“The Missing Link” by McKenzie Caldwell

Issue 16 / Winter 2019   A person can only sit in her car for so long before the frigid November air sneaks in and tries to leach off her body heat. I looked at the small neon sign blaring Stone Tavern through the window, and then back at the front door, which...

“Freedom Dance” by M. K. Narváez

Issue 16 / Winter 2019   I never felt as old as I did between the ages of twenty-seven and twenty-nine. Unhappily married, I was packing twenty extra pounds on my petite frame, wore shapeless hand-me-downs, and hid behind unflattering glasses. I was five years...

“Ace in the Hole” by Jon Epstein

Issue 16 / Winter 2019   This piece is a continuation of Jon Epstein’s essay, “Shoving,” which appeared in Issue 15 of the Quarterly. * It was my first run. Inside me, I’d shoved 70 grams of the raciest Colombian coke three mom-and-pop,...

“Grandmother’s Gifts” by Valerie Kinsey

Issue 15 / Fall 2018   Grandpeg—that’s what we grandkids all call her—gave us gifts every time we drove the two hours to her house for a visit. Upon arrival, my brother and I would run to our beds, throw down our backpacks, and open presents wrapped in her...

“Life Support” by Karen Zey

Issue 15 / Fall 2018   The hum and swoosh of the ventilator echo constantly in the small room in the ICU. My 37-year-old husband, Michael, lies as if asleep—his eyes closed, his face rosy and serene, his injury invisible. A thick, white bandage swathes his head....

“The Perfect Grandmother” by Ariella Neulander

Issue 15 / Fall 2018   I was determined to be a model grandmother. Less than two years ago, my charming but guarded and somewhat anxiety-prone son, Zach, finally married Becky, his gem of a girlfriend. And three months ago, they had their first child. When they...