Brilliant Flash Fiction would like to thank Judge KJ Hannah Goldberg for suggesting our contest theme (the dubash), and for volunteering her time to choose the prizewinners. Thanks also to the 110 writers who entered this contest and shared their creativity with us.
FIRST PRIZE: Stephen Lodge, AXE THE QUESTION
SECOND PRIZE (tie): Claire Lawrence, Amitay Dubash
SECOND PRIZE (tie): Faiza Bokhari, Chicken Tikka Sandwich
Judge: KJ Hannah Goldberg
Theme: the dubash
First Prize: AXE THE QUESTION by Stephen Lodge
Judge’s comments: I’m a sucker for a playful tale. Our literary venues are brimming with doom and gloom, with proscribing darkness as the new “sexy” in short fiction. Thankfully, this writer’s piece was perky. The bit of groaning that results from this work’s bad puns and other low brow humor, too, helps readers get through their days.
AXE THE QUESTION
By Stephen Lodge
This is a thankless job, thought Aaron Schultz, as he made his way to the Presidential Palace atop the Boulevard Of Heroes in Ringstad, the capital of the Republic Of Belzon. If only I could get out of this country. But Belzonians are not allowed passports unless granted by the President and he never travels outside Belzon for fear of a coup attempt if he left the country. So, for the foreseeable future, I am tap-dancing for idiots, translating stuff from one side of the desk to the other that no one wants to hear, which I mostly make up anyway to appease their easily bruised egos and maybe prevent a war or two.
Aaron was in place when President Verruca and his aides marched in. From another door the Kyrnian Ambassador entered with two other diplomat sorts. Aaron stood and waited while each side bowed to the other side several times and then they sat.
The Kyrnian Ambassador said in English to Aaron. “Please tell the President he is a big, fat rhino with shit for brains and I demand to know why all my diplomatic staff except the three in front of him have been deported last night.”
Aaron translated into Belzonian thus. “The Ambassador greets you warmly and asks if you will be attending the Dinamo Ringstad versus Falkenstad KK soccer match on Saturday?”
President Verruca turned to Aaron and said. “Tell the Kyrnian pig that he has the breath of a hyena and I hope he dies soon. Tell him his mother has flared nostrils (a wicked insult in Belzonian language).”
Aaron told the Ambassador. “There have been spying allegations that could not be ignored.”
The Ambassador grunted. “Tell the syphilitic old dog that we will reciprocate by ceasing diplomatic relations with Belzon, turn their embassy into condos and close the Honorary Consul’s office in No Mules Creek.”
Aaron told the President. “Ambassador Flink greets the President and informs him all three gentlemen standing before you will be leaving Belzon on the next available flight for a vacation in their country near the No Mules Creek region.”
The President spat on the floor and left the room. A traditional Belzon goodbye.
Flink picked up his briefcase and on the way out said to Aaron. “In all the time I’ve been coming here, have you ever translated a single word I’ve said properly?”
Aaron smiled and said “No Mules Creek.”
Second Prize: Amitay Dubash by Claire Lawrence
Judge’s comments: Yes, I cheer for the underdog as do most readers. In this brief fiction, not only does the downtrodden one up the rich and powerful, but that protagonist also successfully struggles with the nature of wealth. Fortunately, that character concludes, as did his father, that “affluence” is being happy with what you have, not having what others seek or determine that you need. This entry was a well-written story with a useful moral. Please pass those empty cereal boxes!
By Claire Lawrence
I am sitting with foreign businessmen. They are new to Mumbai and are seeking to slip into the retail market as a deft trinket snake, says the developer. I understand. They want to choke the kiranas, the general stores, out of business and replace them with overseas clones. One man, Mr. Kutcher, has bloodshot eyes and a face as wide and overripe as a mango. I know it is from imbibing; the sharaab pinches his cheeks and veins his nose. He wants to make stupid amounts of money and go whoring at some rundi khana.
“I am Mr. Amitay Dubash, your translator,” I say, in proper English. My syllables are long and fluid like royalty.
“Why, it’s a pleasure to meet you … Mr. Amitay?” says a man with a Texan accent. I wonder why Texans like to begin everything with a question.
“My name is Mr. Dubash.” I arc my lips to make a small, polite smile, then nod.
“Ain’t a dubash a translator? Why you’d be called Mr. Dubash the dubash.”
I gulp and look at the floor. My father’s sense of humour strikes again. I pretend to adjust my tie. Regaining my composure, I reply. “You are quite accurate, Mr. Colby. It is an amusing name.”
Baap had a sense of humour as large as a belly full of gulab jamun—sickly, sweet and doughy. Amma said his corny jokes won her heart, and soon her belly swelled with the sweetness of me.
“Why did you name me different from you and Baap?”
“Amitay is your name. It means to speak the truth. And, we added Dubash because we wished you to be gifted with languages.”
“Amma, that makes no sense. I’m a joke.”
Mother wrapped her thin, bony fingers around my cheeks.
“Your father worked day and night at the Supper Mart, just so you could go to school, Ami.”
Red-faced and raising my voice I say, “That’s another thing, why didn’t Baap change the sign once he took over. It’s a Super Mart not Supper Mart.”
“Ppptshh, it fit his sense of humour. What’s this all about?”
I want to tell Amma my heart is broken. I want to say I should have been with him to stock the shelves with fake, empty cereal boxes. Baap liked to look rich. What a lame joke for a poor man.
I am lost in translation. The local developer has identified strategic areas, vulnerable shops, but I find myself translating the exact opposite of everything he says. I am thwarting the snake’s progress. It is futile, but I must try.
Mr. Colby keeps saying, “Why gosh darn it.”
Mr. Kutcher says he needs a drink, and complains this has been a waste of time.
The developer asks what’s going on.
I say “I quit,” in six different languages. I’ve got a Supper Mart to run.
Second Prize: Chicken Tikka Sandwich by Faiza Bokhari
Judge’s comments: I wish more writers would focus on small bits of life rather than make sweeping gestures at universal meanings. This story succeeds in its focus as well as in its humanity. Few of us escaped childhood without feeling some amount of peer-inflicted pain. Although, as adults, we know that the bullies suffered more than we did, it’s nice to have the agony of our early years validated through an interesting and effective piece.
Chicken Tikka Sandwich
By Faiza Bokhari
I wasn’t much of a chef, but tonight was our anniversary and I wanted to surprise Paul. Rummaging through the pantry, hands full of clumsy enthusiasm, I cursed as plastic Tupperware containers tumbled around me. Thoughts of schoolyard lunchtimes suddenly came rushing back, memories that had always been unshakeable.
Each day our class would sit facing each other, in a circle on the veranda. A welcome break for others, to me it felt like a terrifying boardroom meeting of culinary competition. I’d nervously pass my containers full of cold basmati rice and sloppy curries to Mrs. Hubble, who would heat them in the staffroom microwave.
‘You must ask your mother for these recipes,’ she’d beam enthusiastically.
Clutching brightly packaged cheese sticks and clean white bread, the others would stare in wonder. Taunts were closely followed by laughter and wrinkled noses: ‘Did someone fart?’
I longed for food that smelt like nothing.
To contain the smell, I tried to edge my way a little farther out of the circle each day, creating a severely lopsided formation. One day, when almost free of the circle, a girl with dusty blonde hair sidled close. ‘Hi there.’ She smiled, adjusting bright red spectacles teetering on the edge of her button nose.
With a friend and newfound purpose, one night I’d put forward a request.
‘Beena my dear, a white bread sandwich won’t make you a white girl,’ mum had chuckled as she held me close. ‘And it lacks nutrition.’
The next day, relief surmounted when I saw the sandwich perfectly housed in cling wrap. I held it high in front of me like a redeeming badge of honour, a way to belong. But as I unwrapped, the familiar sting of chili and garlic filled my nostrils. As if on cue, a piece of bright orange chicken slid out from in between its foreign captors and tumbled to the floor. Chicken tikka sandwich.
Looking back now, through the filter of time, I felt myself smile. Stacking the last of the fallen containers, I glanced at my watch. One ingredient was missing. There was enough time to make it to the shops before closing.
Mum’s old spiral notebook sat wedged inside my handbag. It was one of the few things I’d kept of hers. Turning the pages earlier, I had found the recipe I needed. Turmeric stains in the shape of finger prints were now fading. Her handwriting, soft and unpretentious, still had a homely feel.
Page 24 was earmarked.
½ tbsp garam masala
½ tbsp turmeric powder
¼ tbsp chili powder …
At the supermarket, I scanned the spice section. Turning each bottle, inspecting labels, and checking behind rows in case it was hiding. No garam masala.
‘Excuse me, do you stock garam masala?’
‘Sorry?’ the shop assistant raised his eyebrows.
‘Garam masala,’ I said a little more slowly, although unsure of the correct pronunciation.
‘Sorry, not sure I know about that one.’
‘It’s okay,’ I shrugged. ‘I’m not sure that I know myself.’
Not Too Late
By Sudha Balagopal
My 16-year-old grandson, Mo, says he’s tired of interpreting for me.
Yesterday, he passed on my request to the gas man: close the gate after reading the meter. This morning, a message for the pest control man: careful with the cilantro patch.
Then, he becomes annoyed when I answer the door to a couple of girls selling cookies. He hasn’t left his room since.
I knock on his door, offer him tea at 4 pm. He utters an impatient, “Kya, Baba?” I’ve asked him to call me Baba, not Grandpa. That’s too American.
A pretty girl on the computer screen says something in English. He waves me away.
With a cup of tea, I watch ten minutes of a show on the Indian satellite channel. When the humor turns crude, I pick up a book. The words blur and my tea gets cold.
Grabbing a khadi scarf, I wrap it around my neck, put on my shoes and shout, “Walking ja raha hoon.”
There’s little traffic on this street with beautiful homes and manicured lawns. Three houses down, a rose garden with pink and white flowers draws me. Through the window, I see a vase on the table inside.
My wife loved roses.
I touch a bush, then bend low, expecting to inhale memories of celebrations—festivals when she made garlands.
A siren explodes the peace and a police car with flashing lights screeches and brakes. A burly man in uniform jumps out, grabs me. My scarf unfurls, catches on thorns. I’m breathless as he throws me, face-down, to the ground. My forehead hits the dusty concrete, throbs.
The policeman yells questions I cannot answer. “No English,” I gasp. His heavy shoe presses into my back. I taste dust particles.
Fast-running footsteps approach. I hear my grandson’s agitated voice and a loud argument. “No, please,” I say, but Mo is already speaking to his parents on the phone.
“Someone on our street called the police. Come soon. The policeman says Baba was lurking, acting suspiciously.”
It’s a crime to smell flowers?
A door bangs and a woman speaks, contrite. I understand the word sorry, which she repeats.
Abruptly, the policeman releases me. My weary body sags into the sidewalk. Mo lifts me up, places my arm around his shoulders. He stands tall, eye to eye in a staring match with the policeman.
At home, he seats me on a sofa, picks up my tea cup and takes it to the kitchen. He turns on the microwave, rummages in the fridge.
“Dad and Mom will be back soon.” He returns with my re-heated tea and an ice pack for my forehead.
The ice pack soothes. “You shouldn’t have asked them to leave work.”
His brows knit. “I had to.”
He returns to his room. I’ve annoyed him—again.
“I’m sorry about this,” I call out. “I wish … but it’s too late.”
Mo returns with his laptop. “No, it’s not. We can begin today.”
Oil on Canvas
By Xin Rong Chua
Thoughts corrode as they are moved, whether across time, space, borders, languages, or cultures. Because this thought is special, he’d wrapped it in paint and sealed it into the crevices of the linen. To decipher the message, it’s easiest to start up close. Press your face close to the canvas, till your breath condenses on the pigment. Think about how each stroke was formed. A touch of paint from the palette, a short dash as brush and surface come into contact, a long, smooth curve as natural as a breath. The bristles on the far end tracking just a little less paint onto the canvas than those on the near end. One layer of blue. Then green. Then blue again, with the smallest hint of yellow at its core.
His breath, slow at first, as he traces the center, then faster and faster as he fills in the tiny swirls. Far away, a tide breaks on the shore, sprays the rocks on the coast. The rest of the wave collapses into little whirlpools that slow until they barely strain past the sand.
His weight shifts onto his left foot for the up-stroke. His elbow lifts, his heart rises, like the tide. He is drawn back from the ripple into the wave, back into the heart of the storm as it rages and churns, pulling the waters into its roaring, spiraling dance. It is a storm whose gentlest caress would smash bones to bits against the rocks and toss their remnants into the depths of the churning sea.
The gale raises him. Up, up, up, until he breaks free of the Earth, soaring past the rust red of Mars and the sparkling ice that form the rings of Saturn. From this vantage point, the sun is a swollen red giant, after a time so long that humanity has died and returned and died again. He watches the whorls of burning red plasma as they churn and roil under the vigorous bubbling of its surface. It’s the same as the waves, the same as the strokes on the canvas.
Touch, dash, curve.
Touch, dash, curve.
He steps back.
From this angle, he can see the sheen of moisture from the freshly-mixed paint, glittering over the pattern of crests and troughs. Each matches the rise and fall of his breath, the pump and release of the chambers in his heart as he’d performed the strokes. He fixes the painting with his gaze, and a bit of that cyclone bursts through him and into the picture.
In the corner of the painting there is a hut, and in the hut there is a man. In this man, there are two eyes, one looking through a microscope and the other a telescope, and a mind that has managed to forget which is which.
It is done.
He tips his head back, away from the frame, and opens his shoulders towards the sky. Above him, the stars sparkle, amidst the gathering winds of the night.
By Amanda H.G. Pollet
What if she never came back?
I would starve or get beaten to death because the only thing that makes father smile is beer, and that would run dry without her.
She took the long bus this morning because Tulchi told her that there were white ladies with bushy eyebrows visiting–even though it is the rainy season–and they are just waiting around for someone to thread those brows and maybe draw some mehndi on their pasty skin. I am sneaking into my brother’s bag because he has pens in there for school, but forgot his bag at home. I draw mehndi all over myself but I wish it were real henna. This ink does not smell how henna does.
We took a short tour in a car this morning, and I am beginning to see this country for more than the marble resort we spend our time in. It is mostly green or muddy, but sometimes it is an array of every bright color. When it does not smell spicy it smells like a dumpster. We were driving to the next temple sight (such interesting, decaying old places of worship!) and one of the ladies yelled, “Oh! Monkeys! I saw one! Can we stop to see the monkeys?” so our driver allowed us out of the car. We stood in the rain and peered into the thick jungle. After a minute of searching we saw them swinging from the tree-tops. We jumped up and down excitedly, shrieking and pointing.
I noticed a car of three local men slow down to watch us with amusement. I thought, We are the monkeys.
I remember the stories my mother told by swirling designs on her skin. She told me of the ancient deities who could destroy mountains with their breath, cause rain to cease falling by their will, and bestow riches and power at their touch. She told me I may share a spirit with one who was gifted great power.
My wife leaves often, but does not make enough. I heard her telling her mother that she has dreams in which she is led by an evil spirit at night to dance in a parade.
I snatch the pens from the little one and smack her hard for taking what belongs to her brother.
By Samuel Son
“Nae-il da kkeun-nat-tta,” means “Tomorrow is the end,” so I interpreted my grandpa’s words as he labored for breath and believed I had one more day with him.
Grandpa came to live with us when I turned 16 and upturned everything. Suspicious, all English was talking about him; he slapped his cane on the dining table legs and demanded my brother and I speak Korean in front of him and scolded his 51-year-old son for raising rootless kids. Not only did he take my room—I had to bunk with my younger brother—he also took away my Saturday morning pick-up baseball games as I sat in a church and memorized Korean alphabets that felt like pebbles in my tongue.
“When your grandpa was your age,” my father once explained after another of grandpa’s dinner rants, “He was forced to use his Japanese name and only speak Japanese.”
It was hard to see him, flat on his back, making painful something so simple as breathing. I wished he were slapping with his cane.
“Where are you going?” my father asked but I pretended not to hear him as I let the door shut behind me.
I walked to Ji-Yeon’s apartment, a Noona who I wished would become my girl. She wasn’t like the other FOB girls, whose English was grammatically contorted. She spoke English properly, better than me, even quoted Shakespeare. She also smoked Marlboros, which won me over.
We walked out to her fire escape. She lived alone, came to do two years in Stuyvesant High, take SATs, and make it to Harvard. Her father had enough money to support her studying abroad. “He is rich enough not to care about me,” is how she put it.
She lit a cig, took another one, lit the second one by kissing the tips together and puffing on mine, then handed it to me.
“Noona.” We both smiled then took two puffs.
“Did you say what we’ve been working on?”
I flicked my cig. An ember fell. A red dot disappeared into the night like a firefly. Smoking helped me converse. I didn’t have to talk all the time; smoking made silence tolerable, so I said things.
“No. ‘Sorry’ is such a hard word to say no matter what language.”
She nodded. I heard a bus trudging in, and a crowd flowed out of it and then sank into the subway stations where they will take the 7 train into Manhattan to clean buildings, the fairies that keep the trash cans eternally empty.
“Shouldn’t you be home?”
“He said, ‘Nae-il da kkeun-nat-tta,’ you know, ‘tomorrow I am done,’ so melodramatic. He’ll survive until tomorrow. Everything’s as he believes.”
She squashed her cigarette to put an end to our conversation. “Those words also mean, ‘My work is done.’ ”
I ran home past a barking pit bull. I shoved the door open. Father and brother were wailing. Grandpa was no longer there. Just his body.
Lost in Translation
By Jan Kaneen
You don’t catch a bus in Manchester, you catch the buzz. You don’t surf the internet neither, you go on t’internet, and the grass there doesn’t rhyme with arse like it does down south. Manchester grass might be the deepest greenest best-watered grass on this greenish pleasant island, but it’s still pronounced with the same flat ‘a’ sound, as in Glastonbury.
There’s summat about being Mancunian that seems to predicate for the flattening of vowels. Maybe it’s the centuries of industrial heavy metal, or perhaps it’s being surrounded by wind-blasted moors. It could be the weather—the belting down sheets of horizontal deluge punctuated by misty drizzle—that seeps deep into the childish psyches of newborn locals so we can never wring it, or the drab flatness out of ourselves.
My husband reckons it’s to do with the grey. He reckons that fifty shades of grey are just the tip of the iceberg in Manc, says they’re everywhere: in the sky and the buildings, in the light even, flattening everything, including the vowels.
We drive from London to Manchester quite often because the rest of my family never left.
‘Parvati,’ he says as we drive over Saddleworth, ‘It is always the same, my love, darkening skies, unmitigated drizzle. It is like Lowry’s paintings* are, meri jaan, all drab flatness and dowdy greys. The Manchester accent sounds exactly like Lowrys look.’
He might have a point. It does rain a lot in Manchester, and it must seem very grey indeed when you’re used to seeing things clear and sharp, in full-on bright sunlight like you get in his hometown—Cheltenham—but as I often point out, people from Manchester, leastways people like me, like the grey, take comfort in the grey, feel at home in its no-nonsense splendour. It’s like Inuits and snow, I tell him. Inuits have fifty-plus words for snow that recognize all its subtle differences. In Manchester, we don’t go in for special words for things, but we defo know that when the slate grey sky unloads itself onto the slate grey roofs, so they reflect the one into the other, flattening the distance between the two, it changes your perspective. There’s all the colours in the world in those rainy-day greys. They’re not thin monochrome greys like the ones you get mixing black and white, they’re vibrant four-colour greys like the ones you get mixing orange with blue, or red with green, or yellow with purple. There’s nowt dowdy or dull about them—they’re purplish grey like a bruise, or brownish grey like good bhuna, or greenish grey like the Irish Sea—a rainbow of greys, not a bit drab or sad or flat or faded, in fact every bit as full of life and local colour as Lowrys are.
Maybe you just need a flattish greyish default setting to see it, which is a pity, because greys as brilliant as that don’t half make the grass look that much greener.
(*Artist L.S. Lowry, famous for depicting scenes of life in industrial districts of northern England in the mid-20th century)
FROM THE WAR
By Vicki Hanson
Late at night, my parents re-fought the Mexican-American war. My mother had grown up in Brooklyn and Puerto Rico and spoke German and Yiddish, but I learned cruelty in my father’s language.
“You don’t show them any affection.” My mother, low and hurt.
“You’ve turned them against me.” My father, angry and accusing.
I lay in bed and wished him gone.
But in the summer of 1956, when I turned ten, I was the one who sailed away with my mother, younger brother and grandmother to visit my grandfather in Germany.
My grandmother stowed away in our cabin—she didn’t have a visa because she had entered America illegally in 1912. My mother’s family, as I later learned, were charming grifters, lying to hide their secrets.
Before we embarked in New York, my grandfather died of a heart attack but we decided to go anyway. Our liner docked in Le Havre, where we caught a train to Cologne. Later the Orient Express reminded me of that trip.
Growing up in the southern California desert, I was unprepared for the intense green of Germany as it passed by our windows: meadows and forests, emerald hills, and tree-filled villages. Magic.
My uncle had rented a small apartment, sparse and cold. My grandmother complained and my brother had bad earaches, though I remained healthy and happy. My job was to go shopping, which I loved.
I wore wool knee socks and black and white horsehair shoes and a blue coat with wood toggle buttons. I rode the buses and carried a net bag like the other hausfraus, and like them I went out daily.
In every shop there was someone who could speak English to translate for me, but soon I began to serve as my own interpreter, especially for visiting Americans and Brits. I learned to ask for cheese and milk in the dairy shop, and fruit and vegetables at the produce stand.
All around were bombed-out lots, great holes in the city. The Köln Cathedral still had scaffolding around it from recent repairs.
My mother rented a car and drove us out to my grandfather’s brother’s house in the countryside. We ate noodle soup for supper and slept overnight in down beds. In the morning everyone had mugs of hot coffee and chocolate.
After breakfast the grown-ups sat around the fireplace while I went out into the forest with my cousins to play hide and seek.
With their blonde hair and blue eyes, they looked very different from my brother and me.
My cousin Willem was learning English in school. Running around, we found ourselves alone.
He stopped, reached for my hand, and put it on top of his head.
“My father,” he said. “Steel.”
I pulled my hand away.
“From the war,” he said. “Americans.”
The morning’s good feeling instantly faded, but our brief dialogue wasn’t like my mother and father fighting.
Neither Willem or I needed a translator for our pain.
By Joshua Marcus
“You’ve never heard them talk about reading someone?” Thato asks.
“Well, yeah,” I say. “It means you make assumptions about them, right?”
“No,” he says. “In drag speak, it means to insult a fellow queen. So when Jinx tells Detox to take the chicken mask off, that’s a major read.”
Thato is my personal dubash. My interpreter not only in drag culture, but also in the bigger world to which he’s introduced me. Before, my friends were all straight, white Jews. Now I socialise with queers of all types. It’s liberating, if occasionally confusing.
“Dog-whistle politics,” he tells me, “is when a public figure says something that’s totally inoffensive—unless you’re part of a certain group. It’s like we’re on a different frequency, and certain sound bites are for our ears only.”
“Stonewall,” he explains, “is the street where the gay rights riots of 1969 really kicked off, after police raided a gay club.”
About fifteen years ago I could really have used an interpreter.
“What the hell’s the matter with you!” Dad yelled. “This sort of behaviour is … is …”
His face grew redder and redder as he swelled in an apoplectic fit. I still lay on the floor naked, blood pouring from the empty space where my two front teeth once resided. I could not see Mikey, but I imagined him cowering in the corner and I feared for him.
“Dnnddy,” I cried through a mushy mess. “Plnnshe dn’t hnrt hmm!”
Dad kicked me in the stomach and spat on me.
“To think that I raised you! I thought you were finally normal. If rugby couldn’t fix you—”
His booted foot landed in my chest this time. What did he mean by normal? What did he mean by fixed? He could not explain and I could never understand.
Maybe if someone could interpret it for me, I could have explained why I’d been naked in bed with Mikey. Maybe I would still have my two front teeth.
“I can’t wait until your mother gets home! It’s all her fault the way she coddled you. And, Jesus, we invited you into our home—” he yelled at Mikey now “—you sat at the table and never once did we suspect you were a pervert!”
I could hear Mikey whimpering. Suddenly, Dad marched out of the room. I got up off the floor and went to my lover, whose face was covered in tears. He cried harder at the sight of my broken mouth.
“My poor boy,” he said. “My poor—”
There was a bang and my world shattered. I held Mikey’s naked corpse in my arms as Dad put the pistol to his own head. If only I could understand why he was so sad, so upset that his boy was in love with a fresh-faced, good—such a good—young man.
If I had a dubash back then, maybe I could live a life not haunted by a teenage ghost. Maybe then I would go visit my father’s grave.
Adenike Adekoya, A DIFFERENT SHE
Leslie Archibald, Hues of Hope
Cath Barton, Speaking the same language
Fern Bryant, Oregano
Matthew C. Burns, A Violent Merchant, A Naïve Dubash
Selma Cardoso, No Redemption: Magdalena Finds the Body
Renée Cohen, Jewels of Denial
Ion Corcos, Laughing Gull
Mary Cuevas, A View from the Merch Table
William Dollear, The Dubash
Anino Ejuliuwa, The Dubash
Alyson Faye, The Middleman
Daniel Freedman, The Dubash
Clare Goldfarb, Conversation With the Dubash
Matthew Harris, Mother Nature’s Mega Ton Herculean Force
Kirk Hathaway, In a Balance and Interpretation of Space
Alyson Hilbourne, Charity
Patricia Hofmann, Navigating Dementia
Stephanie Hutton, Taste of an Unsafe World
Stanley Ikechukwu Echebiri, Arrest of the Seer Parrot
Joan Johnson, The Nameless Fear
Malika Kahn, Hush Little Baby
Anna Keeler, Third Culture Idolatry
Nicole Kim, Voicemail
Joan Leotta, Short Translation
Abigail McAlister, Birgit and Carter
Perry McDaid, SLAVE TO HORMONES
JD Mayrant, Make You Feel My Love
Ann Marie Meehan, The Dubash of Dromedaries
Frederick Charles Melancon, In His Pants
Lesley Middleton, Deception
James S. Moffett, Jugging and Jawing
JJ Murphy, Paradeshee
Ben Nein, The Dubash
Maribel C. Pagan, Lost in Your Translation
Edward Palumbo, My Next Story
Sarah Parker, “By (Dis) Definition (I am a Freed Man)”
Alex Phuong, The Interpreter
Erica Ray, The Problem
Trisha Reese, The Winter Dubash
Tammie Saiki, The Go Between
Maulik Shah, A Day From Today
Chris Tattersall, Deadline
Pat Tompkins, Servus
Julieta Vitullo, The Other Indians
A.E. Weisgerber, The Runaways
Jennifer Wilson, Day of a Life
M. Wolff, The Dubash
Scott Zeigler, The Artifact