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Me and the Milkman

Issue 18 by Pam Munter

Each morning at dawn, he would stealthily enter the house through the unlocked back door. In the early 1950s, no one in our neighborhood locked their doors. I was sometimes awakened by the tinkling noises of glass and the opening click of the refrigerator, but seldom by any human voice.

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Negotiating the Narrows

Issue 18 by Mike Tuohy and Susan Zimmerman

Cold steel. I should have worn gloves. What I thought a shotgun blast turned out to be the massive metal hatch slammed shut by the wind. As I rose from the deck, another gust pushed me toward the edge like a hockey puck until I fell to my knees. When it passed, I forced myself to stand upright and join my friends. This was no place for a woman to look weak.

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The Weight of the Words

Issue 18 by Sayword Eller

Three stories up from the rue Vielle-du-Temple is a tomb. It was never intended to be so still, so empty, but life has a way of changing in an instant and so, it seems, do apartments. There is no body interred here. Only memories. Only echoes of laughter and whispers from a life once lived.

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Angelus

Issue 18 by Paula M. Rodriguez

Johnny gets up in the morning and goes straight to the bathroom that he shares with his mom, his two little sisters, an older brother that works at a bakery, and whoever else happens to be around on any given day. There is a stale smell to onions gone cold and greasy hamburger from Danny’s place that he ate last night. The leftovers are probably still somewhere in the room, but it is hard to tell with all the stuff lying around.

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The Arachne Gene

Issue 18 by Darryl White

He had a pocketful of possibilities scribbled on napkin backs. The perfect recipe was like DNA, it held the answer to who he was and where he was supposed to be. He wasn’t found yet, he was on his way, and he’d get there, wherever there was, if the bus driver didn’t kill them first.

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Praying to the Porcelain God

Issue 18 by Steven Mayoff

Dani walks alongside M. Francoeur, who pushes his wheelchair, balancing on it as he would a walker. Today is her usual Saturday morning visit, and together they follow the oval footpath that surrounds the Mount Olive Senior’s Home, employing a pace similar to that of a wedding procession marching through molasses.

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Every Silver Lining’s Got a Touch of Grey

Issue 18 by Benjamin Mast

Without knowing any of their music, I didn’t like Grateful Dead. Call it a mother’s instinct, call it blatant ignorance and close-mindedness, it must have played in my house for days, weeks, maybe months before I found the album cover under Second Daughter’s bed.

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The Monsters of Our Minds

Issue 18 by Natasha Mileusnic

Kate concentrated on the jingling of the wind chimes. If she could hear the soft bell tones, their accidental melody, that meant she existed and was present on the solid earth, walking the pavement past the imposing Victorians. Alive in her body, here and now.

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Simulation Theory

Issue 18 by Aaron Buchanan

“There is no permanent self,” he’d whispered louder than he’d intended. It was only in that moment he finally became aware of himself, what he was doing, and that he never meant to say anything out loud at all.

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5 Rules for the Problem Dog Owner

Issue 18 by Jennifer Jarman

Small, dark, almond eyes blinking eagerly at me through the thin grid of fencing, a narrow head just reaching my knees, ears perked forward like twin radar dishes, his entire sleek, black body wobbling from side to side in an unthreatening display of welcome and happiness.

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Driftwood

Issue 18 by Keith Wilson

As a student at Northern Michigan University, I ran for hours on the wooded trails and the paved bike paths along the shores of Lake Superior in Marquette, Michigan, where driftwood accumulated on the sand. I wasn’t a collegiate athlete or even a competitive one. Running had nothing to do with school except for keeping me from studying.

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Lonely in the City

Issue 18 by Sabrina Qiao

The first week I moved to Manhattan, I was so excited I couldn’t eat. I lost two pounds and gained a Metrocard, an apartment sublet, and a new internship.

I was supposed to be living at home, working the same internship I’ve had since I was a college freshman—not out of loyalty, but out of love for my father.

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