Jan/Feb 2018 • Vol. XL No. 1 2017 Short Fiction Contest |

When Do We Worry

2017 Kenyon Review Short Fiction Contest Runner-up   When my wife was still my wife, a wisp of smoke from the Altadena fire drifted up and over the foothills of our neighborhood. We'd seen this before—small brushfires often flashed in the basin—but my wife seemed concerned, distant. When she put the babies down to nap, I turned off the TV. Alarmists ran the local news—fresh outbreaks were reported on the hour, glorified containments on the half. We ate our lunch with the windows open. We watched the curl of smoke rise and fade, turn from black to purple to white. "This makes me twitchy," my wife said. She lit a cigarette, stretched to hold it out the window. I coughed and gave her a look. "What?" she said between drags. She screwed up her mouth to aim her exhaust outside. "I'm not doing it in the house. Not technically." "Its fine," I said. A siren wailed, faint and far away. "Firefighters have got this. They'll be in the bar by happy hour." She

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Kimberly King Parsons
Kimberly King Parsons’s work has been published or is forthcoming in Best Small Fictions 2017, New South, Black Warrior Review, No Tokens, Ninth Letter, and elsewhere. She earned an MFA in fiction from Columbia University, where she served as the editor in chief of Columbia: A Journal of Literature and Art. She received the 2016 Indiana Review Fiction Prize, placed second in the 2017 Joyland Open Border Fiction Prize, and has been awarded fellowships from WxW and Columbia University. She recently completed a short story collection and is finishing a novel about LSD, motherhood, and missed opportunities.

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Wing

By Jennifer Zeynab Joukhadar

2017 Kenyon Review Short Fiction Contest Runner-up   When my wife was still my wife, a wisp of smoke from the Altadena fire drifted up and over the foothills of […]

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