Can’t wait until March 26th? Neither can we. In the meantime, here are some short stories by our March readers available online.
“Why Wait? Why Bother?” by Ed Porter from The Hudson Review
“Stephanie Kamkowski had been screening carry-on at Kennedy Airport for three years when someone said that an Arab guy had come onto the day shift. Sitting in the Houlihan’s before work, she thought she had him pegged: a dark-haired, dark-complexioned middle-aged man of slender build, standing at the breakfast buffet wearing a Yankees cap. He frowned at the chafing dishes of ham, bacon, and eggs, and placed an orange and a yogurt on his plastic tray. Later, she saw him in the break room, and at the boarding security line for Delta, observing. He ate by himself and disappeared after each shift. Freddie Novak the shift supervisor called him Eee-mad, but the rest of them called him “the Arab guy.”
He was different, no doubt about it. She hadn’t known any Arabs before. It put you on your guard, and at the same time, she felt bad because as far as she knew, he was just a normal guy.” Read more at The Hudson Review!
“Dead Christ” by Brian Bouldrey from TriQuarterly
“The Party” by Mario Zambrano from Five Chapters
“It was at the conservatory in Prague where we first met. Johan had come from Stockholm at ten years old, shy as a skittish cat with his blue eyes hidden every time he lowered his chin. On his first day to class he stood at the end of the barre next to the stack of wooden chairs kept there for when visitors came to watch. He was shorter than the rest of us boys, and even some of the girls, so you can imagine how the others teased him. But it was Alina who was the first to stand behind him. Every time we’d finish a tendu combination, she’d quickly turn around so he’d have to look at her, which is how she softened him—by looking at him in that wry way of hers that seemed flirtatious.
Between classes we’d sit by the exit staircase at the side of the building where the tall windows were, and she’d tell us all about how Johan never failed to remember the combinations. At that hour so early in the morning, at that age—we began pliés at nine—it was common to make mistakes. Our ballet mistress, Madame Provinska, was in her seventies back then and would hardly demonstrate what to do. She announced the barre combinations, often sitting in a chair too small for her at the front of the room. She wore a black dress and a black shawl and her only color was the red lipstick applied to her thin lips. With her black shoes that had wooden heels she’d walk around the room during an exercise and you could hear her coming—cluck, cluck, cluck. All of us would raise our shoulders in fear, because if a knee was bent or a wrist lazily bent, she’d slap it with a thin bamboo stick.” Read more at Five Chapters!