August 9, 2020

“Meteor Shower,” Poetry by Mark Hammerschick

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“Meteor Shower,” Poetry by Mark Hammerschick

Meteor Shower   Canvas black  the eternal oil spill galactic  dark matter  speckled waves of crystal  diamond sky  ruby, emerald, sapphire   lightspeed  silent night bright   terminal velocity  eyes focus  straining in the dark time  as seconds, minutes, eons  stretch galaxies  into small hands  that even rain cannot  feel  for in feeling  we begin to fall  headlong into night  riding the meteors  of our past   knowing the showers  of our future  will smother  those small hands  someday  not even the rain has such small hands  Smokestacks of oak, hickory and birch  lurch in the balance of sleet and snow  on a confused Sunday in early May  as my woods fill up with snow.  It’s a snowy evening  tucked away on this Highland Park cul de sac  hugging Lake Michigan’s shore  as the gales of this Spring day  recall the final…

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August 6, 2020

“Party Boy,” A Short Story by Lee Anderson

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“Party Boy,” A Short Story by Lee Anderson

I’m alone at a charity event in Patricia Yeo’s new Midtown eatery. Shirtless, chiseled busboys and lanky, large-breasted servers run lightly about the restaurant, carrying trays the size of manhole covers. The place is gold-trimmed and supported by Roman columns but a terrible place to have a party. Not enough room. We’re ass-to-hip in here practically.    I meet gazes with Celine about ten minutes after I arrive. She approaches me without hesitation. I actually don’t think she’s ever hesitated a day in her life. “Uh-oh,” she says. “Lazarus Fucking Cooper. Is that you?”  “Last I checked.”  “Well, there’s no telling what’s going to happen now.”  “We’ll have to be careful.”   “Yeah, you attract bad energy. I’m a lily caught in the rapids with you.”  “I see you haven’t changed.”  “Does anyone?”  A hyper-paced metal song begins growling from heightened speakers,…

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July 30, 2020

“The Ahava Order,” A Novel Excerpt from Robert Przybylski

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“The Ahava Order,” A Novel Excerpt from Robert Przybylski

The Ahava Order is the first book in Robery Przybylski’s series of the same name. This excerpt is reprinted with permission. Copyright (c) 2019 Robert Przybylski, published by Royal Hawaiian Press. *** The Ahava Order Winter life in Anad, a small village situated among forests, was running its usual course. Roe deer searched for food among plants in snow-covered fields, livestock heartily ate hay. For the Mage Azam and his wife, Eva the Enchantress, the day was going to turn out memorable. That morning, just as every morning, their son Zephyr was preparing food for the animals, while his father was getting ready to hunt for Amash—a horse-sized animal with everlasting white fur from the family of Great Wolves. Inhabiting numberous forests, the species hunts alone, pairs off and doesn’t form packs. Azam was about to choose a weapon when the village squire, Bolv, a squat man with a crop of curly hair on his head and a slightly red face—the effect of having consumed…

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July 27, 2020

“Departure,” A Short Story by Bari Lynn Hein

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“Departure,” A Short Story by Bari Lynn Hein

When Chelsea stepped off the school bus on her last day of kindergarten, she handed me a construction-paper card shaped like a necktie. “This is for you, Mommy,” she said. With pink and yellow tempera paint she had filled the tie with flowers, and with black she’d placed the letters M and O over the preprinted F and A in FATHER. I understood, in that moment, that the next two and a half months were to be treasured, that my days of unfettered freedom with Chelsea would be finite.  Eventually, I moved the card from my refrigerator to a box on a shelf above my desk. In the years that followed, I added more treasures to the box: a seashell that Chelsea had found at the shore, a rubber Minnie Mouse and Canadian coins from our trips to Disney World and Niagara Falls, a…

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July 23, 2020

“Captain,” A Short Story by Zach Piggott

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“Captain,” A Short Story by Zach Piggott

The pulsing woke him up from his deep sleep. He hated those blaring alarms and had opted years ago for the pulse. It did him wonders back then. Now he hated feeling it. He hoped for a morning where he wouldn’t feel it.  He groaned, moving his body under the covers. His fingertips grazed the cool metal that had become familiar to him over the past weeks. He swung his feet over the side, his weary green eyes half opened. Where a partner should’ve been had been empty for six years. Too committed to the military. It was just another excuse. The routine was the same since he had gotten home from his deployment: breakfast, shower, shave, dress and wait. Sometimes he waited all day with nothing happening. Other times he received phone calls. Once or twice he was ushered…

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