Derek Palacio holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the Ohio State University. His short fiction has appeared in Puerto del Sol and the Kenyon Review, and his story "Sugarcane" was selected for inclusion in The O. Henry Prize Stories 2013. His novella, How to Shake the Other Man, was published by Nouvella Books in spring 2013. He is the co-director, with Claire Vaye Watkins, of the Mojave School, a non-profit creative writing workshop for teenagers in rural Nevada. Currently, he is working on his first novel.Photo Credit: Lily Glass
Catherine Zobal Dent was born in Washington, D.C., and raised on Maryland's Eastern Shore. Her fiction and reviews have appeared in numerous journals, including Harvard Review, North American Review, Green Mountains Review and PANK. She is the fiction and poetry editor of MLS and an assistant professor at the Writers Institute of Susquehanna University. Unfinished Stories of Girls (Fomite Press, 2014) is her debut story collection.
There is only a minute or so left in the match, Javi is certain, but he has never sparred for this long before, a full extra round three days before his first fight. He wonders if Oscar is still watching him or if he has gone to check his books or instruct the other fighters, or maybe even inspect the equipment. Oscar has been circling the gym nonstop since Marcel's shooting ten days ago. It's still not clear what happened. Gunshots and two bodies: one Marcel's, the other, one of his coffee vendors. Javi thinks the not knowing is Oscar's reason for pacing his mats. The man stands still long enough and the whole world hits him. Better to keep moving. Better to keep ducking the punch.
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