For the short story reader. Updated every Monday.

The Short Form

“Girls, at Play”

Celeste Ng

Excerpt

This is how we play the game: pink means kissing, read means tongue. Green means up your shirt; blue means down his pants. Purple means in your mouth. Black means all the way.

We play the game at recess, and the teachers don't notice.  We stand on the playground by the flagpole, arms ringed with colored bracelets from the drugstore, waiting. The boys come past us, in a bunch, all elbows, laughing. They pretend not to look. We pretend not to see them. One of them reaches out and snaps a bracelet off one of us, breaking it like a rubber band, fast and sharp as plucking a guitar string. He won't look back. He'll walk back the way he came, along the edge of the football field. And whoever is picked, Angie or Carrie or Mandy, will watch him go. After a minute she'll follow him and meet him under the bleachers, far down the field, where the teachers can't see.