“Promise Me” by Carmen Maria Machado

By the time he returns from the bathroom, his date is already coming. Although he wants her, he thinks it better to sit and watch, figuring some things are worth watching without interference. Meanwhile, an onlooker in the next apartment building is also watching, thinking of her wife and their adventures on board a cruise ship.

About the Author

Carmen Maria Machado’s fiction and nonfiction has appeared in The New Yorker, Granta, NPR, Best American Science Fiction & Fantasy, Best Horror of the Year, Year’s Best Weird Fiction, and Best Women’s Erotica. Her short story “The Husband Stitch” was nominated for the Shirley Jackson and Nebula Awards, awarded a Pushcart Prize Special Mention, and longlisted for the Tiptree Award. She holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and has been awarded fellowships and residencies from the Michener-Copernicus Foundation, the Elizabeth George Foundation, the CINTAS Foundation, the Speculative Literature Foundation, the University of Iowa, the Yaddo Corporation, Hedgebrook, and the Millay Colony for the Arts. She teaches creative writing in Philadelphia.

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