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No Gold Rush

It was during my last year as a graduate student in San Diego that I experienced for the first time what it meant to be the object of someone else’s… how should I put it? “Romantic interest”? “Passion”? “Love”? Until then, love had been for me something I was in, and the object of my affection was either dead, or a literary character, or some other unattainable person.

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Public Enemy

vachel lindsay wearing hat

If he was one of the ghostly dead, he would be able to speak with these spirits, free to wander with them among the trees of laughing bells. Such free places would never be created on earth, he had finally come to understand.

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When the Evening Reaches Here

I stared down into the toilet bowl and the thick yellow ring inside. I’d noticed it before, but never so close. I thought about the Dutch girl.

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Town of Strangers

The last thing I remember from that night was dancing on a table with a pitcher in each hand, singing “Sonuva gun, gonna’ have some fun, in the bayou.” Inside, I could hear the bloodhounds coming.

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Without my heart the world seems very quiet, hushed, like when a storm knocks the electricity out. I hadn’t realized how loud it had been, the steady beating, the rush of blood in my ears, until it was gone.

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A Design History of Icebergs and Their Applications

Here is a new winter, a season apart from memory, untied from any author’s signature, all but autonomous.

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Fat People Fat Camp

The two bodies formed a single massive silhouette. Eight whispered into Four’s ear, “If it were daytime, we’d blot out the sun.”

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Break Through Whatever Happens to You

You’ve gone crazy and I pity the ill-fated woman you’ve become – you who through no fault of your own lives like a prisoner and trudges through life like a pregnant woman slowly pushing her belly

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Life of the Mind

My dad was a noble man. He refused to leave behind his possessions in the wake of disaster, and after an accident on the highway once, he stayed in his car as it was towed to the repair shop.

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First to Go

The symmetrical rows of Nazi-planted pine forests click by like the tines of a giant hairbrush. The forest for the trees—a saying that means missing the big picture. Guilty, she thinks. Guilty, guilty, guilty.

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Zeitgeist Fitzgibbons, Marketing Maverick, Talks Tactics

Barely restraining my anger, I made him say the word ‘niche’ with me. We pronounced the word variously, and he chose his favorite rendition. I then informed him, ‘The mainstream is a hallucination. It is the opium dream of plump buffoons and tyrants, who categorically deny the ascendancy of niches.’

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The Vinegar Tasters

MuRaList: Yesterday you weren’t claiming to have killed someone in your closet.
FEEL_gd: Do you feel scared?

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Last Suppers

I tell her asparagus is the poor man’s truffle anyway, preferring this minor lie to the larger one that says the produce was actually intended for an old Polish man who likes Vicki Carr records and pinochle.

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The Last Gasp Hotel

woman in bondage

Somewhere in the inaccessible reaches of my brain a control panel was lighting up, buttons were flashing, bells were ringing, but my feet were nailed to the floorboards of the Last Gasp Hotel.

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How I Picked My First Communist In America

Though I am definitely myopic, I’m not naïve. I’ve met Communists in America before today. But not the real ones.

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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.