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The Train, Stopped
Jodee Stanley

Lot 613
J. W. Wang

The Way There and the Way Back
Dawn Corrigan

Vanishing Point
Sean Mills

Kevin Brockmeier
Matthew Simmons

J.W. Wang hails from California but has not lived there for quite a while and has no idea where he will be this time next year. He edits Juked and collects electronic dictionaries.

Photo by Sean Carman

She found me at the public auction house, a placard reading "613" displayed over my head. A jeweled egg hung from her left shoulder, crusted with rubies, diamonds, glinty stuff. "So what's your deal?" she said. "Tortured artist? Oedipus Complex? Terrible listener?" A slit ran up the side of her silk dress, and I kept my eyes low. "Or ...," she continued, "no flaws of consequence? My lucky day?" She peered into my cell. It was a dim little place, stretching two tatamis wide, with electricity from eight to ten. She was pretty, yes, but I didn't know what to do with precious stones, or eggs that held objects other than yolks and whites. She'd do better talking to 614, who owned a lake-side bistro, or 618, prince of an island nation near the Northern Marianas. I pushed around mail carts and took home extra samples of soap and detergent. "I'm sorry," I said, "but I'm not the right person. There's nothing all that interesting here." She retrieved a cigarette from her glittering egg and struck a wooden match. A chorus of laughter sounded from one of the other cells. She turned her head to look. There were thirty-two of them down where she gazed, another eighty rows lined up behind us. I tried to think of simpler times, the men running about with big sticks and the women just running away, though I never knew any such. She blew a puff of smoke that didn't dissipate for quite some time. A woman from a magazine smiled at me from the wall, framed and happy.