The Cupcake Factory

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This is New Hampshire in winter, past midnight. The roads are clear, the houses dark, the sky a suffering orange-gray, fat with frost and the forecasted blizzard. In the distance, like the North Star, John Stapleton, Jr. can see the truck-stop sign hovering above I-95, Bob’s Big Boy spinning just above the tree line, offering up his empty tray.

Stapleton’s sister Esther is driving. She tucks a greasy lock of hair behind her ear and pounds a fist on the dashboard, trying to resuscitate the speakers, which have worked sporadically for years but seem to have sputtered out completely today, along with their banter. Still, he trusts her enough not to ask where they’re going. […]

Things American: In the Air, Election Night 2016

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My ears won’t pop, and the bites on my right arm itch, my arm and neck—red flares I can’t ascribe to any particular predator, just marks of Texas. I get a second tiny bottle of whiskey. My taller-than-me daughter sleeps against my shoulder, too old these days, too grown up. We are over the Rockies, Denver to Helena, a tiny plane half full. I get the second whiskey because the flight attendant asks if I want another before she closes out her till. No flight attendant has ever asked me this. I will always have another if offered […]

Online Fiction Interview: David Naimon

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David Naimon‘s “The Battle” is an oddball buddy tale of sorts set in a Black Sea bunker in some not-too-far-off future. The stakes are high—international tensions run deep as global warming has opened the arctic to shipping lanes—and Sergei, Naimon’s protagonist, is charged with monitoring the progress of Russian submarines as they stake claims on […]

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