Eastward by Rebecca Nison

The featured story this month is from Pank magazine, an online literary zine where you can also listen to many of the published stories.

Eastward begins like this …

As you open the apartment building’s cracked glass door for the first time in sixteen days, unbutton the top button of your shirt. That’s better. You looked like a religious girl with your shirt closed up to your neck that way. One more button now. Show the people of Manhattan you worship nothing, that you love yourself too much to hide. Walk east.

Unbutton the third button, the fourth, as you look left, then right. Cross the street and enter Union Square, squirming with human movement this time of day. Buildings loom over the park on all sides. Circling above, a helicopter churns out a perpetual stutter that won’t become a word. A DJ plays electronic songs loud enough for the whole park to hear. He thunders into a microphone: “Do you want to daaaance, New York Citaaaay?” This habitat seems foreign. Good. You’re on your way, Celia. Unbutton the fifth button.

And finishes here

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