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The Missing Kite

by B.J. Smith Kalmo Bettis woke up in mid-snore from a rare midafternoon nap. His first thought was about the dream he’d just lost, hot seconds away from either carnal relief or more frustration. He rolled off the sofa, grabbed his service pistol from the coffee table and held the Glock 22 behind his back. […]

What We Talk About When We’re Talking

By Yash Seyedbagheri You, Dad, and older sister Nancy talk at dinner. Three of you, four chairs. The fourth chair gapes, cold, elegant. You speak of John F. Kennedy, weather, Paul Newman movies, Richard Yates novels. Instead of love, you talk of plots. Tension. You don’t speak of people incapable of love, people who couldn’t […]

Silent in Life, Silent in Death

by John Lane Janet felt the contractions while cleaning cages in the animal shelter. The ambulance took her to St. Mark’s Hospital a mile away. Seconds apart in an emergency room bed, identical twins, Brittney and Bethany, were pushed out of Janet’s womb, both lacking vocal cords. While being held by their mother, they grabbed […]

Keepsakes

by Gavin Boyter There are only so many ways you can reorder your record collection, Adam Harper realised. Once you’ve tried alphabetical, rainbow patterned, random, chronological, then painstakingly rearranged your vinyl by genre, that’s pretty much it. Harper would need another distraction strategy when the cravings came, as they inevitably would. He had been abstinent […]

ZOMBIE CICADA

by 
W. David Hancock The garage sale was on a cul-de-sac. A retired detective had moved into memory care, and his daughter was cleaning out his crap. Along with the box of cold case files, Fairview bought a Hot Wheels. The axles on the car were bent. The daughter squeezed the tires until the Mustang […]

The Cheese Eaters

a memoir by Amy Colter This is a story about bad neighbors and cheese. My husband and I escaped NYC one February, years ago, looking for the road’s centerline between wiper swipes as snow blanketed the road. I’d packed a plowman’s lunch with sharp cheddar and a crisp Cortland apple, my tribute to our New […]

Caprice

by Philip Glennie He glances at the clock and struggles to hold back frustrated tears. Despite the mild April day, the building’s heaters are still pumping at January levels. Sweat pours down his face and into the grimy stubble along his jaw. Beads trickle from his armpits, tickling his love handles. Less than an hour […]

Edge-Breaker

by Christopher S. Bell Some of us met at orientation, but there wasn’t much of a bond. We just did what we were supposed to that night; listening to everyone ramble about high school, the music they liked, or how wasted they got after prom. We all had summer jobs, and friends going to better […]

My Boy

by Coley Summerlin The stuffed fox, once so fluffy and soft, sprawls flat and matted on the floor by the couch. One eye replaced with a blue button years ago sticks out from the reddish orange fur contrasted by the yellowing tail tip and chest. The boy who loved him for ten years sleeps soundly […]

Learner’s Permit

by Niles Reddick When I took my fifteen-year-old son to get his learner’s permit, I had to provide his birth certificate, his social security card, my driver’s license, a utility bill, my mortgage statement, and my vehicle registration (this had to be “real” and not printed from the web or email even though all of […]

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