May 5, 2020

“Window Shopping,” A Short Story by Brian Wryter

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“Window Shopping,” A Short Story by Brian Wryter

The sun was not bright like the day before. It was a gentle and calm sun. Clouds covered it and made it calm and gentle, but still the light from it gave the time the meaning of morning. The man woke up and brushed his teeth. He looked at himself in the mirror and felt deep shame. A kind of shame that made him not want to look in the mirror anymore. He put on his jeans and a white t-shirt that had a stain on the left shoulder from the pasta he ate the night before. The man didn’t look at the time and went outside his mother’s house. He didn’t say where he was going to his mother and two sisters. His sisters were in the lounge watching something that had a lot…

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April 29, 2020

“A Very Vulnerable Place,” by Alexander Kemp

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“A Very Vulnerable Place,” by Alexander Kemp

“You’re neither in Heaven nor Hell.” “Is this Purgatory?” The Old Man sighed. “Some call it that.” I looked around the modest cottage. The only furniture present was a wooden cross on the wall. Heat arose from the fireplace. The windows had thick black bars. “Have I been here before?” I asked. The Old Man pointed to the brown door. “Put your ear to it and listen.” Rushing over to the door, the knob vanished as I reached for it. I put my ear to the wood. No sound. “Close your eyes,” The Old Man instructed. * My elderly father pounded the table. “His eyes twitched. They opened. I’m serious, doctor.” “This has to be God bringing him back,” my frantic mother explained. Dr. North held his hands up. He said, “Eyes twitch. This happens…

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April 23, 2020

“Of Dark Energy,” A Short Story by G. D. McFetridge

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“Of Dark Energy,” A Short Story by G. D. McFetridge

Something about the old man seemed unpredictable—motives hidden behind the vacuous glimmer in his eyes, the way he stroked his long gray beard, his thunderous laugh—and he had told the same story for years. His only son, Lukas, when he was a senior in high school had survived a car accident that killed three people. The other driver was drunk, and he and his wife died instantly. Her nephew died two days later. But young Luke walked away with cuts and a few fractured ribs.  The old man always said, “My boy was born just plain lucky.” Many years later after his father died of lymphoma, Luke thought it prudent to get a thorough medical examination, and everything seemed fine until the doctor telephoned to discuss the lab reports. He didn’t go into specifics but…

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March 17, 2020

“To and Fro,” by Hayden Moore

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“To and Fro,” by Hayden Moore

Harmony is the strength of binding opposites: Heraclitus She knew the way, but the liquid path never failed to frighten her. Her arms were sure as she paddled from one to side to the other, left to right, to and fro until she convinced herself the fear was nothing more but adolescent excitement. In those rare moments of calm, something stirred within her chest as one arm gave way to the stroke of another, a harmonic song issuing forth from her sternum in a moment’s moment. But the song was too brief to name and the moment too fleeting to overtake the peril. Not a cloud in the sky. The girl swore she could see the curvature of the earth from her humble placement as she paddled across the shallow sea. When she dared to…

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March 15, 2020

“The Boggart” and other Poems by Julia Franklin

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“The Boggart” and other Poems by Julia Franklin

The Boggart   There used to be this boggart in our house. Not a big thing, really; actually quite small.   Of course, we didn’t used to see her that way; There was a time when we were the ones that were small.   She had a row of teeth for every bit of flesh we bore. She’d bring them out, all neat and sharp and small.   One day we stared her down and brought our own teeth out, And the growl that stirred in her throat was small.   The night passed without incident. When the sun rose, We found footprints out the door. We thought, “Now who’s small?”   I heard she found another house to haunt, Its occupants each Bambi-eyed and small. **   The Truckers   It’s a world that…

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February 9, 2020

“Surgeon General’s Warning,” by A. R. Farina

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“Surgeon General’s Warning,” by A. R. Farina

When the warning first appeared, we were already addicts. It was total and complete saturation. I never knew anyone who wasn’t using although, I found out later, some people weren’t. The kids who were fed free lunch used. My parents used. Hell, they were worse than anyone I knew. All the parents were terrible. There was an old jokey Public Service Announcement that came from when my grandparents were young about a kid doing drugs because he learned it from watching his dad. I saw it a few times as a meme. “I learned it from watching you, Dad!” It would be funny if it weren’t so true. The morning the warning came down, I was in school. First-period classes had just begun when the smartboard turned on. Like every other morning, Jake, the admin…

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February 2, 2020

“The Answer,” A Short Story by A. Richard Sogliuzzo

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“The Answer,” A Short Story by A. Richard Sogliuzzo

A heavy snowfall blanketed Manhattan; a fierce wind blew over the Hudson River across the West Side. Gusts of snow twirled, twisted and sped toward Central Park. Downtown, offices closed early, rivers of people poured into the streets and down the subways, determined to get home. Eyes peered out between hats and scarves, struggling to see through the snow and wind. On Central Park West, a cab made its way slowly through the snow then stopped.   The cabbie turned to the elderly passenger, “That’s it, lady. I can’t go on in this storm, otherwise, I’ll be stuck here.”  “I think it’s close enough. How much do I owe you?”    “Twelve dollars.”   “Here’s fifteen.”    “Thanks, lady.”   She got out of the cab and pushed her way through a mound of snow.  The stout woman, looked younger than her eighty years: a few…

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