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Good Luck Finding August

In Issue 58 by Erynn Wakefield

The air was crisp. I felt it on my lips as I took deep breaths, trying to prove my mom wrong. I didn’t need a coat; plus, it would’ve covered up my brand-new Avril Lavigne shirt. I wasn’t waiting for Halloween like the other kids, I never liked it much. I think I was too self-aware at a mere twelve years old.

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Indigo Lace

In Issue 58 by Noelle Nori

The rest of March was not kind. The wind screamed off the harbor and whipped Nell’s hair from under its pinned hat as she walked to work each day. It seemed an endless series of gray days. She wrote to Mrs. Reilly, but with each day that passed without a reply, her hopes of a response grew dimmer.

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The Hunter Was Late for the Circus

In Issue 58 by Orleans Saltos

The Hunter avoided public venues, well-traveled roads, and any place where officers might be present. He didn’t want any more incarcerations, DNA tests, or looks of disgust from self-entitled bureaucrats. Running into anyone who would detain him, even if only temporarily, would delay his intended mission. His immediate goal was to track down the circus that had recently entertained the residents of a small Peacelands town near the border.

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“Nana’s Hutch” and “Untamed”

In Issue 58 by MD Bier

I loved you since I was a small child. We all did. You went to my aunt first.
Then me. Initially there was a little jealousy. My aunt lavishly gave out other
heirlooms to compensate. My grandfather created a special built-in place ~ a cut
out in the dining room wall. You fit there perfectly.

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Out Stealing Water

In Issue 58 by Roxanne Doty

A dozen empty paint buckets rattle in the truck bed as Emily and her two uncles, Dwight and Jay, head west on Van Buren to the ragged edges of downtown Phoenix. Dwight drives, and Jay dangles his arm out the passenger window, his palm spread wide to catch the wind, his feet tapping on the floorboard.

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Hourglass Hostel

In Issue 58 by Alana Hollenbaugh

In the few seconds it took for my eyes to adjust to the darkness of the unfamiliar room, the cloud of spiced-chai scent around me had already faded. I slowly turned, taking in the lobby where I had landed. A bar filled half of the room, with worn, dark wood chairs stacked on clean tables, and the only movement was the dust spiraling through a bit of sunlight that slanted across the room.

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Blood Harmony

In Issue 58 by MoAde M. J.

Under low light, Zilla’s fingerpads brushed the floor feeling for that telltale groove. When she found it, she took hold firmly and cracked the floorboard away. It had been done many times. It would look the same after.
Here, in a shallow dug hole underneath the cabin floorboards, the wooden box came delicately as if it were made of the dirt around it, as if it crumbled.

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Antidote to Truth

In Issue 58 by Carol Ann Wilson

Standing in Tiananmen Square that autumn day in 1998, I marveled at its vastness. The few people populating its more than fifty-three acres seemed like ants on an enormous sidewalk. The square could hold many, many more. Multitudes.

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Circling the Inferno

In Issue 58 by Joan Drescher Cooper

Limbo
Sometimes on the train in the morning, Melanie thought about failing to get off at her stop for work. She’d lean her head back on the tweedy headrest and close her eyes. If this was a real train instead of commuter light rail, she’d muse, perhaps she would stay on the train all the way to the next town.

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Watch What You Wish For

In Issue 58 by Gerald Lynch

The snow, real staying snow, just won’t come this winter, and it’s already January. It has accumulated some at times, of course, if more like helpless Styrofoam pellets swept against tree trunks, where they grab at the base as if that’s the height of ambition, then climb even in a weak breeze, then give up and disappear to only God knows where.

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Dora’s Deathbed: First Movement

In Issue 58 by Gary Levi

“I can’t feel a pulse,” Mae says, her rose-lacquered fingertips probing the carotid of her dying friend Dora. Mae’s a just-retired nurse, so what she says carries weight. Even though she’s here in her civilian capacity, like the rest of us, to watch Dora die.

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In the Pines

In Issue 58 by Stephen Coates

“Some said she was surrounded by a glow like pale fire. Some said she was wearing a tattered wedding gown, hair wild and bedraggled. Some—teenage boys, mostly—said that she was naked. But none of that was true. She was just ordinary.”
“You saw her?”

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A Father’s Arms

In Issue 58 by Su Cummings

The thermonuclear bomb and I practically share a birthday—that was the first hydrogen fusion device with the power of 800 Hiroshima bombs. They called it the superbomb, the “city killer.” Physicist Enrico Fermi said its “practical effect is almost one of genocide.” I always knew the fear-begotten arms race and I grew up together.

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Uphill

In Issue 58 by Pernille AEgidius Dake

You have to live somewhere.
But the Woodhills Preservation Tract, a private homeowners association on the outskirt of Hopscotch Mills, N.Y., where every street ends in -wood: Beechwood, Pinewood, Ashwood, Alderwood, Oakwood, Wedgewood, Westwood, Sycamorewood, Hollywood, Gingkowood, and Cedarwood, is a far cry from where Eliza Volk used to live in Manhattan.

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Brighton Beach

In Issue 58 by William Mager

Chrissie’s just leaving the office when she sees him standing at the 23rd St subway entrance, looking up at the sky.
When his eyes drift down to meet hers, the jolt of sudden intimacy sends her walking in the opposite direction.
She never took the New York City Subway.

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