Feature: Contest Winners
A broken cup of a girl, shocked numb and colorblind, rattled through cold tunnels of unpopulated perception, free of the weight even of dreams. That was after the Moonies, after the deprogramming. In the house with boards nailed over the windows, they had cracked her open, mopped up the spill. They tossed away her chill dark mornings singing ’Arirong' by the sea, carnations sold on street corners, praying in tongues. For a moment, I thought she might not have heard me. "Yeah, OK. I'll marry you," she finally allowed, her pale wafer-thin smile queer under the mercury vapor moon.
It had been raining all afternoon. Brian and I patiently waited under the backyard porch, clutching our homemade boats. Suddenly it stopped. We were off. Leaping the fence, we landed at the edge of the ditch. Cautiously, we crept to the waterline and positioned our boats.
"One ... two ..."
That's when I spotted it. Floating by, half submerged, was a softball shaped object wrapped in black plastic and bound with duct tape. It instantly took command of our pre-adolescent minds—forcing us to give chase. Brian freed it from the water and ripped it open.
"Shh, I think he's sleeping."
—Shaun T. Glenn
Grace was a generous soul (her slender fingers deftly slid the 9mm rounds into the clip) the world had simply crushed. She stood up and, with her left hand, adjusted her name tag. Her right hand was full. She strode across the parking lot, Albuquerque's sun sizzling her skin (she wondered if this was how bacon felt, then thought about how there hadn't been anything to feed her children this morning), sweat trickling down her arm and over flat, black metal.
Grace pulled open the doors to the post office, smiling. She had a lot to give today.
—Jan Marie Baca