“his eyes were heavy, his muscles ached.” By Julia on Lindsay’s couch


Thursday March 3, 2016
11:46pm
5 minutes
Walkabout
James Vance Marshall


Poor thing had just come in from an unexpected encounter. He was sore all over, one eye glued right shut-save for the little drop of blood that squeezed out and marked up his left cheek. I didn’t know what to do, seeing him like that. I imagined Teri wouldn’t want to know that her little boy had been horse whipped by her own brother, but she was bound to find out sooner or later. I took him over to the sink and I tried to dab a cool cloth on his face, on that nasty eye. He pulled away at first but when I started humming to him he calmed down a bit. I told him over and over again I was so sorry. I didn’t know Elliot would be home so early. I didn’t even have two seconds to hide the sweet little thing before he got his monster hands on him. When I bent down close to meet his eyes with mine, little thing whispered to me, please don’t tell my mom.

“technically I could be there by” by Sasha on her couch


Saturday November 28, 2015
7:37pm
5 minutes
From an email

Harriet prays that Kendra might, by divine grace, arrive early. She’s been alone with Sam and Leah for three days straight. Vic had to take the job, their financial woes causing her eczema and him lock-jaw. “I’ll only be away seven days out of the month, hon,” Vic had said, picking a chunk of oatmeal off her sweater.

When Kendra gets there, all rosy cheeks and perky breasts, Harriet considers kissing her. She hasn’t kissed a woman since college, when she experimented with lesbianism via a three months relationship with Luella, her Spanish TA. She decides against it, she needs Kendra, in a practical, supercharged way that trumps saviour lust.

“His name is Luke.” by Julia on her couch


Saturday July 11, 2015
10:59pm
5 minutes
Overheard at Higher Grounds

After she named her first two boys Matthew and Mark, everyone thought she’d name her third one Luke. She didn’t name the first two with any religious references in mind, she simply wanted the names and that was that. She might have named the third one Luke but she never liked the name. It felt too small for a man once he grew up. That and it reminded her of the first boy she ever agreed to marry. Luke Walker had asked her to marry him in the first grade and she said yes because that’s what six year olds do. He was small and feminine and had a horrendously small nose. She only said yes because she thought Andrew Griffith was going to ask Sylvia Van Kasterin to marry him. Turns out Andrew liked her all along. She found out when he left school to join the army.

“And she put her arms around me,” by Julia on her couch


Tuesday, July 7, 2015
12:12am
5 minutes
A Complicated Kindness
Miriam Toews


My mother hates to see me cry. She doesn’t hate to offer me money, or sneak a 50 in my coat pocket when she thinks I’m not looking, even though she knows those exact things will make me cry, but when I start with the tears, it breaks her abundant heart. She doesn’t want to make me feel bad. She just wants to love me. But I feel bad because I’m self-hating and dramatic, and I cause trouble where there doesn’t need to be. She wishes I could see me how she sees me and that only means so much since I’m her baby and she’d look at me and see Mother Theresa even if I burned an entire nursery school with the children still in it to the ground. I know this because when I told her I had deep, steadfast, secret thoughts about poisoning Auntie Ellis because she scolded me in public one time, she put her arms around me and she squeezed me with so much love that I started to cry. Then she wiped my face with her kisses and said, “I would want to do the same thing if I were you.”

“I am a taffy snob” by Sasha outside Moksha Yoga Vancouver


Saturday May 30, 2015 outside Moksha Yoga Vancouver
8:04pm
5 minutes
From a text to Julia

“She’s a little shy,” Veronica’s mother used to say, when Veronica would crawl under her dress and hide there, safely between her thighs. On the first day of Kindergarten, Veronica made a silent oath that she would never again get in the car with her father, for he might drop her off at this stinky, loud, child infested place once again. When her mother tucked her in that night Veronica said, “I’m never going back to school, thank you very much.” Her mother smiled, smoothed her unruly red hair, kissed her freckled forehead and said, “Goodnight, Veronica.”