These Ones Are Jerks

Before they left (having tried so hard), they put a sign up in their alien language on the dark side of the moon, pointed out towards the solar system, the galaxy, the universe. We couldn’t figure out what it said, but no other aliens ever visited us again. Timothy C. Goodwin has work included in … More These Ones Are Jerks


Sister Patricia let the seventh letter drop into place. “I bet you didn’t see that coming,” she said to the two wide-eyed girls in front of her. Grim-faced, she turned to tend the fire and chicken. A handful of white feathers floated to the ground as she pulled a hankie from her apron pocket. Smoke … More Admission

The Man Chair

It’s part of my job at Voyages—an upscale boutique catering to women of a certain age—to make polite chitchat with the white-haired gentlemen who sit in the Man Chair parked outside our dressing room. I offer the men pint-sized water bottles and smile—wanly—when they tell me, I make the money and the little lady spends … More The Man Chair

When the Elders Brought You to Me I Thought You Were a Gift From God

I wept as I bathed you, dusty from the plain and scraped from the mountains. I fashioned you a doll from sackcloth and a hank of straw, and held you when your terrors shook you awake. I was alone too, barren and most likely widowed. You were still mute after three months, although your stick … More When the Elders Brought You to Me I Thought You Were a Gift From God

I Forgive You

He was such an upstanding young man, after all. “I forgive you,” said his coach. “I forgive you,” said his priest. “I forgive you,” said his father and brothers. And his mother, before long. “I forgive you,” his friends would have said, had they felt there was anything to forgive. “I forgive you,” said the … More I Forgive You

Hero Worship

Whatever you saw, no you didn’t. Stop crying please. Mary shakes me with trackmarked arms. Look at you, you’d break if someone really hit you. My beautiful, broken sister. But her boyfriend really did hit me. Bruce. I understand people like him better than people like Mary. Nonverbal communication. One slap ringing out. Gun in … More Hero Worship

This Was Love

Shawn felt the sting of his father’s belt. The leather snapped against his back and ricocheted off the apartment walls like blasts of thunder. After the beating stopped, his dad melted into a deluge of tears. He pulled Shawn into a tight embrace and sobbed drunken apologies. Shawn hugged back. To him, this was love. … More This Was Love

Tangled Strands

We read the report while the microwave nukes congealed takeaway. Not a firm mass, think tangled strands of Jello, the sarcoma specialist said. My voice cracks as I put on the kettle. “That’s why her cancer cells multiplied, the poison in that rubbish you call food.” My wife points her finger. “Nothing to do with … More Tangled Strands

Seeing the Other Country

The brothers were in back of the old Voyager van, silver-blue, arguing over Mario Kart. Luke wanted Yoshi when they got home—Victor had him last time—but Victor said he’d won, and winner got to pick. Then Luke called Victor a jerk, and Victor called out, “Mom! Did you hear?” The next instant Luke was slammed … More Seeing the Other Country