are just some of the hallowed remedies touted far and wide; and what is more, the national conversations that have swirled around them have contributed in a lessening of the stigma concerning SAD. 

It feels almost inappropriate to be looking ahead at the summer beast when most people are not only just emerging from winter’s stronghold, but actively yearning for the warm embrace of the hotter months.

But after years of dealing with a different kind of SAD, I have found it much more trying to avoid it or to dismiss its effect on me — because as the stretches of snowstorms and inches of sleet and ice make it easy to forget, summer, just as easily, will be upon us again.

While my mental health invariably took a turn for the worse during the winter (and as an East Coast gal with additional years in Canada and Chicago under my belt, winter was inevitable), I was never able to relate to the notion of SAD: I have bipolar, after all, and feeling depressed is a constant that only varies slightly with mania and in conjunction with generalized anxiety and OCD. Additionally, winter carries a gloominess that, at the risk of sounding slightly theatrical, matches my state of mind most days. 

The season facilitates a sort of indolence I don’t need to be sold on: staying indoors, cutting oneself from the world, layering oneself under blankets of clothes and partaking in solitary activities are encouraged, as is the general introspection that comes with it. And while those more outgoing of us might start to get restless after a while, my mental health has thanked the inclement weather more than once, because I didn’t need to come up with an excuse not to meet up with others — not when it was ready-made for me.

Summer, on the other hand, comes cloaked in a veneer of scintillating possibility, one that encourages happiness and openness, and I have never felt lonelier than in the dead middle of it.

Society has always had a soft spot for milder weather, and it isn’t hard to see why: just like extroversion that is, and has always been championed, so has the environment in which those propensities are made easier. 

We correlate summer with the outdoors, with hedonistic fun, with long hours filled to the bursting brim with as much engagement with the world as we’re going to get for a very long time. But for those who suffer from social anxiety and/or agoraphobia, and who are regularly paralyzed by overwhelming situations, the prospect of enduring longer waking hours and the stressful expectations therein is not only taxing, it is downright nightmarish.

There’s a certain weighty distress that comes with the warmer weather, a certain optimism permeating every single thing, that makes your inner unrest look invariably worse by contrast, and thus, much more punishing. Even those of us most immune to the dreaded FOMO begin to feel deeply wrong, somehow, because nothing about the sunny skies makes us want to shed our soberness — on the contrary. We think that surely, we must be doing it wrong if we would rather be sheltered behind our heavy curtains and by our own leaden anguish, than out with an imagined group of jaunty friends, like everyone; and this only contributes to the feelings of worthlessness depression is just waiting to dole out on us.

If one is friendless, that friendlessness is put into sharp relief. There is no one to pull you out of the torpor when it hits you hard, nobody for whom it is worth it to endure the outside. But even those who do have friends are not exempt from the imprint summer SAD leaves on their social life. It’s that “lonely in the middle of the crowd” feeling that people who have mental illness know so well, a separation that is as invisible as it is powerful, a line in the sand that others can’t see, but that screams back at you: you are not like them, will never be like them.

I have spent the last few years dreading the onslaught of the sunnier months, have felt it like a slow inrush of tidal desperation. I have felt the contrast between the ugliness I carried inside me, and the jolliness that sprung into life every which way I looked. I have felt the maddening pressure of having to dress more lightly, and reveal more of this body I have wrestled with all my life. I have felt the barrage of noise and hustle and gregariousness accost me when all I wanted was silence, merciful silence. I have felt cornered in the aggressive whirlwind of engagements and social obligations and endless celebrations that occur under the slow-blinking eye of the sweltering heat, and felt stunned into inertia: because it paralyzes you, that heat, in a way even the cold does not. It presses down upon you, that seemingly tender caress, makes you wilt and perspire in your misery.

More and more research is supporting the fact that summer SAD is a legitimate condition, compounding the symptoms of depression for those who already have it, and acting as a momentary — but no less traumatizing — shroud over those who don’t. 

Nonetheless, it is, despite the mounds of research substantiating its existence, still tricky to pinpoint and treat because most people can’t identify that it is present, let alone imagine that it does as much damage as that which occurs in winter: and even the numbers reinforce that impression. While it is estimated that between 5 and 10% of Americans encounter SAD annually, only about 1% of those are associated with the summer, according to experts like Dr. Norman Rosenthal who has pioneered the research on this phenomenon.

Recognizing this very peculiar strain of SAD in myself, separate from the usual throes of my mental illness, has been half the battle won. 

I am not naive enough to expect the hype that comes with summer to die down anytime soon. It always been the best part of the year for many people, and this for a very long time. What is more: the seriousness of SAD and the steps taken in treating it have only recently bled into the mainstream, as opposed to knowledge on other types of mental healthconcerns.

So in the meantime, as the shades of the trees grow thicker, as the shadows on the ground grow long and deep, as the days stretch out more languidly into the next, I’ll keep an eye out, and I will be gentle when it eventually comes for me. I will bide time and tread water, until the leaves turn brown again and I can slink back to my cocoon of powder-grey skies, and my sheets of rain, and my blessed, windy days.

A. Martine is a trilingual writer, musician, artist, an Assistant Editor at Reckoning Press and a Managing Editor of The Nasiona. She might have been a kraken in a past life. Some of her fiction and nonfiction can be found or is forthcoming in The Rumpus, Medium, Lamplight, TERSE. Journal, Metaphorosis, Bright Wall/Dark Room, and Gone Lawn.

Lindsey Turner


She moved through her life like an empty ship, cavernous, listing and swaying as she did mundane things: pulling her pants up after a piss, climbing up and down stairs, pouring coffee from the press and cleaning out the grounds, staring at glowing screens. 

The man in her house hated her but he would not leave. Sometimes he would climb on her and push himself inside her. She cried but kept her wet cheeks away from his face so as to not be rude. She wasn’t sure he would have noticed anyway. She told herself these transactions were useful because they fulfilled her own need for human contact and because they got him off her case for a little while.

There was a child and he could know none of this, none of it. 

The man in her house watched documentaries and smoked reefer while she was at work. He told her that, despite how it looked, he was smarter than she was. He said, You snore so loud I can’t sleep in the bed with you anymore. He said, You smell like an old lady. He said, Someone has to tell you these things.

She thought about poisoning him. She thought about teleportation, tunnels, and impossible escapes throughout history. Some kid in a passing car threw a drink in the man’s face while he was walking on the side of the road, and her first impulse was to laugh. She thought about karma. She thought about wilted, thirsty flowers. She thought about dying. She thought she was dying.

Sometimes she stayed up late and drank seven dollar sparkling wine out of a plastic sippy cup and passed out. Other times she got just tipsy enough to take selfies while brushing her teeth and put them online because fuck it. She got up early every day to get the child out of his crib and feed him breakfast and let him snuggle close to her. She was soft. She hated every inch of her body. 

The man in her house hated it too. She could tell because he would not look at it.

She mostly stopped eating and started dressing up for work, really trying, even though things fit weirdly for a few months. She thought, Dress for the job you want. She wanted the man in her house to tell her she looked nice. He didn’t. He tended to leave the room when she entered. She got promoted.

A group from corporate came to town. She knew all of their names from newsletters and conference calls and smiled as they slapped backs and joked during meetings. She already knew one of the men, had talked to him on the phone. His face fit his voice. He had kind eyes, a sharp jaw, and he made her laugh. She drove him to and from boozy dinners with the team that week. On the third night, once they’d both had enough beer, she realized he was flirting with her. She thought, He’s married, pump the brakes.

She got a text from the man in her house. It said, You know, most people are courteous enough to let their significant others know when they’ll be out partying all night. She thought, Fair enough, motherfucker.

The married man flew home. He told her through her glowing screen that she was beautiful. He said, I should have kissed you when I had the chance. She read his words and felt drunk. She thought 

about rust and copper polish and brooms thrust into dusty corners and shriveled flower petals plumping in flickered time-lapse. She told him it wouldn’t have stopped at a kiss.

The married man lived eight hours away, near the beach, with a pregnant woman who happened to be his wife. He said, She doesn’t have anything to do with me anymore. He said, I don’t even know how we’re pregnant, honestly. He said, Nevermind her. I need to taste you.

She thought, Oh my. She said, You will. 

She thought about how the man in her house had told her he didn’t like how she tasted.

She was hungry. She texted the married man all day and night. He texted back all day and night. She told the married man about the man in her house who hated her. He asked her for pictures of her pretty face. She took them and retook them from more flattering angles. 

The married man called and said he had to have her. His drawl was like a lick in her ear. She thought about the smell of his skin, the friction of his legs against hers. When the man in her house climbed on top of her, as he did once a week, she thought about the married man. She felt guilty, like she was cheating on him.

When the man in her house had fallen asleep on the couch, the married man placed a video call to her. She said, I like you. 

He said, I like you too. You’re fun to look at. 

She said, So are you. They were quiet. They smiled. 

He said, I am going to ruin you. 

They made plans. She told the man in her house that she had a work trip and gave the child a big kiss goodbye. She drove four hours to a hotel where the married man was with the same corporate group as before. She put on sunglasses and felt like a spy. Her hair was up in a clip and she hadn’t worn underwear. She went inside the lobby and stepped onto the elevator, sure someone was going to stop her. She got off on the married man’s floor and knocked on the door. She thought, This is how good things start. She thought, This is how bad things start.

He opened the door and she was shaking. She put her bag down and he pulled her into the bedroom and kissed her. He was taller than she remembered. And wider. He was wearing pleated khakis. She thought, No one should ever wear pleated khakis. She heard the hushed commentary and muted clapping of golf on TV. She had to crane her neck up to get her tongue in his mouth. It happened quickly then. He pulled down the top of her sundress. She unzipped his pleated khakis and he nudged her down to her knees. She took him in her mouth and thought about how predictable men were. How easily they all folded for this, a tongue on their cocks.

They made love then, her dress hiked up around her hips. He was heavy on her, groaning, grunting, his sweat dripping onto her face. He didn’t finish so much as give up. He rolled over onto his back, out of breath. She laughed politely and used her right hand to trace the contours of her own skin. It was smooth. She had shaved everything.

He snored, facing the wall. She slept fitfully. Her nose was stuffy and she was getting a sore throat. She tried to spoon him but couldn’t get her arm around him. She ran her hand along the prickle of his buzzed head and the barrel of his back. She got up when it was still dark out and went to the kitchenette. There was one packet of single-serve coffee left in the tray. She waited until 7, brewed it, and took it in to the bedroom where he was beginning to stir. She handed it to him. She searched his face but he was looking at his phone. 

He went to a meeting and she laid in the bed’s soft white sheets, wiping her nose with tissues from the nightstand. The married man texted her. He said, We have a dinner at 7. I’ll be back after that. She replied, Your concubine awaits. She texted the man in her house and asked about the child. She took a shower and looked through the glass door at herself in the mirror. Her eyes fixed on the bulge below her belly button, the stretch marks, the dimples that covered her from her waist to her knees. The married man had told her weeks ago that he wanted to have her in the shower, and she had said, Yes, please. Standing there, she decided she couldn’t, not here, in such unforgiving light. 

Let me in, he texted. They made love again. She said, I love that you smile while you’re fucking me. He said, You’d smile too if you were fucking you. She held his hands and felt his wedding ring against her fingers. 

She slept badly again, and woke with her throat nearly swollen shut. The married man was in the bathroom when his phone lit up. She looked at the screen and saw that his background photo was a pretty redhead, smiling. He went to his meeting and she snuck out to her car to find a drug store. She bought cold medicine and went back to the hotel and the soft white sheets. She made a cocoon and napped. 

He returned to the room that evening. Her body ached and her nose dripped. She thought, This is our last night together. She thought, You need to rally. She stretched out on the bed and felt him kiss his way down her body. The married man was good with his tongue, better than most, but she couldn’t come. She could never come for a man. She cried out and quivered so that he would feel accomplished. She thought about the time the man in her house announced he was going to stop trying to make her come, since she obviously couldn’t. The married man brought his face to hers and she smelled herself and kissed him, put her tongue deep in his mouth.

The next morning he said he would come back during a break to see her off. She packed and waited. She looked at the piles of his clothes and wondered if his wife picked up after him. Her head throbbed. The married man came into the room and they hugged. She left. The drive back felt strange, like she was carrying some kind of secret package in her pocket. Her sinuses hummed with infection. 

He texted her: That was amazing. I needed that. Thank you. She said, Me too. He said he was getting a sore throat. She felt bad, but also a little powerful, like she had snuck across enemy lines and plunged a flag into the soil. 

The baby came. The married man seemed pleased. He took time off work and was assigned the night shift for feedings. He began to alternate sending pictures of his cock with sending pictures of a sleeping newborn, cheeks chubbed up against his neck. 

He said, I’ll try harder to make sure we see each other. She said, Focus on your baby. I’m here for you whenever you are ready for me. 

He said, I’m so glad I found you. He said, I’ve settled on my pet name for you: Baby. 

She thought, One can be sustained by secrets. She thought, This is how love starts sometimes. 

She went out with her co-workers. They were drunks and gossips. She overheard them talking  about the married man. They said he had slept with one of her employees, one of the young ones, when he had been in town a few months ago. They said, Can you believe that? He’s married! What a creep! She said, I can’t believe it. She said, He seems so nice.

She sat on her humiliation like an egg, quiet and warm and uncomfortable. 

She waited until she got into her car to really give herself the what-for. She said, How could you be so fucking goddamn stupid. It was not a question. 

She thought about tall bridges. She thought about long nights and suns that never come up. She thought about laughter coming from the dark corners in her mind. 

She texted him, You are the worst friend I have ever had.

He replied, For your sake I hope that’s true.

The man in her house was asleep in her bed when she got home. 

Lindsey Turner is a writer, designer, and photographer who lives in Nashville with her husband, son, and dog in a perpetual state of disarray. She likes to make things and tell stories. Her work has been published in Coffin Bell Journal, The Great and Secret Thing, and The Commercial Appeal.