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Sincerest thanks to Janet and Julia. I won’t say that I couldn’t do it without you, but it would certainly be a more painful and inelegant process.

Thank you also to my editor Judith David — and to Andrea and Susan for the evil, er, eagle eye.

The story “Perfect Day” was loosely inspired by the essay “The Sting” by Susan Choi.

Perfect Day

Josh Lanyon

About last night,” I began awkwardly.

Graham handed me the red plastic coffee cup. Steam rose from the fragrant liquid.

“Yeah,” he said. No particular inflection, but I knew my worst fears were confirmed.

I sipped the hot coffee and stared past the blue tent at the meadow’s edge, at the fields of goldenrod that in the early morning mist looked like a distant golden lake.

Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.

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