(excerpt from Laws of Flight by Darren Greer)
DALTON AND I USED to fly to the river.
The river runs right through the centre of town and then makes its way through the country all the way down to Mill Village and Liverpool, to the sea.
It was our favorite thing to do, to stay just twenty feet or so above it, side by side, sometimes holding hands and flying as fast as we could go until we got to the end. Our speed was never so great as when we flew the river.
We knew every crook and every pool. Every eddy and every fall.
We could do it in our sleep.
“We do do it in our sleep,” laughed Dalton.
We never flew the river alone because of the ocean.
When you reach the end of the river and come out on the water endlessly stretching before you, it’s hard to know when to stop. You don’t want to stop. You want to keep on flying further and further until you discover where it ends. It’s almost as tempting as the stars.
Dalton said if we didn’t have each other we might not stop. We might never come back and so be lost forever. So we made a rule that when we go we only go together, where Dalton could always tell me to stop and turn around.
And I always did. But it was hard.
Cecile’s lower lip sticks out. “Tell me how you are.”
She leans into my shoulder. Khalid is looking over our heads at the big-screen hockey. “Really fine?”
Cecile never believes anything is good unless it’s in a book or on TV. She only talks about the problems in her life: the leak in the bathroom ceiling, her mom bugging her to get married, her sister’s eczema. The right answer for Cecile is something that is wrong.
St. Peter put his hand on David’s shoulder. “Here’s the deal. All you have to do to get into Heaven is get over the gates.”
“That sounds pretty simple.”
“Does it?” St. Peter asked. He pointed towards the top of the gates, which now seemed impossibly tall.
“How high are they?” David asked.
“Depends on who’s looking at it,” St. Peter said.
The first release in our new one-story-at-a-time format is Romance, a short story from Dave Margoshes’ new collection, God Telling a Joke and Other Stories.
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Here’s your chance to read, for free, Somehow There Was More Here by Danny Goodman - a writer Scotiabank Giller Prize-winning author Joseph Boyden (The Orenda, Through Black Spruce) calls “an old soul, one who can actually capture and crystallize the modern experience.”
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Featuring stories by Kirsty Logan, Pauline Holdstock, Caroline Adderson, Danny Goodman, Chad Pelley, Jessica Westhead, Jack Bootle, Courtney McDermott, and more!
from Everything Must Go by Jeff Dupuis
“I’ll give you a dollar apiece for Rope, Vertigo, Blade Runner, and Evil Dead 2.”
“We agreed on the whole box for fifty.”
“I changed my mind.”
“You baby boomers think you’re entitled to everything, don’t you? Stop wasting my time.”
The mellow rushes out of my room as if a fire alarm had been pulled, and I notice how empty it all feels. The turtleneck indignantly clip-clops down the stairs, leaving empty-handed. It takes a lifetime of entitlement to cultivate a tool like that guy, kinda like those thousand-pound pumpkins that win ribbons at county fairs.
A man in the throes of a breakup sells all of his possessions on Kijiji and Craigslist in Jeff Dupuis’ Everything Must Go. Read an extended preview and/or buy the ebook single.
from Submission by Suad Ali
He does something with his eyebrows. “Turns out, one of his kids is sick. Really sick. His supervisor still won’t give him a ticket. He starts to lose it. Realizes it was a big mistake coming here. Skips work one day, gets fired, starts drinking.”
“And he kills the supervisor?”
Noor keeps washing dishes, drying, policing her tidy apartment. She lives here rent-free, but her employer promised a larger and more luxurious space. You can buy almost anything in Dubai, though integrity can be difficult to procure.
“People are awful. People are shit. Especially in this place. Get me another beer, okay?”
A young woman in Dubai reflects upon contradictions inherent in all cultures in Suad Ali’s Submission. Read an extended preview and/or buy the ebook single.
from Wolves by Naomi K. Lewis
KEEP A STORY SIMPLE. As simple as possible. Learn to recognize the blink-blink of maybe I don’t believe you. Learn to meet glances with a kind of, that’s okay; I get by just fine with my one arm. Adults stepped out of the way for me, and stared while pretending not to, especially when I limped. After the sling and cast came off, I’d some days tuck one arm into my jacket again, when I really needed that one-armed-boy feeling—but never when Mom was there.
In Wolves by Naomi K. Lewis, a young man’s escalating lies destroy his relationships, alienate his loved ones, and land him in hot water with police. Read an extended preview and/or buy the ebook single.