1. Last Night by James Salter: "Now he had slipped her, as in a burial at sea, beneath the flow of time."
2. The School by Donald Barthelme: "We were thinking that way probably because before that the gerbils had died, and the white mice had died, and the salamander ... well, now they know not to carry them around in plastic bags."
3. The Unknown Soldier by Luc Sante: "The last thing I saw was a hallway ceiling four feet wide, with a plaster molding that looked like a long row of small fish, each trying to swallow the one ahead of it."
4. The Poet in Convalescence by Amber Noelle Sparks: "He has asked his sink, many times, if she might know the answer."
5. The Chemistry of Objects by Amber Noelle Sparks: "It will be an elegant victory, if a somewhat messy execution. A jagged exclamation point at the end of the last argument."
6. The Whole of the Brush by T.D.Edge: "I found Uncle Jim in the workshop at the end of his garden." (first sentence)
7. Last Night, the Little Dipper Looked Like the Walgreen's Pharmacy Cup by Ethal Rohan: "On the street, I pass a man eating a sandwich and the waft of onion walks with me a while." (first sentence)
8. The Salad by MH Rowe: "After more long days laboring over the salad, trimming here and there, subtracting here and there, I sensed that it was almost over."
9. Bed of Roses by Danielle Allen: "That day still pricks my memory, a cold Thursday in August." (first sentence)
10. Bringing Jamie Home by Margaret Frey: "They brought Jamie home in the shirt Addie had mended, the tiny stitches on the right cuff black with soot." (first sentence)
11. Voices by Alice Munro: "And while they still inhabited my not yet quite erotic fantasies they were gone. Some, many, gone for good."
12. Room for Everyone by Marie DesJardin: "Captain, it's not physically possible--" (first sentence)
13. Christmas Past by Chella Courington: "Adele pushed the glass fragments into a neat circle, then a smaller circle, and even smaller circle."
14. Fluffy Robes and Slippers by Lori Schafer: "He pleaded and whined and cajoled, and at last they compromised. He would stop leaving his beard hairs in the bathroom sink if she would refrain from wearing the robe in front of company."
15. Said the Spyder to the Fly... by Ramon Rozas III: "I remember the day I moved in across the street from Jack Mounds." (first sentence)
16. A Jar of Jokes by H.S.: "She saved the last one for me."
17. Members Only by Erik Svehuag: "Her lipstick was only approximately in position."
18. Flip Back by Matthew Harrison: "And just to make sure, I give the treatment to Jennifer too. Now the two of them are jerking around on the sofa like marionettes as their minds are flipped back."
19. A History, In Reverse by Miranda Suri: "I am the last, alone. My only memories are those hardwired in sinew, shell and source code."
20. Three Dreams by John Underwood: "Time resumed its inexorable sweep forwards. Arrogant metal met ancient wood and buckled."