By Keely O'Shaughnessy

What if I could hold my breath long enough to dive the depths of a murky ocean, could submerge myself and marvel at the softness of my skin under the water, the way my limbs feel larger yet somehow ethereal and light, before sinking deeper, traveling through each layer, past the midnight zone, leaving angler fish blinking in the dark, where I could refuse to be crushed by pressure mounting in my body, or what if my diaphragm didn’t need to inflate, what if I didn’t need to concentrate on my ragged breath, the sound of it caught in my chest while I have sex with my best friend’s guy (the one that works at The Sub Shop, dolling out warm, moist, sliced meats that look as appetizing as a blob fish,) what if I didn’t have to suck air into weak lungs and pant and, rasp like a deflating balloon animal before he came, what if I were alone in my flat, save the one scorched and wilting cheese plant, what if when the guy leaves, after wiping himself on my hand towel, the one with the appliqué, silk starfish, the one mum bought as a housewarming gift, our family’s only tradition, everything could be calm and still, what if, once he was gone, I didn’t have to feel my body expand as I buried my face in the pillows letting out big, heaving sobs, what if instead of diving, running the risk of decompression sickness, of gas bubbles forming in the circulatory system, I could remain on the surface, face up, floating and weightless.

Keely O’Shaughnessy is a fiction writer who has been twice shortlisted in Retreat West contests, she has writing forthcoming in the 2021 National Flash Fiction Day Anthology and has been published with Ghost Orchid Press and Ellipsis Zine among others.

Art by Andy Gardiner.

By Elizabeth Clifford

Next time he calls I won’t pick it up, unless it's late and could be an emergency because if he needs me that’s different, that’s just being humane and I won’t know til I answer, so I couldn’t not, right?

Elizabeth Clifford is a graduate of the Bay Path University MFA program in Creative Nonfiction.

Photo by Jason Thayer.

By Logan K. Young

Rounded to five decimal places, two point six five two five two percent of the letters of this sentence are a’s, zero point zero eight eight four two percent are b’s, two point six five two five two percent are c’s, zero point four four two zero nine percent are d’s, nineteen point eight zero five four eight percent are e’s, three point four four eight two eight percent are f’s, one point seven six eight three five percent are g’s, two point nine one seven seven seven percent are h’s, seven point eight six nine one four percent are i’s, zero point zero eight eight four two percent are j’s, zero point zero eight eight four two percent are k’s, zero point three five three six seven percent are l’s, zero point one seven six eight three percent are m’s, ten point two five six four one percent are n’s, eight point nine three zero one five percent are o’s, four point seven seven four five four percent are p’s, zero point zero eight eight four two percent are q’s, nine point five four nine zero seven percent are r’s, four point nine five one three seven percent are s’s, nine point six three seven four nine percent are t’s, two point zero three three six zero percent are u’s, two point seven four zero nine four percent are v’s, one point six seven nine nine three percent are w’s, zero point nine seven two five nine percent are x’s, zero point zero eight eight four two percent are y’s, and one point nine four five one eight percent are z’s.

Published everywhere from Jacket2 to Sloane's On-line Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences, Logan K. Young’s factorial chap, I(<3)U!, is out now.

Art by Anne Botka.