There’s an underwear catalog on the boss’s desk; you notice it when you’re in his office filing invoices. Not Victoria’s Secret or anything. It’s not some pathetic substitute available for men too embarrassed to buy Hustler or even Playboy. In fact, there are no models in this catalog at all—it’s just underwear. Men’s and women’s. Boxers and panties. […]
MAYDAY is interested in original and engaging literary short fiction. We are committed to featuring a diverse range of content and authors, including LGBTQ+, BIPOC, and international voices. We love innovative, strong writing that trusts the reader and is true to its author.
Popular authors we believe fit this vision include writers such as Carmen Machado, Jeanette Winterson, Maggie Nelson, Ocean Vuong, Yaa Gyasi, Ali Smith, Tommy Orange, Saeed Jones, Jhumpa Lahiri, Etgar Keret, Shelly Oria, Aimee Bender, Pedro Cabiya, China Miéville, and Olga Tokarczuk, among others.
I flew to Florida because Laura, my cousin, my best and only friend, insisted I had to. The family was gathering for her mother’s funeral. I didn’t want to go—trembled when I thought of the ghosts waiting at the cemetery. Ghosts of my past were better left interred. But Laura dug her heels into my […]
Mark I can feel their eyes: flicking from clasped hands to clenched jaws and back, and then cutting away. And that’s almost harder to bear, that looking away—it gouges, leaves me less than I was. I never thought that this would be the place: the Tottenham Court Road platform of the Northern Line—hot and sweaty […]
[Editors’ Note: The following story won the This Magazine Fiction Prize and was reprinted in the author’s 2002 short fiction collection, Hunger. It is reprinted with permission here.] My husband’s idea of bliss is to be able to go back to when we first met, when he was a man and I was a woman. We weren’t kids, […]
Artemis, whose real name no one knew, was demonstrating how to string a bow and arrow. Her assistant organized arrows into a row of quivers. Farther down the meadow, half-deflated balloons bobbed, taped to hay bales. Beyond the bales was a stand of trees that marked the national forest line. Allie stretched her legs, the […]
No one knew about Linda’s and my apartment in the basement of her parent’s house. It had a galley kitchen and bathroom. In the main room there was a kitchen table covered in coral Formica surrounded by six color-coordinated vinyl and aluminum chairs. There was a fully stocked bar, a TV with an antenna with […]
Paraguay, 2004 The customs agent stopped cleaning his revolver and picked up Donna’s passport. Stared at her picture and back at her. Smug and pompous and aware of his posturing, he eyed her up and down. Donna knew better than to start babbling her cover story: the power stayed with the one who spoke last. […]
At a certain point, it began to feel as though I’d been staring at Marina the entire semester. She’d approached me once, saying my name with a kind of intimacy that made it seem as if we were longtime friends. She asked me to help her with her math homework. I solved the problems she […]
Father forgot his time. Completely. Again. I was seventeen and sullen, my sister five and forlorn. It was his holiday to cover. Mom handled Valentine’s and Halloween—hearts and skulls, arrows and broomsticks—and handled also, truth be told, most of Christmas, the bulk of birthdays, and the Tooth Fairy’s molars-for-money mercantile. Except for the actual yanking: […]
Published previously at Michigan Quarterly Review and in Swarm to Glory (Wiseblood Books, 2014) I have some bad news. My mother’s voice is as distinct as if she is standing next to me. She sounds matter-of-fact, appropriately stricken yet carrying on with a stiff upper lip. Sure of herself. Sure that this news is real, immutable, no one […]