short read

  • Fan Fiction

    I lived in a basement beneath a French professor and his wife, who taught German at a dying school for girls. When Agnes visited, there was the sharp, joyous smell of new tires. That was the smell the blue vibrator released when cleaned.

  • We’re Watching the Trees

    Millie Anthony is 38. Middle of the night. Lying there in the still bedroom, looking toward the window. A man called Jeff lies beside her. “We’re watching the trees again,” she says.

  • King of the Wild Frontier

    Simply, they were there to play golf. While they were at it, they might stick around to have a meal in the 50s-built white-brick clubhouse or, on a Sunday, to watch the NFL games on the TV in the carpeted area of the men’s locker room after they’d...

  • The Country’s Newest Tabloid Deals in Miracles

    Italy’s former prime minister is a sex criminal, 42 percent of its young people are unemployed, and the country is currently going through its longest recession in 60 years. It would take a miracle to set Italy right, and that’s exactly what the...

  • Volunteer-Run Morgues Are a Terrible Idea

    Australia’s Northern Territory is huge, sparsely populated, poor, and crawling with deadly animals. It’s not surprising, then, that it doesn’t attract many professional types.

  • This Machine Frees Oppressed Chickens

    How do you prove that businesses selling “free range” eggs and chickens don’t treat their birds as kindly as they claim? Get yourself a spy drone, that’s how.