FICTION

March 20, 2020

Darya Pavlovna was tired. So tired it felt like there was sand in her eyes and she rubbed at them constantly with the backs of her wrists because her hands themselves were too muddy. She drove in silence, wanting only the sound of rushing wind over her car as she wove through the rough forest roads. Her shift had been brutal, but now she had a few days off to go back to her cabin on the edge of the lake. Nadia would be there....

March 20, 2020

We are the black sheep, Lydia and I. At least, that’s what Grandma said the last night in the beach house, during the storm that kept us inside, depleting the wine. Grandma led the charge on the wine. “You’re her favorite,” she said, referring to her sister, my great-aunt Lydia. This was after she commented on the length and color of my swim trunks (short, lavender) and asked for the fifth time if I was seeing anybody. “The tw...

March 20, 2020

            You are 14 years old, the only daughter of your mother and father, spending the two defining teenage years of your life in the middle of nowhere. Of course, the middle of nowhere has a name; one hour and 53 minutes outside of Roswell—of UFO crash site fame—is Good, New Mexico, a small town off I-285 with a population of 4,206 people. It is exactly 11 miles from the Texas border if you were to draw a straight line,...

March 20, 2020

            You stand in front of your closet, frantically tearing articles of clothing from their hangers and laying them on your bed, your heart churning. Ba-bum ba-bum ba-bum. A regular two-beat rhythm pulses quickly yet softly in your chest, so paradoxical that you think it might give out. You gingerly lay a burgundy button-up streaked with heathers atop a pair of khaki jeans. You look up across the room, searching for app...

March 20, 2020

           It is hot. The sun is bearing down on you—a simmering eighty degrees, unusual for September in upstate New York—and it feels like a physical weight across your shoulders. The cicadas scream and you usually hate the noise, but you can hardly pay attention to it. 
           You are too focused on Holly. 
           Your class has received the rare privilege...

July 13, 2018

Life suddenly flowed all around her. Girls, girl-colors: pink, blue, white, black. Hair flicking and flashing, laughs and gasps and the glowing blue screen of phones in hands, but in the motion there was stillness.

July 11, 2018

EVERY MORNING SINCE THEY MET, Vanessa’s asked him for eggs. Usually scrambled, occasionally sunny-side up. He had never made eggs before. She showed him where they were in the fridge, guiding his hand to the cardboard carton. He held one in his palm. He liked how the shell felt smooth on his fingertips, surprised himself with how little pressure it took to crack. He held it over a bowl, the jagged gash dripping. After it drain...

July 11, 2018

BUSTLING, ALWAYS BUSTLING. The candy shop a few blocks from Francesca’s apartment on Calle Mayor was always filled with people—locals, tourists, taste testers, and sweets enthusiasts alike. Everyone wanted a taste of Madrid’s famous chocolate. All so different, but all converged on a single shop. 

Francesca loved her job at the shop. Every day new people to meet, all with new orders and new tastes, families, stories. Her favori...

July 11, 2018

JANIE FIRST CLOSES HER BEDROOM DOOR when she is twelve because her family has just moved into their new house. She has a new room and a new little brother, Jeremy, and she goes off down the hall to look at his nursery and wonder when the jealousy will set in. At first, she leaves the door open. She walks a few steps and pauses to think. She turns around and closes the bedroom door behind her. 

Janie opens and shuts her doo...

June 23, 2017

As I grew older and relearned how to eat, I fell in love with a number of men and women who were always so thin I felt they could replace me as Annie did.

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©2020 Q* Anthology of Queer Culture

An independent student publication in the Charlottesville and U.Va. community