“How to Break Up With a Brain Injured Soldier”
Sarah Kishpaugh

If the relationship is fresh and your soldier is in active duty, call his mom. Say you appreciate his service and you wish you could visit him at Walter Reed. She’ll curse that the portable eye-tracking device didn’t work to monitor his brain damage. Tell her you’ve done some research and refer her to the Center for Disease Control or the Mayo Clinic. Give her the link to the guidelines for managing combat related head trauma.

Merrell Michael

Rebecca Galvan knew that everything was going to hell when the director thanked them for their service.

The director was a squat little man, with gray hair worn a little too long and round John Lennon glasses with clear frames. He spoke in the no-accent of someone from California or New York, which he was, and he was heartfelt in his passion for the work and in his criticisms, all the way up until the moment in which he wasn’t. He repeated the comment, and a horrid chill went up Becky’s spine.

“Entertaining Angels”
Matthew Sterner-Neely

A straight-A student hugs her boyfriend in the parking lot of Link Classical Academy before climbing into her grandmother’s minivan. This embrace is against LCA’s “No Touch” policy. The principal, Mr. Sterling, watches them hug, and from the gray and blue striped brickwork that stands out among the bike shops and fast food places of downtown Atheria, he raises his arm and calls to Grandma.