Gymnasts are brave and like to brag about how much pain they can take. Girls who couldn’t handle it were pulled out of class and enrolled in ballet. They were going to be disappointed when they learned the truth about that one, too.
See, the living room’s TV is on. It is always on when the Tseung family is home—and sometimes even when they are out—during, before, and after meals, which are the markers the family uses to record the passing of each day.
If I think about what I’m doing, I’ll never get off the plane. After all, it’s ridiculous to believe a computer program can predict two strangers will develop a meaningful relationship. It’s even more ridiculous to test that prediction by flying halfway across the country after a few dozen hours on Skype.
The Honourable Mention in our Winter 2017–2018 Short Forms Contest.
The anonymous woman in bed beside me adamantly shakes my shoulder. She had a name last night. She must have, as part of my hook-and-line I complimented her “pretty name” and said, “it suits you.” Unless a woman’s name is Mavis, I normally compliment her pretty name.
Our 2017 Fiction Contest Honourable Mention.
The eviction notice came in the middle of a long winter, on one of those afternoons when M just couldn’t warm up, no matter how many sweaters and blankets she piled on her shoulders.
They drove me for miles until the ground was a table of white. We passed a fox licking itself with such ferocity if we were ever to turn back I swear, its hide’d been bloody.
We meet in what I can only describe as a violent way, in that he spots me as we both watch the old man die in the middle of Portage Ave.
A comic by Mikiko Galpin. Part of our No Comment project.
Louisa discovered she could reverse time on a dim suburban street, forty-eight minutes after the end of the assault.
I’d been hoping for a kitchen full of balloons, a bouquet of flowers, all my favourite food. A hand-drawn banner: Welcome Home Tasha. Maybe even a Happy 14th Birthday, though my birthday wasn’t until tomorrow. I’d been away from my family all summer.
Doretta Lau is Room’s 2016 fiction contest judge. Who better than the judge herself to inspire you to get working on your contest entry? Read Lau's short story “Best Practices for Time Travel” below, from Room 38.3. Don't forget! The fiction contest closes July 15.
He was the first guy you dated who resembled anything you knew to be familiar. His moustache reminded you of your uncle so you told him to shave it, and he did.
I once kept a tangerine in my purse. I watched it turn leathery, sweet and puckered. Eventually, there was nothing to it at all, just a dried-up husk.
Dream # 1: Diogenes Lights the Lamp
“Come, child,” Diogenes takes me by the hand. “Let me show you the way.” His fingers are gnarled and twisted, ancient twigs.
Our 2015 Fiction Contest Honourable Mention.
Once, upon a day of politics trouble, I saw my mother burying her gold in the vegetable and herb garden at the back of our house. It was a school day, but I was at home because she had pulled me out of class that morning.
You are the worst waitress in the world. You can’t remember orders, or you write them down so messily that they’re indecipherable. When you try to read them out to the chefs you can’t untangle the scribble, and you have to go back to the table and ask again.
Saul sat almost peacefully staring blankly at the aquarium in the waiting room, watching the neon fish cut their way through the water. When the blonde nurse entered the room, Saul wanted to tell her to sit down. Pour herself a cup of coffee. He knew what she was going to say, and that he wouldn’t be able to stop her. He swallowed hard and nodded.
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Room 41.3, Queer
Edited by Leah Golob
In this issue:
Adèle Barclay, Joelle Barron, Nicole Breit, Mary Chen, Lucas Crawford, Jen Currin, Pamela Dodds, Jane Eaton Hamilton, Jess Goldman, hannah harris-sutro, Leah Horlick, Sam Jowett, Ness Lee, Annick MacAskill, Alessandra Naccarato, Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, Marika Prokosh, Amal Rana, Siobhan Roca Payne, Leah Sandals, Hana Shafi, Arielle Spence, Samantha Sternberg, Sanchari Sur, K.B. Thors, Corey Turner, Jackie Wykes.