Silent Night

Silent Night

The United Press work room at the Nuremberg Trials. Source: The National Archives and Records Administration via the Courtroom 600 project. Editor’s Note: At the end of this story is an audio recording of the author discussing how, among other things, her father...
Blackout

Blackout

At sundown, we would go for walks along the road that went from the airmen’s quarters toward Central School. It was a quiet road back then, when we lived there for a brief while in 1971. The streetlights beside the road would have just been lit, a chill in the air as...
Orion’s Belt

Orion’s Belt

Photo courtesy of Evelyn Symes The day Glenn left for Vietnam, our large extended family drove to the airport in a procession of five ancient Fords and Uncle Eben’s 1958 Cadillac. Mother filled the air in our car with empty admonitions to Glenn about laundry, diet,...
Hidden Rooms

Hidden Rooms

All things which areoutside lovecome to me now—This view and the old woman’s understandingof it, asking to liveone more year, one more yearone more generation, two generations, three,one more eternity. —Leah Goldberg, “In Jerusalem’s Hills”   Erna’s sunglasses...
Theft of Fire

Theft of Fire

Bobby Ulili, Digital Sketch, 11.7” x 16.5” Through the window of the inn, Mathew could see the shadow of Rheinsberg Palace over the lake and a purple ribbon of sky dusted with stars. He drank a weissbier from a tall glass and ate blood sausage with sauerkraut. The...
Dorf and the Daisies

Dorf and the Daisies

The sun shone, having no alternative, on the nothing new.—Samuel Beckett, Murphy It’s obscene the way she cleaned up. It was a mess. I was a mess. Covered, I was. And she came and, I swear to God, when she finished, there was nothing left. All traces were gone. I kept...
Allen and Allen

Allen and Allen

A little over two years after he’d enlisted, Allen was back from Iraq and back with Lawn Island Landscaping. If I’d been scared of Allen before, I was terrified of him now. It wasn’t what Allen did that was frightening; it was more what he didn’t do. The first week he...
War Stories

War Stories

I once taught a course called Literature of War at a small community college shortly before the first Iraq war. One assignment I gave was to interview someone who had been in a war about their experiences. For most of my students that would have been a father or...
The Springtime Siege

The Springtime Siege

Editor’s Note: This story is an excerpt from a novel-in-progress. In the dark of the hall, Faraaz watches his brothers Manzoor and Adil alternately going to the toilet. It’s okay. They’ll tell when they’re ready. You can’t expect fifteen- and thirteen-year-old boys to...
Itron-Varia Above a Distant Coast

Itron-Varia Above a Distant Coast

The night before sailing for America with Comte de Rochambeau’s naval fleet, Antoine Cocq cracked one kneepan while pleading to convince Marie Barbe to marry him. The force of his kneel didn’t split the bone, though he had with passion dropped to her skirt hem. He...