January 6, 2020

“Low-Hanging Fireworks,” Poetry by Richard-Yves Sitoski

“Low-Hanging Fireworks,” Poetry by Richard-Yves Sitoski

Low-Hanging FireworksMother never woke up tangled in starsbut stayed on Earth, which father droppedand watched as it rolled beneath the couch.Her music was straight as a prairie road,his was bent like an elbow to the gut.He prefered the company of dogs,she of me when I felt like one.He proved that there are no happy alcoholicsand that love is conditional,she that mushrooms can push through asphaltand that cancer comes without a screenplay.The cookies she baked were chocolate chipbut I always wound up with raisin.He taught me to fish, but each oneI caught swallowed the hook.He tried to be anonymousbut the rest of the world ignored him.Some nights he came home after not coming home.Some days her migraines were low-hanging fireworks.I wrote this poem because memoryis no insurance against decay.I wrote this poem because it ain’t gossip…

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January 3, 2020

“Suzy, the New Girl” Roopa Raveendran-Menon

“Suzy, the New Girl” Roopa Raveendran-Menon

Suzy, the new girl, and I became best friends fairly quickly. It took us around five days to be inseparable but I swear that I could have been her best pal the day she walked into the classroom.  I even remember the time—It was ten minutes to the first recess gong. Chubby Chandini had already stuffed half of the contents of her tiffin box into her mouth. I knew she had bought potato pancake—bits of yellow potato laced the little fuzz above her thin lips. I had buried my head in my textbook to swallow the loud chortle that had threatened to sneak out.  That was when Suzy had walked in.  It was hard to believe that she was wearing our dull blue and white checked uniform because she wore it so well, with the flair and grace of a diva. I…

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December 27, 2019

Chapter III of Dan Coleman’s “Professor of Death”

Chapter III of Dan Coleman’s “Professor of Death”

Editor’s Note: We’ve been honored to publish Dan Coleman’s “Professor of Death” short story which, due to its length, has appeared in three parts this month: Part I, Part II, and herewith, the final chapter of the author’s triptych. Please read them in order for full appreciation. **      Robert dressed in dark clothes and arrived at the banker’s estate in the East Hamptons just after 2:00 a.m., Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. The site was secluded off a main road and down a winding lane. He surveyed the area with night vision field glasses. Except for a subtle breeze and ruffling leaves, all was calm, the sky moonless, overcast, therefore pitch black. Very good conditions. He exited the car near the gate and blew the dog whistle several times. No dogs on the estate at least….

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December 25, 2019

“Professor of Death,” by Dan Coleman Chapter II

“Professor of Death,” by Dan Coleman Chapter II

     In his other profession, Robert Fountain was an assassin. A highly skilled and experienced, highly paid and very well-connected killer of important people mostly of political persuasion, but occasionally a high-class criminal or two. At least he thought he was. Lately, he was beginning to wonder if it were still true. This career began long before his academic one when he dropped out of college after a year to join the Army in the heat of the Vietnam War. He was sent to officer candidate school and trained as a Special Forces commando, eventually serving three tours in Vietnam. On his first tour, he was promoted to captain two months before his twenty-first birthday, making him, at the time, the youngest captain in the U.S. Army. He was a major when he got out,…

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December 23, 2019

Jim Best’s Last-Minute Gift Ideas

Jim Best’s Last-Minute Gift Ideas

Author James D. “Jim” Best is one of our favorite fans, and we’re one of his, too. Jim cares passionately about reading books, and offers these last-minute suggestions for people on your holiday gift-giving list. 18 Ideas for Gifting Books At times, friends and relatives can be hard to buy for. Some seem to have everything. Due to age or illness, others may be less mobile than in years past. Some don’t really want much. Families scatter across this huge country and selecting a gift, packaging, and shipping can be a chore.A book is a perfect gift … and a great way to avoid the crowds. Books provide a great entertainment value, delivering hour upon hour of pleasure. Reading fiction is like taking a mini vacation without leaving home. An engrossing story makes worries fade…

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