Reverse-Gentrification of the Literary World

Akashic Books

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Tag: short fiction

“Tantrum” by Krystal A. Sital

She flies to her room with that awkward run that’s typical of children under three. It’s the the quick thump-thump-thump of her feet on the hardwood floors that makes me smile. Colette was a late walker, so that kind of purposeful movement, even if done in anger, amazes me . . .

“Killing Time” by Kirsten Rae Simonsen

We arrived around three a.m. and banged on the door, which swung open. The tiny white apartment was filled with pasty-faced, sweating people, hopping and hollering to a harrowing type of Dutch hardcore techno that thumped angrily through the speakers . . .

“Captain America” by Angele Sionna

Captain America is cupping my son’s balls this morning.

Yes, you heard me right. Captain America—in full uniform, arms out wide, shield in hand—is spread across my four-year-old’s nuts as we speak . . . because when my son woke up this morning, he walked into the living room, frank and beans in full display on top of his pajama pants. When I inquired about this oddity, he said his pee-pee hurt and begged me to fix it. Of course I agreed to help. What’s a mommy to do? . . .

“Harp in the Key of B” by George Masters

Thirty-five minutes before kickoff, my brother Pat got a phone call at the Superdome from his wife Trudy.

Trudy was alone in the back of her antique store on Magazine. Pat walked in, and the bell on the door tinkled.

“What’s the problem?” . . .

“Fuck the Celebrities” by Sheila Mannix

He was talking too much; either he had unstable nerves or he was wasted. I asked what he was on.

“Blow,” he said. “Want some?”

I smiled like I felt sorry for him having to ask such a question. He handed me a bag under the table.

“Enjoy,” he said . . .

“Blomfeldt’s Paperboy” by Jeff Esterholm

Blomfeldt, who would die across the bay in a Duluth hospice at the age of eighty-two, first had the dream in 1966, when he was still a detective with the Superior Police Department. The dream skipped back through the years like a needle in the groove at the end of an LP—the tone arm failing to automatically lift, the thup-thup sound—and he was back in the head of Patrick Severson, the fourteen-year-old paperboy . . .