June 18, 2020

“Ave Maria on the Moon,” by Frank Diamond

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“Ave Maria on the Moon,” by Frank Diamond

Desperation birthed the plan, if you want to call it a birth, and if you want to call it a plan. NASA threw us at the Moon; a Hail Mary pass for world peace, of all clichés. Look how that turned out.  I, Chuck Dunn, now sit at the entrance to the cave-complex at the base of the Marius Hills, behind the screen—or the veil, as we on the mission nicknamed it. The Moonscape stretches before me like an addict’s vision of the Arizona desert: rock formations back-lean as the dinosaurs might have while gazing at the arrival of their extinction event. Further beyond, the cloaked range dead-stops at the horizon. The Earth hovers between two cupped peaks; a raised blue Communion host. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death,…

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June 15, 2020

“You vs. the Apocalypse,” by Ayman Elsayed

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“You vs. the Apocalypse,” by Ayman Elsayed

TITLE: You vs. The Apocalypse  GENRE: Legal, Simulation, Strategy  DEVELOPER: COVID-19  FRANCHISE: Pandemic Interactive  PUBLISHER: Ayman Elsayed  RELEASE DATE: March 15, 2020    The handling of the end of the world is on trial. Your only mission is to survive. Overcome struggles such as mental health, physical isolation and deteriorating resources by interacting with technology. Engage with others. Find a hobby. Judge your community. Protect yourself from yourself.    Single-player  Achievements  Full Remote Compatibility    RECENT REVIEWS: Very Negative. 99.9% of the 7,729,536,211 user reviews in the last 30 days are negative.    Popular user-defined tags for this product: Closed World, Survival Horror, RPG, Retro, Sandbox, Social Distancing, Crafting, Souls-like    —————————————————————————————————————–    _________    / ======= \    / __________\    | ___________ |    | |         | |    | |  START  | |   …

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June 12, 2020

Sherlock Holmes Read by Greg Wagland

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Sherlock Holmes Read by Greg Wagland

Sherlock Holmes is a character that has intrigued and attracted the masses since Sir Arthur Conan Doyle first published A Study in Scarlet in 1887. Since then, it has been adapted for radio, stage and television, the story of London’s only consulting detective and his steadfast and loyal partner, Dr. Watson, accumulating more and more fans with every generation. Now with all those books, TV shows, cassette tapes, operettas, parodies, games, movies, and comics of the world’s most iconic mystery duo, that should be enough material for most Sherlockian fanatics, right? Well, let me add one more option to the pile. For the traditional, classic lover, here is Sherlock Holmes read by Greg Wagland of Magpie Audio, sharing all your favorite stories on YouTube for free!! “The Copper Beeches” on YouTube. “The Yellow Face” on…

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June 11, 2020

“Silenced,” The Poetry of Joan McNerney

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“Silenced,” The Poetry of Joan McNerney

Silenced      What is never spoken of and pushed down  becomes mold crawling over hearts.    Strangling our voices, it scuttles though   corridors, tunneling, warping each day.    My body. . .this swollen thing carried by   legs too thin and crippled to uphold it.    Pushed down, tightly clamped in now  full of pain, gasping for each breath.    Smothered, silenced.        street corners      enveloped in  exhaust fumes  slate-like formations  wait for light  to change  her carbon dress  his face of ashes    crushed within  this granite body  we eat grey food  pulling empty  air thru narrow  passageway to  ink stain train  smudged  along blurred  landscape of city    inside myself  searching a  designer  1 clear line  of perspective  which distinguishes  buildings from  streets & points  to where  the synthetic  sky ends   …

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June 9, 2020

“The Alarming Misadventures of Henry’s Continuing E.D.,” by Len Messineo

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“The Alarming Misadventures of Henry’s Continuing E.D.,” by Len Messineo

“Have you no sense of humor?” Sylvia says. Earlier in the evening, she had jokingly referred to Henry—who suffers from male-pattern baldness—as “Cue Ball” in front of their friends at the Eagle Cove Yachting Club.  Now Henry is sulking. He might have been a good sport about it, but Henry, an engineer having a keen intelligence for machines, has none for humans, especially Silvia. He reasons, falsely, that if only he could grow hair, he would escape his wife’s withering remarks.  So, Henry sees his family doctor. The doctor writes him a prescription for Propecia.  By now we’ve all seen the ads on television for the newly FDA-approved medication. A soft lulling music plays while a voice-over—as consoling as a funeral counselor—reads a list of possible contraindications: drowsiness, burning, tingling sensations, difficult bowel movements, seizures, and on and on with the tag…

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June 3, 2020

“The Outing,” A Short Story by Lee Marc Stein

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“The Outing,” A Short Story by Lee Marc Stein

They found his body at 5:00 am at the bottom of the stairs leading down from the sports deck to the pool. Claire Warner hears the announcement at 8:00 in her stateroom as she is curling her hair. “Ladies and gentlemen, this is your Captain. As some of you may already know, the body of our distinguished guest lecturer, Francesco Carlucci, was found this morning by our First Officer Paul Cornelius. We are guessing that Professor Carlucci missed a step, fell down the flight and hit his head. When we reach port in 30 minutes, an official Medical Examiner will come onboard to determine the actual cause of death. We promise to keep you informed.” Her husband was doing laps around the sports deck now. With the iPod blasting in his ear, he probably didn’t…

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June 1, 2020

Ben Gencarelle: Art’s Irrepressible Strangeness

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Ben Gencarelle: Art’s Irrepressible Strangeness

Artist’s Statement: “We are all strangers in a strange land, longing for home, but not quite knowing what or where home is. We glimpse it sometimes in our dreams, or as we turn a corner, and suddenly there is a strange, sweet familiarity that vanishes almost as soon as it comes.”― Madeleine L’Engle In the wrong place, in the wrong time, in the wrong job. Maybe misunderstood, maybe deluded, maybe both. Afraid. Too raw, too ugly, too real. Too much. Maybe you’re an immigrant. Maybe you’re neurodiverse. Maybe you’re both. Whatever you are or are not, the message is clear: you don’t belong here. So it starts. Masking. Crumpling up corners and sanding off edges. Tearing off the “extra” and pasting the scraps over the transparent places. Sometimes it helps. Sometimes you can fool them,…

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May 28, 2020

“Mutt and Jeff,” A Short Story by Robert Pope

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“Mutt and Jeff,” A Short Story by Robert Pope

Friends who knew us back in the day called us Mutt and Jeff. We had buddy tattoos on our biceps, cartoon characters: Jeff tall in an orange striped suit and fedora, with a mustache like mine, Mutt short, with mutton chops, dark suit and top hat. I never told Tina, my second wife, why I had the tattoo because I got into bad habits with Mick a year into my first marriage. I wanted him nowhere near me and Tina, until the bad times hit.   We had funny hours, Tina and I. She sold real estate, I worked from home, free-lancing web sites, buying and selling, investing. We made decent money, unpredictable, sure, but we talked about having a kid. That dropped off when things cooled in the bedroom. One Saturday, I drove by an open house to say hello when I saw her on the porch, talking with a younger guy in dark slacks, blue shirt. He had dark hair, styled, real regular white teeth.     I put it out of my mind overnight. We had a nice dinner, and off she went…

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May 26, 2020

“Bleeding Hearts,” A Short Story by Mary Daurio

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“Bleeding Hearts,” A Short Story by Mary Daurio

Sarah left early, taking her stepson Jacob to see his mother for perhaps the last time. * Upon awakening, John found his wife and son already gone, too late to rescind his permission from the night before. He was upset, not at her, but at himself. John knew how exaggerated his reaction to casual contact with Anne was, yet he remained afraid of his ex-wife’s illness. He prepared for work, swearing as he cut himself shaving in haste. The front door slammed behind him and the windows vibrated, but there was no one to witness his wrath, save the blackbirds flying off in raucous chorus. John wanted to scream but felt afraid he wouldn’t stop. He turned the corner to the newsstand. Force of habit. A byline about Liz Taylor’s celebrity fundraiser for AIDS caught…

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May 25, 2020

Storyteller Foundation Calls to the Children of the World!

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Storyteller Foundation Calls to the Children of the World!

Children of the World! Storyteller foundation is looking for drawings from you, wonderful children, to use in The Dreaming Tree Project which will be released after June 24th. The Dreaming Tree Project is first and foremost a book, written by Ruby Fink, but drawings from you will be added as illustrations not only to the book, but possibly to the audio/web video which is also being produced. The Storyteller Foundation is a non-profit organization, and the book, The Dreaming Tree, as well as any additional material, is intended to be a gift to the children of the world, not only to those who live through this quarantine, but also those who come after. RULES FOR ALL CHILDREN WHO PARTICIPATE! Children must be 12 or under to enter. Drawings must be from the list of options…

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