By Tod Goldberg Professor William Cooperman hated teaching in the summer. The information was always the same no matter the season, of course, but for Cooperman it was more about the students. If you were taking Introduction to Hydrology in the middle of July, that meant you’d spent the entire year avoiding it, or had [...]
By Stephen Dau If Andrew knew anything, it was that he was on the side of the righteous. It was late in the twentieth century, and his law degree could have allowed him to pull in hundreds of thousands of dollars shuffling corporate paper, or politick at the district attorney’s office, or mug for cameras [...]
By Ted Sanders Through the hole beneath the bed, something insectile creeps into the house at night. Samuel knows it does, even if Becky disagrees, even if the nature of their disagreement in this matter is fundamental: Becky has yet to admit even the existence of the hole. She does this despite losing things to [...]
By Carmen Maria Machado There’s no way around it: my place of employment, Glam, looks like Versailles, if Versailles were in hell. I used to think it was like the inside of a casket. Then I looked into one, and it was so bright, with its plush, pale pink satin and matching buttons. The inside [...]
By Shelly Oria Last night, George Washington, The First President of Our Great Nation (president, 1789-1797), fucked me three times. Now I know, I know: This is not a feminist thing to say. So before I get any hate mail from Luce Irigaray or her minions, let me rephrase: Last night I fucked George Washington, [...]
By Eowyn Ivey Lana was a little girl, memories just beginning to take hold, when she first saw the wild goats on the mountain. This is when they were still cloud wool, pulled from the sky, before they were blood and broken bone down a scree slide. “Do you see them, Lana?” Her mother crouched [...]
By Robert Cohen No sooner does he put on the uniform than the banal truth announces itself: he feels like a new person. It’s a loss and a gain. Gidi stands before the mirror in the employee bathroom, adjusting the fit of his flaming red work shirt, his pointy paper hat with the garish font. [...]
By Samuel Nicholson The phone rang two hours after I got home from school. I rose from the couch and trudged towards it. This was my favorite time of day, and I hated to have it interrupted. With no housekeeper any longer, and mom working until just before dinner, I had the house to myself [...]
By Stephen Amidon
The family reunion was always awful. The long drive from Maryland to Michigan, the two weeks with alcoholic aunts and uncles, the nine teenage cousins each with a birthday packed into thirty days. But this year, the reunion with Lisa might be a little different — provided she hasn’t found another boyfriend.
FiveChapters is taking a week off; we’ll highlight five great stories from the FC archives through Friday. By Wayne Harrison When I was seventeen and still in high school, I changed oil part-time for Ray Dugan, who promoted me to full mechanic after I graduated. Dugan Automotive, in South Waterbury, was three basement bays that [...]
By Jim Harrison On the second and last night of the fair and rodeo the worst possible thing happened to Sarah short of fatal illness and death of which she was recently all too familiar. She had been sleepwalking since the fair began and was angry at Lad during the “best-groomed horse” event because he [...]
By Ben Dolnick
A younger brother’s once worshipful relationship with his older brother turns tense when his hero stops playing video games, starts going out with girls, and demands his own room. When their mildly retarded cousin disappears in a snowstorm, the entire family needs to pull together. But can things ever really be the same?
By Charles McLeod Coy woke naked on the bare floor of Teshram’s trailer. Outside, summer had come to an end. The weekend was to bring the first of the autumn freezes. The cold would turn the trees. Coy coughed and rolled onto his side, blinking. There were goose bumps over the backs of his arms. [...]
By Ben Jahn Jerry met Elsie when he helped her haul a sideboard up the narrow stairs in the subdivided painted lady where they both rented space. “Looks like I’ll be right on top of you,” she said and unpacked the bedskirt and sham. Later they lay on the lacquered floor beside the box spring, [...]