Nathan Alling Long

Nathan Alling Long - Asleep

Nathan Alling Long lives in Philadelphia and teaches creative writing and literature at Stockton University. His work appears in over a hundred publications, include Tin House, Glimmer Train, Story… Read more »
Fredric Sinclair
Holy Water

Fredric Sinclair - Holy Water

Fredric Sinclair grew up in Connecticut and currently lives in Brooklyn, NY. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Jersey Devil Press, Chelsea Station, and Long River Review, among others. He… Read more »
Caitlin Mullen
Ice Fishing

Caitlin Mullen - Ice Fishing

Caitlin Mullen is a first year student in the Stony Brook Southampton MFA program. She received an MA in English from NYU and a BA in English from Colgate University. She lives in Brooklyn, where she… Read more »
Christopher Green
We Are V

Christopher Green - We Are V

Christopher Green currently lives in Brooklyn, where he also hosts a monthly fiction reading series, The Prose Bowl, and its accompanying podcast. He holds an MA in English from the University of… Read more »


Nathan Alling Long

Growing up, I loved watching people sleep: my sister, my brother, my parents—even our dog. Asleep, their faces lay blank, still, without a twitch of direction or emotion, as if revealing some hidden self. They resembled trees, or stones, something neither good nor bad, but purely themselves.

Seeing them as they slept made me feel a calm lightness inside—the way I felt when my sister Ellie wrapped her hands in old socks, making two puppets, Oscar and Brown, who talked to each other in high, barky voices:

“Hey Oscar, would you fly to the moon with me?”

“The moon? Sure. But what’s there?”

“Cheese. Lots of lovely cheese. And not the stinky kind, either.”

“How do you know?”

“There’s no atmosphere there, so it can’t stink.”

I don’t know why I laughed so hard at those puppets, but they always transformed me. We fell into a different world, Oscar, Brown, Ellie, and me.

Other times, Ellie made me feel small, too young. “Mom, I don’t think Alex changed his clothes since three days ago.” Or, “You don’t know where babies come from? Come on, you’re almost seven!”

Awake, anyone could make me feel… Read more »