June 21, 2022

“Circling the Bronze Sculptures,” by Paul Germano

“Circling the Bronze Sculptures,” by Paul Germano

She first notices him at the far end of the room, lean, rugged, rough around the edges, wearing dark-wash jeans and a grey hoodie under a brown leather jacket. He has short-cropped coppery-red hair and two days’ worth of reddish scruff. He rubs leisurely at the side of his face while pondering a watercolor on bark paper, an evocative rendering of a lonely fishing boat tied to a weather-beaten dock in murky water. He steps back, slightly tilting his head. He can feel her attentive gaze, but pretends not to notice. When the moment is right, he sneaks a peek and likes what he sees. Her dress is just tight enough, a navy-blue number with white trim and matching high heels. She has chestnut brown hair that’s shoulder length and silky smooth, piercing green eyes…

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June 7, 2022

“Virtual Math,” A Short Story by David Rogers

“Virtual Math,” A Short Story by David Rogers

I meditated on this lost and perhaps mythical labyrinth . . . on the secret summit of some mountain . . . I imagined it infinite, . . . a sinuous, ever-growing maze which would take in both past and future and would somehow involve the stars.            —Jorge Luis Borges, “The Garden of Forking Paths”  “I did it,” Professor Radiant announced. “I’ve solved the problem of faster-than-light travel.” Radiant was the most senior member of La Mancha University’s Department of Mathematics, but no one listened to him. He was well known for his quixotic quests to solve problems like the Riemann hypothesis or to show Pi did, in fact, have a last digit. Of course these efforts never ended well.  Thus, not until Professor Radiant made his claim about the secret of FTL travel…

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May 4, 2022

“Sometimes We Fall,” Yong’s New Book!

“Sometimes We Fall,” Yong’s New Book!

SOMETIMES WE FALL takes readers into the lives of people searching for self, sense of belonging, and their version of truth: A son protects a secret that could destroy his family’s reputation and fortune. A daughter searches for the truth as her mother descends into dementia. A mother asks an unexpected friend to look after the baby she plans to abandon. Their paths are not easy and inevitably they fall. Some pick themselves up and some can’t or won’t as they struggle to find the reason for their failures. Yong Takahashi is the author of Observations Through Yellow Glasses, Rising, Sometimes We Fall, and The Escape to Candyland. She was a finalist in The Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing, Southern Fried Karma Novel Contest, Gemini Magazine Short Story Contest, The Writers’ Mastermind Short…

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March 21, 2022

“Tobias and the Wildflower Utopia,” by Derrick R. Lafayette

“Tobias and the Wildflower Utopia,” by Derrick R. Lafayette

“Can you help me?”  “Are you positive of what you lost?”  “Yes.”  “You’ve lost your soul?”  “Yes.”  “Where?”  “I’m not sure. I awoke one day hollow.”  “Continue.”  There was a pathway beyond the wildflower meadows. My brother told me the noises from there were the product of trickery. Auditory hallucinations sent from devils and pagan worshippers. On a night not entirely unforeseen, my mother took her final breath in bed. I held a dying candle at her side. The embers cast a dreadful shadow upon the wall as if her soul was a silhouette. Dysentery had robbed her of her humanity.   The smell tormented the house for days after. I suppose that was her way of saying she wasn’t ready. It left a silence in my home, which was filled with the sound of my…

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March 9, 2022

“Counselling,” by Brandan Hingley-Lovatt

“Counselling,” by Brandan Hingley-Lovatt

Editor’s Note: We keep the author’s original spelling when it differs from U.S. English. In this case, Brandan’s UK spelling of “counselling/counsellor” with two Ls persists throughout this work. If I were to write my suicide note I think I’d sign it “I’ve never liked anyone more than myself and I like myself this much.” A parting statement which I think is honest. I can picture it—the note attached to my shirt with a safety pin, my limp body hanging from the ceiling; a plastic bag wrapped around my head for good measure.  Anyway, my counsellor says, “There are a lot of bad people in the world but there are good ones, too.”  I agree but respectfully say that the good ones are too small in number so it doesn’t really make a difference.  My…

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January 16, 2022

“Chez Mars,” A Short Story by Lisa Verdekal

“Chez Mars,” A Short Story by Lisa Verdekal

When we first arrived, we christened the fancy habitation station Chez Mars, joking it was the best hotel in the galaxy. Now, a year later, it’s more like a prison. Back then, we firmly believed that our stay here would only be a brief transition period. The incredible innovations in technology would allow us to get back to some sort of normality after our ordeal. Just a couple of more glitches to fix and we would be the first to live comfortably on the planet Mars. Instead, we linger in a perverse state of endless holiday. At the beginning, it started off as a way to keep us entertained while we waited. Initially, we were very impressed. Images of sun and sand and sapphire water played along the walls, the sky darkening and brightening with…

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January 11, 2022

“Dead Dreams,” by Sandeep Kumar Mishra

“Dead Dreams,” by Sandeep Kumar Mishra

In his dreams, Rajan searches for the ghosts. He hunts for them, tracing their footsteps in the dirt. He is back in his hometown—he knows these roads. The moonlight shivers on his skin. The crooked streets rattle around him. His heart burns in his chest. Baba, mama. Where are you? He runs, following the path laid out for him. The streets smell like smoke. Everything is hazy and deserted, shuttered up and locked away. He knows his neighbors behind each door, but no one steps out to help him. They’re too scared. Rajan is terrified, too, but he keeps running. Please, if I could just see you one more time. I didn’t know it would be the last time. I would have said so much more. Baba, mama. When he looks up, the ghosts are…

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January 4, 2022

“Dinner with Jim-J34719,” by Nicholas Schroeder

“Dinner with Jim-J34719,” by Nicholas Schroeder

A small Italian restaurant in downtown Seattle, Earth—May 10, 2650. Peter: [enters and sits down at a table near the back of the restaurant] I’m supposed to meet a friend of mine here. Did you see someone come in right before me? Waiter: I believe it went to the restroom. Jim-J34719: [arrives] Pete! How are you? Peter: It’s been ages. I haven’t seen you since the last trade meeting. Jim-J34719: Yeah, that’s part of the reason I asked to meet. Peter: Interesting choice. Jim-J34719: Well I know you always loved Italian food. Peter: Jim, is everything okay? Jim-J34719: No, nothing serious—more of a moral crisis. Peter: Are you collecting that favor I owe you? Jim-J34719: No, I just need a friend: someone to talk to. Peter: Well you got it! It will be like our…

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December 12, 2021

“Sang / Lait Chaud, ” A Short Story by Cathleen Davies

“Sang / Lait Chaud, ” A Short Story by Cathleen Davies

What’s good about the telly is that Susie can blather on and on and it doesn’t bother Dave at all. He’s always been pretty good at multi-tasking, keeping his mind on two things at once. It was a nice evening. Dave managed to leave work at the door. Susie was doing her knitting and the Tigers were still drawing with Stoke City. Dave sipped his beer. It was good to be home. “I think I’ll do a little hat to go with these if I have any wool leftover,” Susie said, as she held out a little booty on curved needles. “Oh, aye? Lovely.” “I hope it won’t offend your mum though. I know she got Alice that little white hat at Christmas, but she’s nearly grown out of it and she’ll need a new…

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