The Wives Are Turning into Animals


The Wives Are Turning into Animals


Amber Sparks

The husbands are almost sure of it. They have strong memories of an earlier time, of the wives with soft smooth faces and ten fingers and toes.

But lately, things have changed. Some of the wives have grown scaly patches, or sprouted thick pelts. Some wives have shrunk considerably. White, wide wings have unfolded, horns have appeared, tongues have grown longer and rougher and pinker, noses wetter and more sensitive than before.

The men have grown uneasy at night, listening to the wheezing and snorting of the wives as they sleep, as they embrace their husbands with tentacles and talons and long tails. The husbands aren’t sure what to do, whether to say something. They wonder if it would be rude to ask about the wives’ new appetites, their sudden hunger for mice and mealworms and raw, wriggling fish. They worry that they won’t be able to keep these ravenous wives fed. They worry that the neighbors will complain about the carcasses littering their lawns.

The husbands worry, most of all, that their wives will finally fly or crawl or swim away, untethered from the promises that only humans make or keep.



Amber Sparks is the author of the short story collection May We Shed These Human Bodies, and the co-author, with Robert Kloss, of the upcoming The Desert Places—both published by Curbside Splendor. She lives in Washington, DC, with a husband and two beasts.

Sex In Siberia


Sex In Siberia

by Meg Pokrass

My imaginary man lives in Siberia. We touch down on each other like  helicopters. I smile, move my mouth around him—offer a warming hut, a place to explode.  When he bursts, storm clouds open.

Southern California boasts mild, featureless people. The Weather Channel’s talking heads, all botoxed and baby-fatted in their cheeks, ramble on about radical snowstorms in New York State. I paint leaves, collect Styrofoam in buckets. Driving downtown for wrapping paper, I count the fake blonds wearing two dollar Santa Claus hats.

My parents divorced and nobody yells anymore, but that is no longer important. I want a Siberian life, a Siberian husband. One whose hair changes from brown to light.

My dog seems worried, and so he and I take long walks. Sweat trickles down my back. The dog pants miserably. I promise him that someday, we’ll skate alongside a large man who loves Labs.

In December, I slump into bed early, imagine what it will be like—Siberian sex. Better than any other kind—so cold outside, so warm under the covers. I ball up socks and rub them where the man would go. We’re there, and he is teaching me how to taste snow.



Meg Pokrass is the author of Damn Sure Right, a collection of stories. Her second collection, Happy Upside Down, will be released in the fall of  2013. Meg’s work appears in PANK, McSweeney’s, The Literarian, storySouth, Smokelong Quarterly, Gigantic, Kitty Snacks, Wigleaf, The Rumpus, Yalobusha Review, Gargoyle, and Roadside Curiosities: Stories About American Pop Culture (University of Leipzig Press in conjunction with Picador, 2013). Information about her work can be found here:

Flash Fiction Series: Sarah Sarai


by Sarah Sarai

It is no secret that there is a lot of jabber in the world coming from everywhere including the streets and the houses with their people and telephones and radios and TVs, all of them blasting at you day and night so there is no peace.  I know none of these things, these inventions or these people, are really saying anything to anyone, let alone to you or me.  This is a fact.  Some of the people who live here claim otherwise.  They slink up to me real nefarious, ask me if I’ve heard the message and then slink off.  I walked into the communism room last night, with all these empty chairs but one and the TV going real loud and this guy sitting but kind of jerking towards the TV.  He looked at me like I was an emissary of the third coming — the second coming is past tense to most of the people around here — and pointed like we had this shared secret knowledge, at the tube, then directed his eyes right into mine as if there was anything in his stupid mind to communicate.  I said, “Shut up,” and walked out.  I said it loud to make sure he heard me because if you don’t stick up for yourself it isn’t my problem. READ MORE

Flash Fiction Series: David Bowen

One More Banana

by David Bowen


Cheetah’s sister, Marie, chose a banana from the kitchen table, where Tarzan had thrown the day’s take. He fell into his easy chair with a growl and a wave of his hand. Marie repeated the dismissive gesture with her banana, but silently.

“I’m sick of it too, kid. Banana stew, mashed bananas, banana chowder.” Tarzan held up his hand. “Jesus—I think my skin’s turning yellow.” READ MORE