John Haggerty
In the Moments Before the M Train Arrives

John Haggerty - In the Moments Before the M Train Arrives

Fiction
John Haggerty’s work has appeared in dozens of magazines such as Carolina Quarterly, CRAFT Literary, Indiana Review, and Michigan Quarterly Review. He is the founding editor of the Forge Literary… Read more »
Katy Mullins
On the Maternity Ward

Katy Mullins - On the Maternity Ward

Fiction
Katy Mullins’ work has appeared or is forthcoming in journals such as Brevity, Bayou Magazine, and Hong Kong Review, among others. She serves on the editorial board of Nimrod International Journal… Read more »
Beverly Mason Parks
Pomegranates

Beverly Mason Parks - Pomegranates

Fiction
Beverly Mason Parks is a Baltimore native who lives and writes in North Carolina. A graduate of University of North Carolina at Greensboro, she works as a nonprofit consultant and grant writer. She… Read more »
Danielle Burnette
Popcorn

Danielle Burnette - Popcorn

Fiction
Danielle Burnette—an engineer by day, a writer by night—lives in northern California. Her short fiction has appeared in Moon City Review, The Nassau Review, The Lindenwood Review, and elsewhere.… Read more »
Marlene Olin
Ten Days in August

Marlene Olin - Ten Days in August

Fiction
Marlene Olin was born in Brooklyn, raised in Miami, and educated at the University of Michigan. Her short stories have been published or are forthcoming in journals such as The Massachusetts Review,… Read more »

Popcorn

Danielle Burnette

On the outside of the bulky Popalicious! box, a carnivalesque machine shoots sunny popcorn into the grinning mouths of a photogenic family. They remind Noah of surfacing carp—their zealous leapfrogging to catch the buttery treats. He used to love hand-feeding popcorn to the carp at the family lakeside cabin upstate—feels like more than a lifetime ago. He doublechecks the shipping label to confirm that it was his father who sent the popper.

Junior toddles over to the box. He slaps it, bites it, then looks up with hopefulness. “Popcorn?” he asks Noah.

“Maybe it’s a peace offering,” Kenzie says, fingering one of many holes in her raggedy college sweatshirt. She favors it whenever there’s a terminal patient in the children’s ward, like she’s turned her battered soul inside out.

She is too tender right now, he thinks. “He’s got to know this won’t fit in our kitchen. We don’t even fit in there.”

“I bet he’s forgotten how small our apartment is.”

“There must be more to this. Why couldn’t he just bring it by?”

“Because then he’d have to apologize.” Kenzie’s face tightens as she watches Junior’s buoyant zigzag around the room. “Maybe we should at least open it.… Read more »