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To Consider When Missing Your Sisters


Think about the time Elizabeth tried to kill you. How she threw one of your mother’s navy blue pumps at your forehead. She hoped the three-inch heel would go straight through your skull and lodge into your brain.

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Jack & Emily Texas Roadside Incident, Summer 2012

West Texas Roadside

It’s the adult thing to do, thought Jack, to help people if you can. Then, no, he thought. It’s the childish thing, the need to find out if the world’s promise of danger is real.

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Woman Hibernating

Louise decided that in the winter she would hibernate. She created a cave in her bedroom closet and filled it with modern necessities.

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Once, when we were younger, Mr. Shabadogi, Navid and I threw pennies into the water below the bridge and wished we weren’t spending Thanksgiving in Baltimore.

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Queen of the Damned


Lucy is pregnant. She calls the clinic and makes an appointment for her fourth abortion. She is twenty-three.

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Nice To Have a Man Around the House

Nice to Have a Man Around the House

Just because a man shows up on your balcony doesn’t mean it’s a good thing, no matter how agreeable he is.

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We Are The Pretty

We are the Pretty

We talk about you behind your back, Samantha Oswald. In the hallways and the bathrooms and the cafeteria. In the locker room after field hockey practice. You’re very popular.

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A Bird in the House

Life is not how you thought it was. An intruder is in your house. Glassy, unclosing eyes have been watching your most secret rituals.

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Please Note That I Am Not Burt Reynolds*

Burt Reynolds

There was probably a point when I should have mentioned that I wasn’t actually Burt Reynolds.

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It had to do with desire, the Eugene O’Neill sort of desire, the sort that you can’t ignore, that you shouldn’t ignore. It would be wrong to ignore.

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Lovely Theater

Blue Eye

nothing linear for the learned, no betters, none worse, no caste, but processing, there’s only 10 kinds of people in the world, the on-off switch fires or doesn’t fire for them, the on-off switch doesn’t exist…

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I believe in the things that you believe in, he said. You and I are one, he said. That makes sense to me, I said, where do you sign me up, so he took me to the voting booth and held my hand while I pressed the button.

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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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    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.