Bourbon and Milk: Notebook to Nightcap

Live Oak vintage postcard 200SQUARE

Bourbon and Milk is an ongoing series that dives into the perplexing spaces parenting sometimes pushes us and explores the unexpected ways writers may grow in them. If you’re interested in joining the conversation or contributing a Bourbon and Milk post, query Giuseppe Taurino at giuseppe@americanshortfiction.org. — It’s five a.m., and I’m thinking of how my […]

The Battle

Monitors_SQ

The voice crackled through the oxidized copper grill. “What do you see?” it said. “It’s important that you tell us exactly what you see.” But Sergei didn’t look at his screen. Instead he wiped the aspic from his drooping mustache, closed his government-issued lunch pail and glanced over at Ivan asleep at his joystick. Sergei […]

All the Girls We Knew in the Suburbs

"Snowy Night 10" by Jeff Willard. Used with permission.

It was the night before Christmas, but all that meant to us was that no one else was out and the suburbs were our playgrounds more than ever. We were two Jewish kids from the city and it was not our holy night. No family unwrapping ceremonies awaited us in the morning. Our days of unwrapping, all eight of them, had ended a week earlier, though those days of miracle light were not our holiest. Everyone thought that because they fell so close to Christmas, even if no one ever knew exactly when; they seemed to orbit around the birth of Christ like a set of moons, sometimes close, sometimes far. Our holiest rituals fell in autumn, though in truth nothing was particularly holy to us. We were not much for atonement. […]

Online Fiction Interview: C.M. Barnes

CMBarnes_AuthorPhoto_SQUARE

This month, I want to preface our online exclusive interview with an anecdote. In my first semester of graduate school, I taught an introductory creative writing class in which I received four—four!—stories that were about a dying or recently deceased grandmother. My first thought: why no dead grandfathers? My second thought: along with stories about car crashes and college keg parties, I must ban stories about dead or dying grandmothers in future classes, and that’s just what I did. […]

In Our Defense

Barnes_623x400

So help us, we spread her remains in a minnow bucket. It shouldn’t have come to that, but there was a law against scattering ashes in the lake, and we had to be clandestine out in the boat, the rope tossed casually over the side, the sooty remainder of her trickling out through the sieve holes. We played her favorite music: Sinatra, Bennett—old-timey, feel-good stuff—and sipped G&Ts as we plowed through the chop. […]

ASF Reads