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Blue Sky and Britches

In Issue 65 by Ned Weidner

Whenever it rained, my grandma always used to say, “If there is enough blue in the sky to stitch a pair of britches, it is going to get sunny again.” As a child I didn’t know what that meant.
I looked up into the sky and cried. How much blue is needed to make britches, I asked myself. Heck…I wasn’t even sure what britches were. They are pants right? Jeans? Or do those old school cotton pants count too? In any case, I didn’t understand. How was I to know when the good times were going to roll again, if I didn’t know how to stitch?

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Time Has Come

In Issue 65 by Julie May

Jessie woke up from a dead slumber and reached for the alarm clock — 10:30. She would be late for class again. She sat up and looked at the empty space beside her in the queen-sized bed. She lay back, relieved to be alone. Before she could gather her thoughts about anything, the pungent smell of hashish invaded her nostrils.
She rolled over and buried her head in the pillow. The idea of going into the kitchen sickened her. Eating breakfast shrouded by another cloud of smoke revolted her. The idea of a conversation with Gary was even less appetizing.

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What Can Never Be Known

In Issue 65 by Katherine Joshi

My mother insisted she left the necklace by accident. In a rush, while packing. She left it sitting on the dresser in her hotel room and it must have still been sitting there when she left. She must have been in such a hurry to leave, so fearful of missing her flight, that she forgot to put it back on, that it remained in India while she returned to the United States.
“I thought I was going to miss my flight,” she told us, breathless, as we all sat around my parents’ kitchen table. It was late May, one month before her death.

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“Who are you?”

In Issue 65 by Christopher Riesco

Once, in an angular concrete hotel in Antibes,
you stood before the black curtain
with the massive sunlight on the other side
and a heartbeat in your chest.
You reached up, then dropped your hands.
You tapped your hands on your naked hips.
You reached up again and pulled the curtains wide.

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A Cypress Tree Has No Shadow: Chapter One

In Issue 65 by Kevin Gerard Neill

IN a still, dark room smelling of disinfectant that stung his nose, the dazed, terrified boy lay silently crying. He was on his back atop a thin mattress, in a bed or trolley, his wrists and ankles secured with straps so tight he could barely move. His mouth was taped shut. He knew nothing about where he was or how he had gotten here. The last thing he recalled, the last normal thing, was going to the market with his father to buy grapes. After that, father and son walked to an apartment not far from the market to visit a man the boy did not know. They had tea and sweet biscuits, a treat for the child, who did not see his father often. He felt sleepy after drinking his tea. And then the boy awakened here, alone.

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The English Teacher in the Trailer

In Issue 65 by Thomas Ray

Paul McNary sat in a booth at Jamie Burgers talking to the manager Brenda Carter. He stopped by to see her every weekday after he got off work. At that time of day, after the lunch crowd and before the supper crowd, they usually had the dining area to themselves. This particular day she had brought up the subject of them breaking it off because Brenda’s daughter disapproved of him. Brenda did this once or twice a month, and he would have to cajole her out of the idea.

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7 Seconds

In Issue 65 by Patty Somlo

His first name was Mohammed but everyone who knew the lanky African with the irrepressible smile called him Mo. The nickname fit the man who seemed more a whirlwind of energy or a beam of fierce light than a serious grown-up. Three blocks away from the flat he shared with his girlfriend, Katherine, Mo was tossing pasta in a large silver pan, over a high flame in the open kitchen of Tomato. The second syllable of the brightly lit bistro’s name was pronounced mah. When describing diners’ reaction to the fare in its ads, the Market Street restaurant played on the pronunciation. Ahhhh.

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Fallen Woman: A Short Story in Flash

In Issue 65 by Carmen Price

The pedestrian crosswalk was clearly marked, no ambiguities, not for Selah, not for him. Selah waved goodbye to the patient behind her – a ten-year-old girl she’d been treating for three years – and only noticed the truck in the middle of the road as it dawned on her, fast and slow all at once, that the driver wasn’t going to stop. He hadn’t been paying attention.

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A Modest Proposal

In Issue 65 by Stephen Weiss

The sun had yet to reach its zenith in the cobalt-blue Iowa sky when they circled the cloverleaf onto I-80 West. Tess checked their progress on her iPhone Maps function and tried to decipher their final destination. She followed the interstate westward and saw Iowa City appear on the screen along with an icon for the University of Iowa.
“Looks like we’re heading into Hawkeye country,” Tess said.
“Yep.”

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A Slow Fever: The Nearly True Story of Typhoid Mary

In Issue 65 by Catherine Hammond

October 1906
Another family with kids. What I wouldn’t have given to work for an old maid with no children. Just me and her and a bright, clean kitchen. But I was happy. I was cooking.
Portia, who had recently turned six, darted into the kitchen and ran around the oak table. Tristan rushed in behind her.
“Give it back.” His voice was high and whiny.
“It’s the last one.” She held a crumpled scone over her head.
“Stop that,” I said.
They peered up at me. I was a big woman, and I could scare little kids. Portia’s hand fell to her side.

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I Am In Your Sway

In Issue 65 by Kelsey Myers

“It’s a malady particular to artists,” Arachne said to her father one day, as he was watching her work.
That morning, he had made her a gift of sea-blue yarn that was said to have been touched by the gods themselves, or, at least, by a demigod, or, at least, by one of the Oceanids; the seller had been vague about the specifics, but assured Idmon that the material was, in some way, divine. It looked divine, different from the yarn that Arachne usually used, which was single-color and made of cotton. This yarn shimmered the way the sea shimmered when the sun shone on its surface: hues of algae green, river blue, and flashes of gold.

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The Red-Headed Dragon

In Issue 65 by Henry Weese

“Stop complaining,” said Julie, looking over her shoulder at her husband as she stacked dishes and coffee cups on a folding utility table against the garage wall. “We’re lucky to get anything at all.”
“I’m not complaining,” said Tom, searching for a place on the concrete garage floor to set the box he was carrying. “It just seems unfair. Your mom and aunt get the house, your uncle gets the money in the bank, your sister gets the new car, and we get—”
“Put the box there,” said Julie, pointing.
Tom dropped the box. It clanged—more goddamn pots and pans.

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