By Michel Stone
"... We not talking in there. But then one man he get very crazy in the head,” Angel says, his perpetual smile lost now. “Is very bad. He screaming and he wanting his mama, but is no space in there and is no mama, either. I want to hit him in the face! You see, is no because I am a bad guy, but this man, he could get us caught, you know? ..."
By Michel Stone
By Anonymous "...Two years have passed and still no one has seen Rosalba Andrade. She was kidnapped soon after her 46th birthday, and has not reappeared. Her houses, cars, clothes, and other property have been divided among those who envied her and befriended her. Even her own family has stripped away at her riches. ..."
14 Mar 2016
in True Tales
By Celia Viramontes "... They left the station and soon found themselves on a street on the outskirts of Empalme. A man summoned them over. He stood outside his yard pointing to trash cans on the side of his home, a water hose, and a littered sidewalk. `Clean the debris and trash from the sidewalk. Use a water hose to wash it all out. Just be sure to not splatter too much mud.' ...”
23 Jul 2015
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. ..."
28 Sep 2014
By Diego Renteria "... above the mantelpiece was a large framed portrait of a boy no more than twelve years old. He looked down on everyone, eternally smiling for a school portrait, his hair spiky and clad in a gray school polo shirt. On a nearby stool were a backpack and some toys. On the mantelpiece was an unwrapped tamal, a glass of milk, and two cookies. The couches were arranged to face his portrait. I knew what song they would request and secretly hoped I was wrong. ..."
28 Sep 2014
By Johnathan Quevedo
"...Then my car's transmission went out, so I had to take the train to work. 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. ..."
22 Jul 2013
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. ..."
01 Jul 2013
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. By habit, some people will keep their toilet devoid of water while not in use. ..."
10 Jun 2013
By Rachel Kimbrough "...For the most part everyone was quiet, with a few exceptions. I don’t know what I expected anyone to say, but most of what was said was something sumatory. We will miss him dearly. I’m so sorry for your loss. God needed more angels in heaven. Things like that. ..."
14 Mar 2013
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. ...
27 Feb 2013
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. ..."
27 Feb 2013
By Alexis Rhone Fancher I remember listening to Bob Dylan in Donna Melville’s attic bedroom, 3 a.m. We were drinking her daddy’s bourbon, playing Subterranean Homesick Blues over and over, memorizing it word by mumbled word. Johnny’s in the basement, mixing up the medicine, I’m on the pavement, thinkin’ ‘bout the government... Donna passed me the bottle.
04 Dec 2012
By Theresa Asiedu "...The sun was shining, the fresh mountain breeze was gently touching my skin and I still had the scent of pink blossoming hibiscus flowers in my nose. My stepfather popped in and out of our lives trying to maintain control of our family. He would yell at everything, from the house that was never tidy enough to the food that didn't suit his taste. ..."
26 Nov 2012
By Matthew Garcia "... I hear the screech of the tires and the smell of rubber burning. My head then hits the windshield and my sight goes black for a second. My body flip upside down as if I were on a roller coaster. The car isn’t done with me. It is as if the car grows arms and grabs me and spins me around -- just as in wrestling where after being spun around you get slammed into the ground. My body is tossed to the side. Silence. The car takes off. ‘’Don't leave me here I don't deserve this,’’ I say. ..."
26 Nov 2012
Recently, I did writing workshops with students at San Joaquin Delta College in Stockton. The results were powerful, if sometimes even disturbing, stories of real life and real moments. Read "Joe," a startling story of a misplaced word and its effect on a man... By Gina Reyes "...Joe was my shoulder to cry on. He was my companion to keep me occupied. He was there for me to kill time and help me keep my mind from getting stuck in a rut. We would lie around making jokes, laughing, playing spades over and over, and having a fun time together to pass time. In the time we spent together, we built a stronger bond that turned into a love that was unmistakably precious. He was willing to accept me and my unborn child, as well as the child I already had. He was willing to support us knowing he was not the father. ..."
09 Nov 2012
Earlier this fall, I did a writing workshop with students in Pedro Ramirez's composition class at San Joaquin Delta College in Stockton. The results, I think, were terrific, if many of the stories were a bit grim. I'm publishing a few of them over the next few weeks. Here's "The Last Day".... By Christian Lockwood I once had a house with a white picket fence. In it, I lived with a wife, and two children. Life seemed pretty good. But the shell shock from a tour in Libya fighting the war on terrorism tore me up, and drugs and alcohol became a way of life from which I could not free myself. That is how one warm August day in 2009, well into my self-medication, I awake on the seat of my pickup after another night of no place to rest my head. My pickup, my dog Batman, and my cell phone are all I have left. My wife and kids have been embarrassed by me for the last time. ...
29 Oct 2012
By Darshay Smith "...My mom and I were reunited nine days after her release and she was excited to see me. From the surgeries her vocal chords had gotten deeper. Her voice was like a grown man’s and it would take a year and a half for it to get back to normal. She picked me up and held me tight. I screamed because I didn’t know who she was. She couldn’t let me go. She cried every day until her voice came back and I finally recognized her....
29 Oct 2012
By Jeffrey Scott Hunter "... That was the whole point of watching the bank in the first place; I needed to know everything. You can’t control everything, but if on Friday at 10:30 a.m. there are no cops around two weeks in a row, chances are good there won’t be any on that third week. ..."
19 Oct 2012
By Rachel Kimbrough For four years, I could not remember what my son looked like alive. "...If I shut my eyes and focused, I had one vague memory of him laughing--the second and last time he ever laughed, immediately before the nap from which he would never wake. But I couldn’t remember his face. ..."
06 Oct 2012
By Hugo Garcia The morning sunrise made its way through the window into my bedroom in our second-floor apartment. As the alarm clock went off, I hit the snooze. Then I heard a loud Bang! on my door downstairs. Was somebody trying to break in my house? This early in the morning? I peered through the window, then rolled out bed, threw myself on the rug and ran to another window in my room to get a clearer view of the scene unfolding downstairs.