Sari Romance by Ashok Rajamani

Image credit: Ashok Rajamani An Indian man named Anil Murthy wed a young, rather wealthy, young woman named Leenu Narayan. However, when this cherry-unpopped maiden married Anil, she did not love him. Actually, she did not like him. In fact, she did not even know of his existence at all. Leenu, at twenty-three, was informed by her father that she was to be a bride … Continue reading Sari Romance by Ashok Rajamani

Carlos and Us by Ewa Mazierska

Tony met him during his second morning run on the beach near Puerto Plata. They ran in the opposite directions on the empty beach, crossing each other’s paths at half past four in the morning. For the first time, they just looked at each other, not sure whether to acknowledge each other’s presence. But the next day the guy stopped and asked Tony where he … Continue reading Carlos and Us by Ewa Mazierska

Downtown by Max DeVoe Talley

When you plunge into overwhelming darkness, the beckoning tunnel, your face ghostly, almost alien in the scratched and scuffed window reflections, nothing is secure. Grab a metal strap or pole and don’t dwell on germs, because losing balance and falling onto a splayed lap or atop a moist reclining passenger is infinitely worse. There’s a roar of sound and forward thrust. The clack-clack-clack forms a … Continue reading Downtown by Max DeVoe Talley

Vegania by Mark Norman Harris

Part I There are two islands in an imaginary world. One is vegan, democratic and vaguely socialist. The other is inhabited by cannibals. We’ll call them Vegania and Cannabalia. Vegania had a veritable religion built around gastronomy and organized themselves into three distinct hereditary classes: farmers, blacksmiths and chefs. The farmers grew the raw ingredients, and the blacksmiths made the pots and pans, while the … Continue reading Vegania by Mark Norman Harris

The Call by Darius Jamal VanSluytman

The garbage juice pooled at the bottom of the open dumpsters lining the Navy Yard Canteen, baked in the morning sun. Noxious plumes floated upwards taunting heaven and throne. It was eight a.m. and already eighty-two degrees. Zip walked through the tangle of food trucks parked semi-legally outside the sad building sitting near the foot of Clinton Hill, where Clinton Avenue meets Flushing. He had … Continue reading The Call by Darius Jamal VanSluytman

PornMe2 by David Leo Rice

Before reading this sequel, it is highly recommended that you confer with the first installment of David Leo Rice’s all too prescient work, PornMe. The below work also appears in the print version of The Opiate, specifically Vol. 14. Poor Gribby’s on his last legs, so to speak, dying in the bathtub with the other Gribby standing over him, filming it all on his phone, uploading … Continue reading PornMe2 by David Leo Rice

Lake Break by Christian Niedan

It’s a quiet Wednesday afternoon in late winter, and the dark water of a long lake is trapped beneath bright shimmering ice. Above it, thick gray clouds hang low, diffusing the sunlight across a frozen expanse that stretches out from shore a good three hundred feet, before giving way to dark open water that ripples when the sky sends down a chilly wind that rolls … Continue reading Lake Break by Christian Niedan