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20 min read stories

Discover a collection of stories which are around 20 minutes read time.

24 min read

The Case for Zakir

* Story contains bad language

Eight years ago, in the Nangarhar province of eastern Afghanistan, Zakir Mohammad went on patrol with a platoon of American soldiers. Twenty-three years old,...

17 min read

Daddy

* Story contains bad language

Pacing the halls of my house in a pair of penny loafers so dusty they might have been robbed from a grave, I counted on trembling fingers all the ways my night could unfold.

20 min read

Of Places and Passports

* Story contains bad language

Let me pledge allegiance to the planet. Let me list all the places I love on a passport that actually represents my sense of belonging and identity.

21 min read

The Height of My Apex

* Story contains bad language

Someone shit in the men’s sauna again, and now the entirety of Apex Fitness smells like the aftermath of a ruptured septic tank.

24 min read

He was a friend of mine

Midsummer. 1986. Lahoris are praying for the monsoon and the boys, not indifferent, but undeterred by the heat, are playing cricket daily. As if their lives...

15 min read

Other Dangers

Don’t you know how easy it is to visit someone in a nursing home? We told the man at the front desk the truth, or a version: she had been our teacher, and we...

15 min read

Other Dangers

Don’t you know how easy it is to visit someone in a nursing home? We told the man at the front desk the truth, or a version: she had been our teacher, and we...

23 min read

Lady Tigers

* Story contains bad language

Rusty sat behind the wheel of the bus and watched the sky turn sour. A year ago, when his father had coached the Lady Tigers, he’d been expected to serve as...

15 min read

Bohemians

* Story contains bad language

In a lovely urban coincidence, the last two houses on our block were both occupied by widows who had lost their husbands in Eastern European pogroms. Dad...

16 min read

Puppy

* Story contains bad language

Twice already Marie had pointed out the brilliance of the autumnal sun on the perfect field of corn, because the brilliance of the autumnal sun on the...

20 min read

Al Roosten

* Story contains bad language

Al Roosten stood nervously behind the paper screen. Was he nervous? Well, he was a little nervous. Although probably a lot less nervous than most people...

25 min read

Cell one

* Story contains bad language

The first time our house was robbed, it was our neighbor Osita who climbed in through the dining-room window and stole our TV and VCR, and the “Purple Rain”...