by Kendra Fortmeyer
read by Dagny Paul
hosted by Setsu Uzume
First published in Forge Journal
She arrived at his apartment ten minutes late and discovered that she was already there.
The woman was a champion worrier, but this was something she had not thought to worry about. She had considered: is this a date, is this not a date, am I ready, is he a psycho/rapist/murderer who is going to drug/rape/murder me, what if I am a bad kisser, and even what if dinner makes me gassy and he leans in to kiss me and I let one rip and the whole evening comes down around our ears.
She rang the doorbell and the man appeared with a rosy smile that drained slowly from his face like paint.
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Kendra Fortmeyer is a writer of strange fictions. She attended the Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers’ workshop in 2016 and has work appearing or forthcoming in The Best American Nonrequired Reading, Lightspeed, the Toast and elsewhere. Her debut magical realist novel is forthcoming from Little, Brown in June 2017. She loves mermaids and the word ‘swamp,’ and can be found at kendrafortmeyer.com.
Dagny Paul is a former English teacher, failed artist, and excellent waitress who lives in New Orleans with an insanely talented roommate, a mostly-toothless Pomeranian, and her comic book collection. She likes writing, drawing, and spending time with her five-year-old son.