Read our stories…

Below you’ll find select stories from over a decade of Chicago’s finest storytelling series: highlights from past shows, favorites from veteran tellers, and everything in between, once brought from page to stage and now, ultimately, to you.

Her Spitting Image

After church on Sunday morning, Grandma and I had a disagreement. I don’t remember the discussion, but my little brother Joey does. He remembers it vividly, because I had yet to come out to him, and it was in overhearing this argument he learned I was queer.

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“BLAKE! Please! PLEASE wake up!” I whisper. I slap his cheeks in hopes his eyes will shoot open. His facial hair proves he’s a man, but in this moment, his lifeless expression just shows a weak boy— a boy with an addiction. I somehow fell for that same vulnerability almost six months ago.

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This was a job for my dad. When he wanted to scare us he’d put on his prison voice, deep, confident, and a bit maniacal. Sometimes he’d even go so far as to take his leather belt and pull the edges making a crisp snap. That was the dad I needed this Sunday afternoon.

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Joe W.

I didn’t answer him that day. Didn’t ask why his suggestion was just a suggestion and not a direct order, because there were direct orders. Well, one direct order. It came at me almost every time we parted:

“Don’t pick up.”

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All So Goddamn Great

It’s one of those nights, you know, when everything is just. . . so. . . great! The music is great, this vodka tonic is great, this other vodka tonic is great, and so’s this other one, and for the first time since Josh and I broke up last month, I know I’ll be okay.

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Consigned To The Dead

When a sophomore stole a frog’s tongue from Dissection and stuck it in Neva’s sandwich, she merely plucked the foreign object from her mouth with long, chipped fingernails, tucked it in her napkin, and ate the rest as if nothing happened. That’s when I studied her. I mean, she didn’t even check her sandwich for more frog.

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