Stories by
R. Gatwood

He doesn’t like the commission’s definition of “torture” and how it makes him think about his dad in a different way.

R. Gatwood (@iwantanewhead) is a verbal construct.

Forget the stories we made up about the scars. We never had wings. We were born joined at the back, destined only to weigh each other down.

R. Gatwood is concise.

The Tilt-a-Whirl was shut down for repairs, so she didn’t get to touch her son that year.

R. Gatwood’s (@iwantanewhead) work has appeared in Per Contra, Monkeybicycle, and Vestal Review.

I finally found someone like Me. Then I remembered I had forbidden all other gods.

R. Gatwood is mortal.

On my way to the home, I pick a hemlock flower to add to the bouquet. He still laughs at our old running jokes, when I explain them.

R. Gatwood is concise.

All our stories are about people before the Bettering—people who hurt because they couldn’t help it. People who didn’t think hurt was fun.

R. Gatwood is concise.

“A short life.” She runs age-tremulous fingers over the line crossing his palm. It’s from a knifeblade, but he nods, figuring she’s right.

R. Gatwood is concise.

“Most of the tooth is still there,” he said. The child only cried harder.

R. Gatwood is no good at comforting the disturbed.

As the kitchen curtains ignite, the man in the living room types “smelling smoke” and skims a list. Seizure. Stroke. Tumor. Sinus infection.

R. Gatwood is concise.

We pretended there was some mix-up about the dates, but we knew. We knew the worthy had been taken. We knew how few of them there were.

R. Gatwood is concise.