Gettysburg Review
Gettysburg College | Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

Fiction

“Benedict”

by Andrew Berthrong

You could say he chose me, although perhaps I was in the mood to be chosen. He came out of nowhere, and I was swept up. But I was concerned about things too: Lola’s recent desertion, the state of my heart, my aching tooth. And so on.

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“Zombies”

by Shannon Robinson

The zombie community is astir with controversy. One faction insists that zombies are mindless creatures who cannot make the traditional moan for “brains.” And that in any case, they don’t crave brains specifically, but the flesh, blood, and organs of any living human. This is what I’ve learned from scrolling through chat boards.

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“Nothing in My Mouth”

by Kim Magowan

The first day, I pace the red-light district, looking for a hotel, my suitcase banging my leg. At noon, sick of carrying it, I open it. My maid-of-honor dress, midnight-blue silk, spills onto the sidewalk. A dress I spent four hundred and fifty dollars on, a dress I will never wear. I stuff it into a garbage can, where it billows out, a bloated flower.

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“The Derrotero Method”

by Emily Nemens

A still-stumbling calf lives a happy life in the high plateaus of La Mancha. After three weeks he is taken from his mother and slaughtered, then skinned by his owner, a grizzled herder who pushes three hundred head around the plains. The herder brings the meat to the butcher, carries the wet hide to a long, low barn at the edge of town, and then washes himself in the river.

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“The Graceless Age”

by Kent Nelson

Anson Hempkin believed in Jesus Christ, and every night, while Faye put the kids to bed, he got down on his knees and prayed to the plastic statue on top of his television set. He prayed his roofing company would prosper, the weather would be good, and Enrique and Pablo would show up for work. He prayed the city council would grant a variance for the megahouse on the bluff, the roof for which he had a contingent contract.

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“God of Ducks”

by Tina Louise Blevins

When he gets off work, he always smells of butter and chicken stock. The smell lives deep inside his skin where soap doesn’t reach, and sometimes he stands on the bathmat still glistening from his shower and looks in the mirror, grips the pale, soft mounds of fat around his stomach and thinks, I look like a dinner roll. I’m a biscuit with a dick.

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“Shooting the Moon”

by Charles Antin

Almost a hundred years after the demise of the Jönköping, I sit on the paint-peeling porch of the Montclair Assisted Living Estate, in the decrepit plastic hammock of my wheelchair, and look out, through the topiaried hedges, past the dogwood trees, across the upper-middleclass wasteland of Upper Montclair, to the northeast, toward Sweden, and slowly and methodically eviscerate Jean in two-person hearts . . .

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“The Muskeg”

by Jay Irwin

Tired and near dead, George Mueller’s head was caught in dreams as if he were still dreaming them. Other things he would not have considered real stood just before him too, but they all existed somehow clearer than his hunger or his exhaustion and not for any reason he could have made plain.

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“The Fourth Wall”

by David Tucholski

There is a stick in the ground with a cardboard sign taped to it. A man, who is not an American but wears one of their uniforms, reads the sign aloud for those who are illiterate: “If you cross this line, you will be shot!”

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“One Act”

by Micah Nathan

Ben first met Charlie Cahill on the train to New York. Charlie was reading a collection of Hemingway stories; he wore a wrinkled suit that showed too much sock, and he gorged himself on a hot dog, oblivious to the ketchup that dripped down his tie. Behind Charlie sat a young mother with her crying child. After ten minutes of wails and screeches, Charlie turned around, dangled his keys, and grinned.

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