So I’m a sucker for reading too much into an author’s bio. Example A: “Ryan W. Bradley has pumped gas, painted houses, swept the floor of a mechanic’s shop, worked on a construction crew in the Arctic Circle, fronted a punk band, and more.” Give me a bio that includes “worked construction in the ArcticContinue Reading

The Language of Depression

There is no quicker way to spiral downward as a depressive than to start thinking about all the things you want out of life, all the things you expect and desire for yourself. In Reasons to Stay Alive, Matt Haig warns against getting lost in thinking about where you are in relation to where youContinue Reading

Bugs and Olive

Gabe’s father sat in a camping chair with the trailer’s operating manual, which he read like the Bible, every morning, and made notes along the margins with a fine-tip pen. Out of a newly formed routine, Gabe felt the urge to compare him to some type of bird, but found it difficult due to his father’s arsenal of rifles lined against the trailer’s paneling. Gabe interpreted this as a kind of political statement, but his father claimed he was just being prepared: He believed that bear was coming back.Continue Reading

I Ended Up Saying Something

I came to know them all. I knew them well enough to hate them. Except the artist. I grew to love the artist.Continue Reading

The Great Invader

A cool breeze swept out of the nearby hills. Summer’s death rattle. We lingered in the playground across the field from the Great Invader as long as we could, knowing our parents would expect us home soon. Shanker hung from the jungle gym, lifting his chin again and again above the high bar. Caleb andContinue Reading

The Enforcer

This all started when my doppelganger up and died.Continue Reading

Does this look like Chi?

There are two types of kids. The type when they get sick their parent takes them to the doctor and they get better. Then there are kids who’d get sick and don’t know how to go to the doctor. All they know is that it probably cost money that they don’t have and their momContinue Reading

In the Bar Ditch

We got greedy. We wanted a baby out of her. She was so nice we couldn’t just have one of her. We needed two. Now we have none of her.Continue Reading

We’d Be Soldiers

“They were my friends, and I wanted to kill them.”Continue Reading


Skip knocked on the cabin door. Didn’t get an answer. Walked right in. The place was as he remembered it. Stuffed with stuffed animals. Birds and foxes on fake wood perches. Deer heads hovering over the wood-burning stove. Largemouth bass in exaggerated poses of high drama. A stink hung in the air like a chandelier.Continue Reading