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Fiction: 2020s

Fiction of the Day

Walks

By Caleb Crain

As soon as Farley’s collar was unhooked, he took the nearest, steepest slope down into the dell. By the time he reached the bottom, he was fishtailing a little, his looser back legs having descended slightly faster than his front ones. He fetched up between a black Lab mix named Scout and Scout’s owner. To get between a rival dog and its owner was strategy. Cut off the opposing army from its supply.

“Seen anything good?” Scout’s owner asked.

Jacob was in the habit of bringing his camera to the park, and it was around his neck. “A wasp’s nest, but it’s too high. Did you start that job at the hospital?”

A Supernatural Landscape of Love and Grief Not Unlike Your Own

By Peyton Burgess

Sometimes PB to my students, Sack to my friends, and always Pete to my family, my name is Peter Burgundy and I worry that death has been my only inspiration to be a better person—that death has had a way of making life understandable. And oh whoa, how I worry that this will be the case till kingdom come—walking through every day to the quiet beat of grief ’s unfinished heart.

Somebody shouldn’t always have to die, right?

Uhtceare

By John Jeremiah Sullivan


CHAIR


When I was small my parents would host a lot of parties. I don’t know if they had more friends then or were just, as people say, “at a more social place in their lives,” but at least once a month there would be a bunch of adults in our apartment, drinking crappy wine and trying to play our untunable piano. There is something powerful for a child about your parents having people over. It’s not anything that happens at the parties but the evidence they give you that people feel safe where you live. That must go back to the savanna. Sometimes things happened at the parties that I was probably too young to see, but nothing scarring, just grown-up scenes.

Hive

By Mary Kuryla

The thing about the shape of a bee, which might be why it is often drawn curved around a flower with the black head bowed over the thorax and the knees tucked in lovely and benign as a comma, lucent wings arching from stripes furred to catch pollen blurring with light, is that the shape of the bee is like the honey it makes, sweet, healing, golden-lit from within such that a bee fallen dead on the rug or balled along the base of a window frame still holds the comma shape, and while it may be that