By Stacie Worrel

When adults argue over who was telling the truth, if she was old enough to give consent, if he knew how old she was, if she should have known better, if his life will be ruined, I think about a diary entry I wrote when I was fifteen years old — “04/06/2011: …I feel like there’s something else [I meant to write about], but I dunno xD sorry :P OHMYGOD. I just remembered. I don’t want to write about it anymore hahaha but basically I was really lonely and called this YouTuber named Mike who has a voicemail for fans to call and I left a message, then the next morning he sent me a super sweet text about how I wasn’t alone and he would’ve called back but he was working” — and then I think about how Mike was later arrested for soliciting child pornography from other young female fans, how those girls’ stories started the same way my diary entry did, how star-struck I was when Mike texted me, how his use of a heart emoji made my heart shiver, how I didn’t know anything about sex or twenty-something boys or being taken advantage of, how I hadn’t yet begun the process of learning to value my body or my privacy, how lucky I was that he hadn’t answered my phone call, how if he had answered the call and things had gone wrong it wouldn’t have been my fault because I was a lonely unknown fifteen-year-old and he was a grown man-slash-minor celebrity, and how I still would have blamed myself because that’s what girls do in a society that doesn’t listen to them, and that’s the truth.

Stacie Worrel is a creative writing (nonfiction) PhD student at Ohio University.

Art by Chrissa Somerset.

By Will Cordeiro

The DUI, the alimony settlement, the malpractice suit, the pills and vitamins, third night of dishes piled in the sink—this glut of life I haven’t learned a damn thing from, which deteriorates into the forms getting fed into a paper shredder, the ahhh one hums into a tongue depressor: nouns, verbs do not exist for what I feel, so I shrug or sigh or shumble once again into the pale kitchen’s refrigerator light to stare at rotting produce and the residue on condiment bottles, thinking about the rupturing infrastructure that has launched my distributed mind into orbit around some rough draft of an asteroid field, puffballs or pieces of space junk sending ping-backs from far-off satellites that glitch into starry obsolescence, this squishy sociological flowchart that I am, gormless amalgam of cark and merz, making myself into a search party for the stepping stones of logic I’ve followed to arrive here, as if the linoleum shine gave my kitchen island a sterilized afterglow like the un-place of a corporate waiting room, and I stand in my boxers itchy with half measures while my vaunted sense of interiority amounted, in their final calculations, to frippery and flapdoodle signifying less than a rubberbanded stack of comment cards, my brain’s larder of adolescent raptures or restless night sweats revealing little but the rigid patterns of my own patter perhaps, like smudges on putty, since (whenever I try to induce an involuntary memory) I’m underwhelmed with earnestness, as if aspirations were a troop of goop-smeared gear-laden frogmen headlamping through a swampy fog for a dead girl, no—for the lost essence of time, but nevertheless and erstwhile a little tinsel’s caught in a treetop’s delirium, ah-ha, yes, a spider’s chandelier, despite the metrics of smidgens and widgets, suchlike and so on with plenteous murkful accommodations, O my maundering daze keeps risibly speeding along, another leaf of a joke-a-day desk calendar tossed aside, a flesh flensed from a sordid, a diddlesome porkbarrel omnigatherum, though all along fur-clad lovers entangled at the happening, a yogi vibrated her yoni to an etherealized cosmic tuning fork, and a dirigible burned overhead.

Will Cordeiro has work in Agni, The Cincinnati Review, Copper Nickel, DIAGRAM, Fourteen Hills, Nashville Review, [PANK], Sycamore Review, Territory,, The Threepenny Review, and elsewhere.

Art by Joshua Cordeiro.

By Margaret Doyle

We could talk about who knew and we nearly get there as the gravy boat dashes over turkey and hockey trades are discussed with gravitas but it would mean we’d have to scrape our chairs back, put on our coats and kiss each other goodbye or maybe slap each other so hard our cheeks burn for days, hands flying to our faces for years remembering that Thanksgiving when the truth was served and nothing was the same after because we saw what was under the tinfoil—below the crunchy browned skin was the wet meat of abuse ignored for so long it stank up the entire dining room but at least we finally knew who’d made the meal and who then should do the dishes.

Margaret Doyle is a screenwriter, digital storyteller, and occasional copywriter who recently graduated from the UBC Creative Writing program and is currently hunkered down in wine country in the interior of beautiful British Columbia.

Art by Brendan Doyle.

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