New Voices: “For Emergency Use Only”


“Three weeks passed. Every day we waited for something to signal us that now was the time. At the first flash, we were ready to hop in bed so our shadows—when they were found later, burned into the wall—would give some humorless archaeologist of the future something to think about. An iconic image—our present to the world. But, no flash.”

In the second installment in our series of fiction by emerging authors, a young couple searches for explanations—and for solidarity—in the wake of an apocalypse that forgot them.

Ethan Rutherford's fiction has appeared in Tin House, Ploughshares, Conjunctions, BOMB, and The Best American Short Stories. His first book, The Peripatetic Coffin and Other Stories (Ecco, 2013), was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction and a finalist for the John Leonard Prize. His second collection of stories, Farthest South, was published by A Strange Object in 2021. Rutherford teaches creative writing at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut.