Endangered

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The artists were kept in cages. This was for their own good. The world had gotten really ugly, really fast, and the artists, generally, did not have the skills to survive. Most did not know how to shoot guns, for instance. Or how to make bombs out of soda bottles. The artists were a dying breed, in all honesty, which is why the government, along with a few wealthy do-gooders, put them in cages—nice cages—that resembled the artists’ natural habitats. One pen looked like a gallery opening, with wine, cheese, and water crackers restocked daily. Another featured dumpster couches paired with a threadbare oriental rug. […]

Web Exclusive Interview: Daisy Johnson

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April’s Web Exclusive, “A Bruise the Size and Shape of a Door Handle,” is a haunting story whose slow, creeping tension evokes the likes of Edgar Allen Poe and Shirley Jackson. And yet it is so thoroughly modern, an enlightened study of unhinged, potent adolescent-female sexuality. […]

Web Exclusive Interview: Libby Flores

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Our March Web Exclusive story, “Good,” viewed a goodbye from the perspective of the one who did the dick move, “the bad guy,” reminding us that good writing isn’t at all interested in concept of “the bad guy.” Author Libby Flores talked with us about writing the other side of the story, Amy Hempel’s advice about tackling a big concept, and how Tom Waits lyrics are basically terrific flash fiction. […]

A Bruise the Size and Shape of a Door Handle

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When Salma was nine her mother died and she went to live with the father she knew only through birthday phone calls and from her mother’s steel-lined phraseology—he was a bitch on heat; a fucking rabid, no-cock-and-balled pug with more horn than a wolfhound.

They stood in the hallway and looked at one another.

Pick a room, any room, he said.

She took the attic as if it were a birthright, carrying one suitcase up after the other. Life was a making do and she stood on the bed and stretched to place both hands flat on the ceiling, leaving her prints in dust. […]

Web Exclusive Interview: Michael Powers

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In February’s Web Exclusive, “Lake House,” a couple has retired to a remote location. We know there is tension between them, and between the narrator and his adult son, but the origins and causes of this tension are only hinted at, the way a painting focuses its composition by suggesting some elements and detailing others. Our more detailed image is that of a drone silently making its way across the treetops […]

Good

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Sea grass tickled the backs of our knees as we crossed the beach. Meredith was trailing behind, humming something familiar, but it was faint, mixed with the salt in the wind. Barefoot, I sank deeper. We were walking toward the water, meeting the edge of the continent, both feeling strange. I turned to make sure […]

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