Introduction

“Bosley is big. Not fat, just huge—as if not one boy, but three had combined in Karen’s womb,” starts Ann Stewart McBee’s short story, “Little Cities,” in which our protagonist must face the oversized consequence of a past relationship. These exaggerated consequences of life infiltrate each narrative in this collection, from the bus ride gone wrong in “2399 S Morgan St, Chicago, IL 60608, USA” by Paul Kavanaugh, to the dark humor in Augie Gold’s “Crisis Girl.” Adrienne Rivera employs the second-person imperative in “Risk Management,” warning her reader, “Do not go back. Do not go back, but don't hitchhike either. Do not get into the cars of strange men. Do not trust bumper stickers.” You can guess what happens next. And though these stories often take a dire turn, our editors were delighted by the journey, surprised by the language, and ultimately satisfied with not knowing what comes next.