CARMEN

Posted on September 28, 2014 by

By Jacqueline Gonzalez Reyes

“…Then one day she called home and no one answered.

She called from different phones. Still no answer. She kept calling. She waited six months and went to Mexico. In her town, her mother told her that her kids now ran away from her when they saw her. She kept calling. She waited six months and went to Mexico. In her town, her mother told her that her kids now ran away from her when they saw her. …”

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SONG FOR THE LIVING

Posted on September 28, 2014 by

By Diego Renteria

“…Because it was Christmas, we tried our best to keep our songs cheerful or boisterous to keep with the festivities. We also played songs of heartbreak and loss because we knew they wanted to hear them. Their gritos indicated we were right.

About twenty minutes in, a woman emerged from the house and asked, “Can you come inside and play a song for us?” …

I knew what song they would request and secretly hoped I was wrong. …”

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ONE OF A MILLION: A cockfighting story

Posted on August 11, 2014 by

By Armando Ibarra

“…Usually my father wouldn’t allow my mother or sisters at such events cause it’s no place for females. A lot of foul language and drunk dudes. Why he allowed them to go this time, you would have to ask him. But he did. My mother and sister, Dora, came with us to the Derby. We left the ranch two days in advance to give the birds time to settle in to the new location and weather. …”

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CARDBOARD BOX DREAMS: A Bracero’s Story

Posted on July 23, 2014 by

By Celia Viramontes

“…The man led them indoors, as Don Luis and his paisanos laid cardboard slats on the ground. For a peso each, he furnished them with a piece of floor. It beat sleeping on the hot Empalme roads, nakedly exposed to passers-by.

The men laid the cardboard in neat rows. Don Luis laid his back on the cardboard. Its hard edges rubbed his spine. He lay next to his buddy. He wanted nothing more than to sleep and dream. It must be two in the morning now. He licked beads of sweat off his lips, salty like the rest of his body. Salty like the lake next to the railroad tracks that he remembered from his first stint as a bracero. …”

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ONE DAY IN COMPTON

Posted on July 22, 2013 by

By Johnathan Quevedo

“…Then my car’s transmission went out, so I had to take the train to work: The Blue Line to 7th and from there I’d just walk. I had to be there at 6 am.

One day, I was walking to the Blue Line station in Compton, when an SUV with four Latino gang members passed me as I was at the intersection. The passenger held a gun out the window and said, “Don’t move, motherfucker!” They were talking directly to me as if they knew me personally. …”

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AN ACT OF GOD IN BASEBALL

Posted on July 1, 2013 by

By Milovan Pompa

“…In the ninth, I got the first out but the second hitter singled and stole second base. One of their best hitters was up. He had hit me hard earlier.

The count was two and two. It had been a little windy that night, though not anything to notice. I start to deliver my pitch. The wind picked up and a mini dust-devil funnel cloud about two feet tall suddenly spun right on home plate. …”

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WANNA BURRITO? A prison tale

Posted on June 10, 2013 by

By Richard Gatica

“…The absence of water in the toilet creates a powerful vacuum. Air from the cell is sucked into the drain. We do not have to communicate through the vent any more. We can hear each other through the drain, although there is a slight echo and hollow sound. In some places, our ability to communicate through the air vent is poor due to a particular design. In those units, by habit, some people will keep their toilet devoid of water while not in use. …”

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HOW I KNOW

Posted on March 14, 2013 by

By Rachel Kimbrough

“…I got home from work one night to find her sitting on the couch with this weird bemused look on her face. She instructed me to sit on the couch next to her, and then told me that she’d just woken up from a wet dream about me and her only to find a demon on top of her with its mouth over hers.

She said she rebuked it in the name of the LORD and it scampered away. I moved out the next week. …”

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BILLY JOE, WHERE ARE YOU?

Posted on February 27, 2013 by

By David Chittenden

…So you could dig your hole to China anywhere you wanted. Well, I shouldn’t have said just anywhere. Because when the sewer came down our street, it was free, but you had to pay to be connected to it. Billy Joe’s parents never felt it was worthwhile to pay, for they still had the outhouse there behind the house, and it was working fine. There was a well-worn path from the back door of the house and to the outhouse. Naturally you couldn’t dig a hole to China on the path, or you couldn’t place any obstructions on the path in case someone had go in a hurry. …

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BEAUTY AND THE LONELY FEAST

Posted on February 27, 2013 by

By Monah Li

“…Over the years, I train myself to vomit without a noise. In public bathrooms, I sit all the way back on the seat and barf between my spread legs.

I’m envied for my slim figure. But the price I pay for this is steep:

By 45, I have full-blown osteoporosis. My teeth are replaced with implants, for the cost of two houses.

Relentless back-pain, constant fatigue and shame make me suicidal.

I pray for just one day of freedom, but I am stuck. …”

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