Kendall Klym
A Professional Male Ballet Dancer in Twelve Steps

Kendall Klym - A Professional Male Ballet Dancer in Twelve Steps

Contest - 2nd Place
Featured as one of “the greatest up-and-coming fiction writers today” in the Amazon description of Best Short Stories from The… Read more »
Mason Boyles
Lucid

Mason Boyles - Lucid

Contest - 1st Place
Mason Boyles works at Pizza Hut. His fiction has appeared in publications such as Cutthroat, the Chariton Review, the Worcester… Read more »
James English
My Hope Level

James English - My Hope Level

Contest - 3rd Place
James English’s short fiction has appeared in The Magnolia Review, Hobart, The Tishman Review, Liars’ League (London), The Drum, and… Read more »

A Professional Male Ballet Dancer in Twelve Steps

Kendall Klym

Step 1: At the age of five, find a special secret place where everything is good.

Your mommy and daddy are yelling again. Something about money. You know that money is made of paper, and paper comes from trees. Walk softly into the living room and look at the painting—so quiet and beautiful. See the big trees with orange, red, and yellow leaves? The painting reminds you of the picnic, the woods where you and your mother and father sat beside fallen colored leaves. Things were good. When you got home, your parents took the leaves you collected and ironed them between pieces of waxed paper. You said you loved the smell. Daddy said you were smelling hot leaves, and Mommy told you to be careful and not come too close to the iron. Your mother and father were nice to each other, weren’t they? That was in the fall.

Now it’s winter. The leaves are all brown. There’s a bit of snow on the ground, but it’s brown, too. You look at the ironed leaves, but that’s not good enough. Nothing makes the yelling go away. You have to get inside the painting to do that. Look… Read more »