The Winter War
by Gen Del Raye
Something about the contacts on the bulb. For some reason, it wouldn’t light without the weight of the blackout cloth draped over it. We tried many times, but nothing worked. So on that first night after the war, when houses all over the city were casting off shadows they’d had for years, we spent a few hours huddled around a cone of light on the floor before giving up and going to sleep. A bad omen, said Shinji. No, I said. Just bad wiring. Outside, we saw children huddled around a lamp in the dark, searching for frogs to eat.
by Ashlie Allen
I like sitting on the steps while everyone has dinner. The sound of their smothered laughter makes me tingle. Maybe this is what self-pity is, tingling in the heart. I see a bird sucking a worm from the gravel and imagine the worm feels like me when I don’t eat anything, desperate and dizzy. I am embarrassed I do not try to save him or myself.
by Brenda Anderson
Our Gran checks the catalog. Companions don’t come cheap. After much thought, she makes a choice. Next day, the Home Care Company installs a spa-style Bubbling Bog next to her chair. It extrudes long, warm, brown fingers that massage her shoulders. It bubbles, “Wanna play cards?” The Bog plays well, but Gran always wins. It doesn’t bubble so much now. Maybe it’s mad. One morning, we find Gran arm wrestling it and winning. The Bog’s gone cold. Maybe it’s sulking. Gran gives it a prod. “Wakey wakey!” It rises and swings back. Gran smiles. It’s a fighter. Good Bog!
by Cole Meyer
She can’t get the smell of him from her hair, from her clothes. Can’t get his taste from her tongue, like he’s stuck between her teeth. It’s autumn and the leaves are falling. She thinks, this is what love is. She isn’t right or wrong. She can’t bring herself to cross bridges anymore, won’t buckle her seatbelt. She leaves a window cracked at all times and she holds her breath for minutes, just to see if she can. The cold soaks through her window at night and she dreams of mermen driving cars in a city beneath the lake.
by Jonathan Cardew
I tend to my secrets like they’re my children. Each one is sent off in the morning with a kiss and a packed lunch, possibly a note, and they spend the day away in a building that assists in their growth. When they return, we are all surprised by our incivility—harsh words, slammed doors—but always there are moments of reconciliation, reminders of what we mean to one another. At night, when they are asleep, I drink wine with my husband, kicking back with Netflix on. I do not breathe a word about it.
The Modern Hunter
by Andrew Ramos
Lost, he stumbled upon a yonic clearing of oak where a woman bathed in waist-deep pond water. Between two wilted arms that smelled of syrup and mold he watched her through his rifle’s gilded scope, which had grown heavier with the past three moons, and her hair fluttered with whispers of an ancient legend he’d once known. There was a howl from some far off hound, and she whirled her gaze to where he hid, and his instinct pulled the trigger before his mind registered the sadness that man’s hunger could bring.
This week’s artwork is “I Burn/Phoenix Rising” by Rachelle Olsen-Veal
The Small End of the Funnel
by Robert Scotellaro
P.S. Brenda’s doing Phone Sex. Can you believe it? I remember her saying the word ROBUST once. It was hot.
P.P.S. Kay’s into photography now. Close-ups of rusty staples in phone poles. A red spider on a yellow sponge. Artists. Christ.
P.P.P.S. I called Brenda last night. And man oh man!
P.P. P. P.S. Out of nowhere Kay says, “All cheaters should be pushed down a funnel with the small end in hell.” I looked at her like, that’s interesting. Like, there’s nothing in this fridge worth taking. Only began breathing again when she started taking pictures of the cat.
by Allen X. Davis
The low rumble sounded like thunder. The house shivered. A miniature teacup teetered off the hutch and exploded musically. She would have blamed it on him. “Earthquake, smirthquake. You’re a drunk. You don’t care about my stuff. You don’t care about me!”
He picked up a piece of the cup. On it was an image of the Eiffel Tower. “I did,” he said. “But not any more.” He picked up Hawaii—where they had made love in the honeymoon water. He held it high in the air and waited for the crash. Carefully he set it back on the shelf.
by Andrew Davis
I don’t bring Mom anything when I visit her grave. I sit alone in my car and smoke, and I think about Sara and me making out, gasping for love until we are too gross. I never told Mom about her. When Sara first saw my place, she told me it was barren and needed a “woman’s touch”. What else could I do but laugh? I think she wanted to fix me, so I told her I never wanted children, and that marriage was a social construct. I wished her the best.
Numbers Never Lie
by Jace Killan
He usually liked numbers. Numbers were safe. The numbers wouldn’t lie; they were set in stone, firm, constant. Unless the conspirers of these numbers were liars, he thought. But then you could hardly blame the numbers. It wasn’t their fault that they were now etched in stone by fabricators of reality. How dare they? The wretches! Blasphemers of righteousness. Was it incompetence? Negligence? Intentional fraud? Surely the latter. Lawrence breathed deep and squeezed the trigger. He scowled at the numbers of the gasoline pump, growing and growing and growing.
Out of the Dusk
by Kim Peter Kovac
One, two, three, four, two, two, three, four.
Dirt road, civil twilight, lime green Zoom Fly shoes, jogging past thistles and sword grass, racing from the coming-soon nervous night, nasty night that fills my room, night landing on places hiding blades (Balkan blades, vampire blades).
Stop, breathe, turn, breathe again. Then: run, two, three, four, one, two; for me.
I’m on the edge. So, breathe, one, two, three, set, ready, set, go.
At astronomical twilight, the crescent moon slices up through the horizon and gently lights on Orion’s arm. Not mine. The moonlight makes my Zoom Fly shoes glow.
by Ashlie Allen
Her skin smelled like cherry blossom and vinegar. I told her to rest against me and be quiet; I am too timid to respond to affectionate sentences. She doesn’t feel loved. Maybe I don’t either. We stay close because our depression needs to bond. I like it when she tells me I look like a woman and have malevolent eyes. One night she hit me. I cradled my cheek, eyes demonic with hurt. “I meant it,” she hissed. Slumping to my knees, I started laughing at the stinging in my heart. No, I didn’t feel admired. But she didn’t either.
The Tunnel of Love
by Esther Smoller
It looked innocuous. Gleaming, mouth wide open. A man in white telling me he loved me. He would stay with me forever, never leave me when the going got rough. The music! Swirling above my head, pitch a little too high. Ponies, poodles, and puppies. He wrapped me tight in his arms. The music grew louder. It wasn’t music anymore. The sound of breaking cement! He dug a grave. Pussycats, poodles, and ponies. The Tunnel of Love became tight. The three Ps were not working. Paralysis, perdition, and petard came in disguise. The music lightened, bearable. He waited for me.
by Pavelle Wesser
I was on fire after winning the science competition, which may be why, as I was accepting the trophy, it disintegrated in my hands while my synapses short-circuited. Through the haze of my mind, I tried to tell Dad the pics he was snapping of me would be his last. “Dad!” The word burned to cinders before emerging from my charred lips. I extended my arms, which exploded off my shoulders, prompting piercing screams from the audience. Finally, I combusted, and the immense pressure that had been building up within me from the beginning of the competition was released.
Baby Come Back
by Tara Roeder
After you left, all of the plants died. Even the cacti. A swarm of ants has made their home in the kitchen. The buttons have fallen off my favorite shirt. Your newfound devotion to the hermit crab sanctuary at the expense of all human interaction remains as puzzling as it is hurtful. I wish you would reconsider. I await your response.
P.S. The pots and pans are covered with a strange mildew.
by Steve Lucas
Ian returned from his snowboarding holiday in Canada and decided that one day he would build computers or robots, but right now he was drunk and there was nothing to eat in our flat so he unscrewed the lid from a jar of mayonnaise and starting eating it with a tablespoon. It made me feel sick, but he said it was nothing. In the showers of St. Joseph’s rugby club, one of the guys inserted a finger into his own sphincter and pushed it into Ian’s face. Ian was tough, hungry, and left the kitchen taps running.
by Brad Nelms
“Why does your cat always lick me so much?” I asked pulling my hand away from the purring tabby squatting on my chest.
“I read online somewhere, that the Egyptians believed cats would lick people to purify their bodies before death so they wouldn’t get eaten by Ammit, the crocodile god,” she said without looking up from her book.
“Well, tell her to knock it off. It’s not like I am going to die anytime soon,” I said with a weak laugh. Locking eyes with the cat, I rested my hand near its mouth. “Get back to work,” I whispered.
by Ashlie Allen
I climb the mango tree, not to taste sweetness but to see something beautiful and feel the thrill of peace. The people below think I have a ghostly voice and that my teeth are sinister. Maybe I am an animal trying to be attractive so someone will take care of me. I ascend the branches so my shadow will be far away and so the earth can’t touch me. If my feet meet the ground ever again, I will eat fruit and celebrate all the seeds I cannot grow, only consume.
The Year My Mother Died
by Esther Smoller
Miss Kiltenham sat on my porcelain kitten and broke its tail. I begged my father not to make me go to my first day at school. He drove right up to the front door and allowed me to clutch his hand in desperation but let it go as I walked into the classroom. Because I was a small child, I was given a front row desk. Miss Kiltenham liked to sit on the edge of my desk—right where I placed my comfort kitten. I came home that day with a note pinned to my chest: “Esther vomited today.”
by Jen Finelli
We used to climb roofs, at night. Restaurants, chemistry labs—the physics building, with its medieval tower, rails and parapets, was a favorite. We watched people below, dodged security guard flashlights, shivered as the fog descended, tiles moistened, and the stars dimmed. We climbed because teens need adventure, struggle! One night we found charcoal, and drew on the tiles for the next adventurers to find. “What message do you want to leave the world?” I asked my buddy. “I don’t know,” he said. I wrote it down, sadly, but maybe he was right.
by Troy Evans
Brenda stormed out of the store. “I’m never shopping there again!”
Joel shuffled along behind, wishing he was somewhere else.
“Are you listening to me?!”
“I think that guy’s living in his car; he’s always sitting in it.”
Joel had learned that detaching from her rants saved time and was, to some degree, safer than engaging Brenda directly, even in spite of the abuse he would inevitably receive. He turned. She was behind him now, entranced by a display in a shoe store window. Just beyond her, paramedics were pulling the man’s lifeless body from the car.
by Georgene Smith Goodin
Irma said it was bad symbolism to get married in a funeral suit. I’d worn the only one I owned to bury Nana and Uncle Joe, so she ordered me to rent something. I thought that was bad symbolism too, like our marriage was on loan from strangers. There’s no arguing with that woman, so I picked through the rental rack while some pimple faces got outfitted for prom. Irma’s so stubborn, she wouldn’t even say I was right when I found her in the bathroom with our best man. “That didn’t take long,” I said, and closed the door.
This week’s artwork is “Coca Cola Tango” by AF Knott.
by Zack Stein
When tantruming on account of something small, but motivated by reasons big, Mom would go through the kitchen drawers and throw spoons at my father and me. Always spoons. Never the forks or knives, and I thought that was a nice gesture. Still, she never tried to discipline me. She just let me twist her static hair as she slept under white duvets for most of my adolescence. My father always said she was ill or tired, but I saw it in him, too. Sometimes I’d watch him dip his face into a bowl of cereal until his fingertips relaxed.
by B.E. Seidl
I looked at the bug, and he looked at me. There was only his head, the rest was still under my skin. For days I had anticipated this moment, when I would finally stare into those colorless eyes. I had felt him moving inside my arm, had watched him growing under an itching bump. All I wanted to do was rip his head off, but I had to wait until he came out on his own. It seemed like hours that we were eying each other. Finally he squeezed himself out and fell to the floor.
Young Lovers Go Camping
by Vincent Aldrich
On the bus to Baltimore she bites her nails and listens to slow music in her headphones, slumping in the red hoodie he paid for, watching traffic out the window as the sky goes dark. Her boots are still muddy. Both her eyes and cheek are deep, inky purple, veined bilirubin yellow, starting to heal. Her mouth is slightly open because she still can’t breathe through her broken nose. Her cellphone and wallet are somewhere in the Susquehanna River. The gun in the backpack on the seat next to her is missing four bullets.
by Ellen Perleberg
Café Arusat was like every other café in Tripoli. Men loitered for hours over strong coffee and debates. Hakim had run the café for five years. According to custom, he should’ve bonded with the same twenty men occupying his ironwork chairs every afternoon, but generations passed through too quickly. They died fighting for Gaddafi or the rebellion. The survivors fled to Europe. Or jihadi camps. Those who stayed were blown up or murdered. Whenever a patron disappeared, Hakim scrubbed his old chair with bleach, as though the disinfectant could scare away the djinns and the ghosts of his broken country.
by Doyen Sump
Though I distinctly remember going to bed last night, I am somehow fully clothed and on the bathroom floor when I wake. I get up slowly and look in the mirror. I am pale and haggard. After splashing water on my face, I exit and find my wife sitting at the kitchen table, looking frustrated.
“The police brought you home again,” she says. “You were wandering the street eating a box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch.”
I want to believe she’s joking, but I taste cinnamon when I swallow.
“Wasn’t me,” I say.
“Never is,” she says.
Just Another Day
by Jim Harrington
Mom’s black pants are in the trash again. I don’t know why and never will. Her mind functions unattended these days. I give her the single rose and card. She says it’s not her birthday. I tell her I know. She reads the card and places it on her bed without comment. I help her to the window hand in hand, and we watch the trees struggle to stay erect in the strong wind. Life hasn’t knocked her over yet, but it will. I think she still knows that.
by Richard Jennis
Antoine desperately wanted to walk on the moon, but there were holes in his faded jeans and his teeth weren’t straight and his right eye danced during interviews. So they accepted Edmond Gray, who had a panic attack shortly after takeoff, compromising the entire mission. Now an engineering professor at MIT, Antoine forgoes the traditional suit and tie. Students find him relatable, funny, and endearing. Last Friday, he talked about the previous launch, and his right eye flickered like candle lights. The casual observer assumes amblyopia, but his students know he’s penetrating the ceiling, sweeping the skies for moon landers.
The Dog Died Yesterday
by Ronald J. Friedman
The dog died yesterday and so did my mother-in-law. My wife wanted to bury her in the back yard under the plum tree, but the kids and I had always planned to put the dog to rest there so we’re going to bury Helen’s mother over in Coffeeville next to the church. We ordered a laser-engraved plaque for the grave. It says, “Ruffles Forever”.
by Nathan Hystad
He is closer to the edge today than yesterday. The ground looms way down the cliff face, and he pictures how it will look when he finally jumps. Today is the day, he tells himself.
His toes touch the air, then the arch of his bare feet feel the rock edge press against them. For the first time in years, the ache in his heart is gone, replaced by calm.
The wind blows lightly against his back, urging him forward. He closes his eyes and takes a deep breath, as his phone rings. It’s her again.
There’s always tomorrow.
by Mattie Blake
I dreamed I was driving and stopped at a crosswalk. As the pedestrians crossed, they all met in the middle, embracing each other. Soon they all looked at me, sensing my impatience.
“Don’t you have love for people?” a man said.
I told him, “I do feel love, but it is buried with other things I feel.”
“Every place is a place for love in this world,” he said.
“Some places are meant for cars. You cheapen love with what you do.”
“You are sadly blind,” he said.
“And yet I see the road better than you.”
How Was She to Know?
by Shreyasi Majumdar
The Indonesian’s “rare reticulated python” sales pitch was totally unnecessary – it was love at first sight. A 16-foot long beauty, it became a coiled up marvel that made its home in a sheltered corner of her house. Placid and inert, it would lay there, its Sauronese eyes watching intently. Through the wedding and when the baby came, it watched unblinking, a mute spectator. One afternoon, as she lazed on the patio, it uncoiled. Muscles rippled. Somewhere in the dim recesses of her tired mind, she heard a baby cry. When the crying stopped, she drifted into a deep, dreamless sleep.
by Nancy Nguyen
On a rainy afternoon, I received a care package at my new house. It was at my doorstep, the size of an abandoned infant. I left it next to the bare coat rack. Even after the rain stopped and the sun dried everything up, the box stayed drenched for days. A briny smell permeated every room. When the smell became too much, I opened the package to find an electric blanket, a humidifier, and a broken bottle of fish sauce. I called my mother for the first time in a year.
by D. Quentin Miller
Staring through a diner window, late at night, humidity heavy, contemplating something self-harmful. Trying to remember when she felt this exact feeling, because she has, but it hasn’t been on a night like this when her lover dumped her. Gnawing on a ragged fingernail. Spitting out a microshred, a sliver of herself, onto the sidewalk damp from the thundershowers. Aware of a man in the diner staring at her. Fumbling through her purse and finding her rape whistle and putting it in her mouth, but not blowing it, just leaving it there, like an unlit cigarette, just in case.
Mostly Straight But…
by Anne Wilding
The thought of coffee with her is enough, pushes me face down on the sofa, on my back, my side. I find myself, I think, on the floor. The ceiling, floor and walls collide with want. I’ll be late and she won’t know why. My head in a corner has time to think Need to dust before there is only pleasure and my body. Hands and clothes and head reeking pheromones, I’m giddy out the door, dreamy on the bus, but arrive on time. She smiles. “You’ve cobwebs in your hair.” And runs her fingers through the dusty remains.
by Phil Temples
I hop on the bus and grab my favorite seat. It looks like the same bus. It smells like it. Yeah, this is the same goddamn bus. I put my hand under my seat and feel around. There! I find the same wad of chewing gum from yesterday. I could continue to chew it. Or I could stick it someplace else. Friday, I unbuttoned my blouse and exposed my left tit to everyone behind me. No one even noticed. They were too busy texting or looking at Facebook. What’s a girl got to do to get noticed?
This last week, during the AWP conference in Minneapolis, the Blue Skirt Productions team asked participants to submit microfiction on post-it notes for a chance to be published the following Monday online. Below are the chosen entries. Enjoy!
by Sam Snoek-Brown
When the storm piled in the Gulf, my father gathered eggs. He filled the basket with carrots and pawpaws and the last of our biscuits, and my sisters and I hid in the attic where my father sang songs above the flood. In the morning we headed north, but the townsfolk found us. My father whispered for us to run before they beat him in the road. We wept over him, but as we watched them pass our food among themselves, our stomachs knotted. So we left my father in the mud and joined the townsfolk for supper.
by Sierra Lomprey
I Would Have Settled for Cheese, but…
Feeling good, I picked up the mozzarella stick. A long, unruly black hair was stuck to it. “Fuck it,” I said and pulled the hair off. “I’m drunk and it’s half off appetizers tonight at Applebees.”
*Based on a true story.*
Feet off the Floor
by Tia Clark
Chrisette puts her feet up on the coffee table to avoid the floor, though she knows, intellectually, that it’s not made of lava. Her brother is years and miles away, too far to yell at her to jump from couch to couch to save her life. And her girlfriend’s at work, too far and too busy to yell at her to get her feet off the goddamn table, stop texting at dinner, not that bra, etc. And Chrisette’s toes are just the right pink. And at this vantage point, this distance, her legs look almost completely straight.
by Casey Kimberly
If you think people attend conferences for “best practices” and networking, you’re a fool. If you attend conferences thinking it’s for career development, you’re fooling yourself.
Sure, there may be standout breakouts. You may snap pics of a speaker’s revealing slides. But the screen you’ll scan most during the sessions will be the one in your hand.
Certainly you’ll meet people. But millions don’t flock to conferences for networking alone. The truth is they flock to fuck.
At night hotels become hotbeds for hedonism. A brief escape. No kids, no spouses, no strings attached.
Shocked? Interested? I’m in Room 603.
This week’s artwork is by Rachelle Olsen-Veal.
by Alexis Goldsmith
Margaret chose the candles for Mom’s funeral. They had the sweet smell of peaches. They put him back in a bathroom, in a time when he couldn’t yet see above the counter. Before Margaret was born. Leaves brushed the hazy glass. Dad’s & a woman’s voices. And something else: flies buzzing in your ear on a humid morning, fog rolling off a lake, vinyl walls, deep black mold. And something else. Behind a locked bathroom door, eating ripe fleshy peaches with pits filled with cyanide. “What are you thinking about?” Margaret’s hand is on his. “I can’t remember,” he says.
The Drowning Pool
by Cathy S. Ulrich
The children practice the dead man’s float in the water. They don’t believe in ghosts, or drowning. They have contests to see how long they can hold their breath, playing still and dead. One of them always loses, thrashing his hips up and down until he finally surfaces, gasping. The other children don’t move, their faces pressed into the water. They don’t see when he pulls himself out of the pool and crouches below the lifeguard’s stool in shame. The children are counting the seconds until they need to breathe again, and the lifeguard counts, too.
God of the Sea
by Cyn Bermudez
Metal tore my wrists as the boat rocked. Mast and bow tossed about, ripping through rotted planks. Salt and wet wood permeated the air, my pores, my tongue. My flesh—torn by whip and branded with hot metal—stung with each splash, with each touch of cold wind. The ocean twisted in fury. I bit into my arms, banged the shackles against a flat, sharp object that hung near where I stood. Beneath me the floor fell away revealing a large and terrible eye. Blacker than night, hungry like a wild beast. White bone shone through ripped flesh.
by Joy Manne
They said he was born lucky.
If anyone found a coin by the roadside, it would be Tommy, except mostly he found $50 notes.
If anyone got the most beautiful gal, it would be Tommy, and she would always come from the richest family and have parents who adored him.
The best university, the best grades, the best job offers, and – just before choosing between them – run over by the Mercedes 300SEL 6.3 that had once belonged to Mick Jagger for whose concerts he always managed to obtain the best seats.
Lucky Tommy escaped before life could disappoint him.
Before He Gets Home
by Bill McStowe
When he gets home, Lo is in bed with Jasmine, the book about the princess tucked under her arm. Before he gets home, she returns the duffel bag to the front closet, under the winter jackets she has been meaning to donate.
Before he gets home, Lo looks at her bruises in the mirror.
She calls her sister.
Before he gets home, Lo sits at the kitchen table and counts the money she keeps hidden between sweaters in the duffel bag.
Before he gets home, Lo smokes a cigarette.
Before he gets home, Lo reads her baby girl a story.
by Courtney Watson
War was all they were good at. Planning it, waging it, missing it once the guns cooled. There were annual celebrations, but roman candles and bottle rockets echoed weakly. That’s why they forgot us when the first metallic streaks sizzled across the thin black sky, leaving us to host the ghosts of the last revolution while they lost the next one. Tomorrow would mean blood soaked in the marble, and boots on our fine pink china. Tonight, though, the sky was haunted with bright specters of light and sound. Fireworks or bombs; either way, they laughed and our world burned.
by Dan Plate
When Jesus was ten, he and his cousin John had a thing for the same girl. John was the better looking boy, but Jesus made her a bird, which was what she wanted.
This week’s artwork is by Marylea M. Quintana Madiman.
Coming out of My Shell
by Rob Grim
Anyone who flies, throws boulders, or shoots lasers is trying to defuse the bomb or fighting the androids guarding it. Me? I create impervious, opaque, soundproof bubbles—so I grab the little girl and make one. She’s crying. I sneak a nip from my flask and realize there’s no way to know if the bomb went off or not. What if I drop the bubble and we’re surrounded by nerve gas and angry androids? I’m not much of a hero, but it’s time I at least try. I get her behind me, pull my handgun, and drop the damn bubble.
by Jay Slayton-Joslin
Their fingers intertwined, like the headphones each of them kept in their pockets for any single reason they left the house. They walked to the end of the platform, kissing goodbyes, planning to write to each other, get married and move somewhere with a white picket fence and have children. The whistle blew, one of them walked onto the train, sitting by the window for the cool ice to calm their thoughts by resting the forehead. The locomotive left the station, the only thing certain right then was its destination and that the two would never see each other again.
by Namitha Varma
Today, my father was reduced from Mr. Shantanu Dasgupta to a body on the operating table. The pathologist and nurses tore him apart tissue by tissue, as if he was a piece of paper. They stitched him back together to present to the family, like the chef dressing the chicken for a patron at the restaurant. The clothes he wore were bundled in a dirty bag and handed over to me. The green shirt I gifted him for his birthday was now tinted crimson. I clutched the bundle and wept till I was seeped in the odor of his death.
by Debbi Antebi
Marie didn’t know why she could only sit at her desk in the study room after making sure that the bedspread had no wrinkles. If she saw a cushion misplaced on the sofa, she had to fluff and place it in its correct spot before she could focus on her work. So one day, when her husband stepped in the house with muddy shoes and hurtful words, throwing the porcelain dishware to the floor before slamming the door, all she could do was to sit down and gaze at her slippers lined up next to his beneath their bed.
There Once Was an Old Lady Who Lived in an Air Jordan
by Smith Q Johns
There once was an old lady who in an Air Jordan. She had so many children she put them up for adoption but not before getting rich on welfare. She eventually tried to sell her house to Ripley’s Believe it or Knot and then to Nike to no avail (liability issues). It was almost bought by a museum but they passed on it as it had lost its sole. It was then sold to a bunch of hipsters and they used it as venue where they got drunk and talked about how they hated breeders.