Taylor Brown
Black River

Taylor Brown - Black River

Taylor Brown's short fiction has appeared in a wide variety of publications, including The New Guard, CutBank, The Coachella Review, and storySouth. His story "Rider" received the Montana Prize in… Read more »
Richard Spilman
Church Camp

Richard Spilman - Church Camp

Richard Spilman is the author of two books of short fiction: Hot Fudge and The Estate Sale. He lives in Wichita, Kansas, where he works hard to maintain no visible means of support. Read more »
Gabrielle Hovendon
From the Airplane, From the Water Tower

Gabrielle Hovendon - From the Airplane, From the Water Tower

Gabrielle Hovendon is an MFA student at Bowling Green State University, where she teaches creative writing and composition. Her fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in more than a dozen… Read more »
Dorene O’Brien
The Final Viking Voyage

Dorene O’Brien - The Final Viking Voyage

Dorene O’Brien is a fiction writer from Detroit. She has won the Red Rock Review Mark Twain Award for Short Fiction, the New Millennium Fiction Award and the Chicago Tribune Nelson Algren Award. She… Read more »
Rosanna Staffa
The Ghost of Chendu

Rosanna Staffa - The Ghost of Chendu

Rosanna Staffa is an Italian writer living in Minneapolis. She recently received her MFA in Fiction from Spalding University. Her Flash Fiction “The Call” will be published by Spry Literary… Read more »
Katie Cortese
Wakulla Springs

Katie Cortese - Wakulla Springs

Katie Cortese holds an MFA from Arizona State University and a PhD from Florida State. Her work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Carve, Gulf Coast, Word Riot, Sport Literate, and Passages… Read more »

The Ghost of Chendu

Rosanna Staffa

The masses are the real heroes, while we ourselves are often childish and ignorant, and without this understanding it is impossible to acquire even the most rudimentary knowledge.

—Chairman Mao Tze Tung

In a dream she took off her shoes and crossed the river at Wushi, her arms high above her head in surrender. She waded among tug boats loaded with piles of wood and bamboo. Men brushed their teeth in enamel bowls, crouching on the shore. They looked up at her crossing the river. She prayed to the golden Buddha of Souzhou with the many arms that break through the glass case to reach for the sky and the depth of the ocean. She chanted holding her arms high until the water filled her mouth.


6:30am. The loudspeaker went off in the dorm of the Zhejiang College of Traditional Chinese Medicine. News in Mandarin and French piano music. Same song every day; none of the Chinese students knew the title. From her window Nicoletta saw that she had missed the morning Tai Chi Chuan again. The students were undulating in sync Part the Wild Horse’s Mane. There was something humorous in the militaristic precision.… Read more »