For the first time in our seven-year history, Midnight Breakfast is giving you an all-fiction issue. I want to be able to tell you this was all planned from the jump, that our editorial team got together and, because the majority of us are fiction writers ourselves, said, “Wouldn’t it be cool if we ran an issue that only contained short stories?” But the truth is we’re still in the middle of a pandemic, and planning for much of anything still feels like a wild card notion, so instead we’ll call Issue 18 what it is: the happiest of accidents.
I’m excited to say there’s something in this issue for everyone. We’ve got ghosts, queer love, impending natural disasters, disgruntled children setting shit on fire, mythological beings from the underworld, archangels, rabid fandom, mysterious billboards, threatening exes and even more threatening books, misdirected desire, Connecticut, Laura Branigan, social media critique, moral and ethical quandaries, 1-800 numbers, mistaken identities, and some pretty fucking beautiful art to go along with all of it.
Because I write, edit, and read them so fervently, people often ask what thrills me most about short stories. While my answers are always myriad (and the goal posts are always changing, depending on what I’m reading), something that’s remained consistent and true for years now is when fiction is seismic, when it can shift beneath me at any given moment—that’s when I know I’ve found something that will stay with me long after I’ve finished reading it. Each of the stories in Issue 18 exist on their own fault lines, with welcome shakes and reverberations. All of them have left me with aftershocks, and I hope they leave you with them, too.
—Rebecca Rubenstein, Editor-in-Chief