Do you have a time machine? Why’d you get yours? To kill Hitler? So cliché. I know—to win the lottery and become a new-money Sausalito wine collector. Ignore your drunk friends egging you on to leap from the roof to the pool? Maybe save someone you love from dying?
GOING DOWN by Jon Beight
33… 32… 31. The red digital display above the double doors of the only elevator heading to the ground floor is counting down.
WELCOME TO BRIDGETON by Jordan Lewis
Rodney McLean spat out the window and listened to the fitful cough of his old Ford pickup truck as it tried to turn over. “You’re a damn stubborn old mule, you know that?” he said. “Come on, get going, you whore.” He huddled over the steering wheel as if whispering the denigration to the dashboard.
ACCEPTANCE by Michael Cho
The letter informs you of a sale—you are now, officially, a published author! Your heart thumps, a grin stretches your cheeks. You fold the letter and put it back in the envelope, then take it out and unfold it, all for the pleasure of reading the lines again as if for the first time.
THE WAFFLE BARN by Richard Bauer
I nearly opened the menu, but instead pushed it aside to make room for the coffee I knew was on its way. The wait staff had stopped taking our order years ago. Probably sick of the joke, “What else does a person order than waffles at The Waffle Barn?” I can’t take the credit, though. Dad said it first. He’s had a lot to say, actually, over the years—I listen and I listen and then I pick up the bill.
THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EXACT by Alyce Campbell
Lieutenant Duke LeJeune tapped his pencil in frustration on the large birch table. This interrogation wasn’t going well. The answers from his target were either absurdly detailed or absurdly vague: by design, he suspected.
TARNISHED SILVER by Brian Koukol
It wasn’t the best sandwich she’d ever made, but that couldn’t be helped. If they still made Wonder Bread, no store in La Jolla carried it, and the whole wheat stuff she was forced into eating gave her gas.
THE PORTRAIT OF ELSPETH by Peter Marsh
Elspeth is hogging the attention, when it should be George’s big day. There’s poor old George in the dining room waiting for the lid to be screwed down, and here are the four of us in the front parlour, arguing over who should get his beloved portrait of Elspeth.
REVOLVING DOORS by Sharon Frame Gay
I spend my time now in the space between heartbeats, where silence sings of memories. How could you leave me here, alone, when you were the only one who believed in me?