This month we’ve got life in hell, the dead and despised, maternal funerals, and more. To submit a first line, email

The Bionics by Peter Gulgowski

The Network had one order. Survive.

Wildfire by K. Vann O’Brien

At my mother’s funeral, I listened to a preacher I’d never met talk about her soul.

A Slippery Land by Rick Conti

Fania lived in Hell.

Expired Listings by D.M. Barr

The first “What the fuck?” is always the sweetest.

Doppelgänger by George Schwimmer

Although I’m long dead, I know there are people left who still hate me.

After the Sucker Punch by Lorraine Devon Wilke

One is obligated by moral duty to love one’s child.