Fiction

Original fiction from Identity Theory. Subscribe: RSS

Close Your Eyes

She points to her mouth but doesn’t say a word. He stands up and quietly puts his pants on. Then, she wakes up.

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Yellow Teeth

In the rear-view mirror, my yellow teeth looked buttery. If I hadn’t forgotten my cell phone, I’d leave myself a message to look into those new Crest strips I’d just seen advertised. I looked again: golden-retriever yellow. Fuck! I hit something. I slammed the brakes and squealed to a stop and then reversed. He was […]

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Butternut Squash

A little learning is a dangerous thing; Drink deep or taste not the Pierian spring. –Alexander Pope, “Essay on Criticism” Looking at simple things in a cosmic way is the work of a poet. Accordingly, Thaddeus Edelstein made a point of keeping his eyes open. He wouldn’t want to miss the world in a grain […]

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MOM

The Jewish stockbroker I dated said facetiously, “I think the Ku Klux Klan sent you here to fuck all the Jews to death.”

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Life on Earth Deserves to be Lived in Vegas

I was sinning in the shower this morning, thinking about the six Tony nominations this past season for Arthur Miller’s revival of The Crucible on Broadway. What is there about America that craves witch-hunts? Damned if I know. And I was wishing I was in Las Vegas, "the city that has re-discovered Sin," according to […]

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Nome Sane

Uncle Shelby, Sippy Salvatore, Silent Edgar, Ramos the Bull God, Alejandro the Hammer, Peter the Wolf, The Ghost of Thom Jones, names by which my ilk are known or have been known, all. Name by which I go when I go at night from this place in the hills with my hollow prayer book in […]

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A Closed Field

Outside, the last sunlight in the world plays in the treetops, turns shimmering leaflets gold. Row upon row of dazzled green cornstalks reach up, blind, into the empty blue sky. A purple strip of road divides us. A shadowy figure, sack over his shoulder, follows his feet along the edge of the ditch. He stops […]

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Jiffy Popped Corn and Puppy Don’t Care

Helen Astley and Henry Stein lay cuddled together in bed with the lights off, munching Jiffy Pop, watching an old western flick, For a Few Dollars More. They were no longer each other’s lovers. Five years of hot and cold drama had left the two numb: frostbitten below, scorched in the head. Still, they enjoyed […]

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Angel’s Left

1 "Doggy, dear," says Kari Moore, "fetch mommy up another ocean." "Make it two," says Deb Trigaboff. "Three," says Marguerite Mauvoisin. "Five," says Tristram le Brun, the wickedest of the wicked wives club. Kari has grounded her stepson Doug—aka Dougie, then Doggy, Mutt and Biatch and variables thereof and beyond as the day grinds on—on […]

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Why I Went to Portugal

Katy and Kyle suggested I take language lessons, but I wasn’t going to Portugal to talk. I would speak as I ate and slept—not deliberately; indiscriminately and disjointedly; between slugs of fizzy wine and lungfuls of potent Moroccan hashish; almost by accident. Dee, my girlfriend at the time, joked I was off to try my […]

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Constant, Steady Strokes

Then comes the part when I say, "Boy, you have to lie."

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Passion and Apathy

Wake up naked, alone, under a cosmos of faintly glowing star stickers. I am in Betsy’s bed. My bad. But where is she?

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“this own-lee”

That coffee you drank, you’re sort of half-wondering whether it will go better with champagne than toothpaste and orange juice, but you can’t put too much thought into it now as there is a hungry demon on your windowsill doing business as a nut-obsessed squirrel you’d like to photograph. Besides, the meat of your proposal […]

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While You Were Out

While you were out the world exploded, and I, at the time, was home, so I will be gone by the time you return.

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The Herds are Charging Through the Room

Mother is crying. They have sensed something sinister, some danger perhaps: the snarl of a lion, the lurk of a predator on the prowl. Or maybe they have detected some force we cannot discern, some signal portending events more apocalyptic: the trembling of the earth, the violent belching of a not-too-distant volcano. They could not […]

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    Identity Theory publishes fiction from new and up-and-coming writers, with special attention paid to promoting strong literary voices. To contribute a short story, read our fiction submission guidelines.