Changing Destiny

By: Lauren Spagnoletti

The shoe store often displayed the latest styles on a table outside. Her apartment was just above, on a busy SoHo street that was frequented by locals and tourists alike. Whenever she walked out the door, she passed the table of temptation, with items too expensive for the meager salary of a 20-something-year old.

The shoes represented more than just a fashionable pop to an otherwise mundane outfit. They were indicative of a life that seemed completely out of reach.

One day, in an impulsive attempt to change the course of her future, she bought fabulous, impractical, bright orange boots.

Crudge

By: Andrew Dahl

Arthur had time for one thought before the cab clipped him in the hip and sent him pinwheeling out into the intersection of 23rd and 6th, in front of the Trader Joe’s shitheads, and the thought, unfortunately, was “Aw, crudge.” Not that anyone was capable of noting Arthur’s internal thoughts, but he still felt vaguely embarrassed to not even be able to form an effective curse when the moment called for it. “Crudging shut fluckers,” he internally sputtered as the ground flew up to meet him and the Trader Joe’s shitheads clutched their paper bags to their tightly sport-bra-ed chests.

Waiting

By: Lauren Spagnoletti

At the end of every night, I peeled off my high-heeled boots and allowed my pulsating feet to expand as they ached with the pleasure of finally being free. My body hurt too, but from hours of darting about the room in an unspoken choreography that you learn from years on the NYC scene. I moved with precision and purpose to the thumping beat of the loud music. Sometimes it was fun. Most times, though, the merciless pace was matched only by the repulsive entitlement of those I encountered. “This is temporary,” I’d remember. Then, “Can I take your order?”

Tompkins Square Park

By: Andrew Dahl

The leaves in the trees in Tompkins Square Park rattled like bones. Art poked his head out from under the sleeping bag he’d procured just the night before. It smelled of piss, but it had kept him alive in this killing weather. He sat up, his vertebrae firing gunshots up into the base of his skull. Bending painfully, he searched for his bottle underneath the bench and made eye contact with a wren. It cocked its little head quizzically, and Art thought of his bulldog, Gerald—long dead.

    “Oh, man,” he said, to the wren, to the leaves, to no one.

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