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Strangers in the Park

Issue 37 by Gerry Moohr

You probably know about the violence that struck Charlottesville, Virginia, on August 12, 2017. Demonstrators from thirty-five states rallied in Lee Park to protest the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee, Commander of the Confederate Army. I saw a lot of what happened that day.

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The Dying Gladiator

Issue 37 by David Kennedy

Kate had calculated that meeting the presidential carriage as it pulled up the drive at Edgewood would serve her interest, but that did not deprive the gesture of its heartfelt quality. The carriage had been specially made in New York. It was dark green in color, Arthur’s favorite, with that hue presenting the central theme on the exterior paint and the interior upholstery, trimmed in morocco and cloth.

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The Velodrome

Issue 37 by Brianne Turczynski

Miriam Birchfield’s abdomen plagued her to tears. Her tears burned and irritated her cheeks, and they made her see the reflection of herself as a blotchy stranger in the mirror. She took the bottle of bitters from her vanity; it was the last bottle Dr. Morel gave her before he died. She didn’t know if she would ever get another, because in approximately thirteen minutes, she would welcome a new doctor into Whittingham Estate, the place she had worked as manager of the staff and had lived her whole life.

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Able Archer: Moscow, Moscow Oblast, USSR

Issue 37 by Lawrence Lichtenfeld

Yuri Andropov was resting comfortably in his hospital bed. An hour earlier, he had been hooked up to the dialysis system in the suite. He had had some vodka afterwards, and a couple of cigarettes while lying in bed. The television was tuned to the state channel ‘Fourth Programme’—known for its intellectual broadcasts. Tonight, Andropov was enjoying the broadcast of a Bolshoi production of “Cipollino.” His heavy-eyed viewing of the ballet was interrupted by the military hotline ringing on the telephone table next to his bed.

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Scales

Issue 37 by Joti Bilkhu

“Four bronzes,” I say before the man can even ask.
He lifts up a large striped fish off my makeshift table, inspects it and asks, “You gut and clean this, boy?”
I nod once.
“It’s well done. You been doing this long?”
“My father says I could gut a fish before I could walk.”

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Esther of the Hearts

Issue 37 by Liza Porter

Sarah jerked awake on the couch, the dream still swimming in her mind. Or was it a visitation? Where was she? She looked around, face damp with sweat. Of course…long underwear, down sleeping bag, heat on full blast. Minnesota. She sat up and turned on the lamp, shook her head. Another dream about Esther. Every night since she’d died.

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Scorch Earth

Issue 37 by Derek Fisher

An earwig slithers across the little black plastic air-conditioning vent. I examine this earwig with intention as Father drives. I at once want and want not to touch it.
I do not like how Father drives the van. I find he is too slow the majority of the time, and then in little unpredictable bursts, too fast. Father is not prone to rage, but behind the wheel he is a different version of himself. Docile, with a chance of acrimony.

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Before We Were The Land’s?

Issue 37 by James Brewer

He was no longer alive; and for his oldest child, recollections of the words that had been spoken (and the thoughts that had been thought) at the funeral a few years before were becoming less distinct as they became more distant. As the anniversary of his father’s passing neared, Lee was once again regretting that he had more or less “squandered” the few opportunities for memorable communication that had presented themselves during the last year or so of his father’s life –

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The Prophet of Vultures and Beasts

Issue 37 by Andreas Hasselbom

Daniel remembered fishing with his father just four months earlier at a small lake near the Czech border. It had been a tradition for years, but Daniel knew now that it couldn´t continue. His father had never been a patient man, but he possessed a strong attention to detail, which only grew stronger over the years. Making sure the fishing pole had no scratches, ensuring that the line wasn´t about to wear out. And worms, always a full box of writhing earthworms.

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The Mathematician’s Daughter

Issue 37 by Sonja Srinivasan

The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. She jerks her head up with a start and sees the clock–9:40 a.m. There just might be time! There just might be time if Nancy runs fast enough, time to see John and confess her love for him. She has been working on a proof all night and has fallen asleep at her desk and is late, is late, for a very important date,

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The Beekeeper

Issue 37 by Kathleen Powers-Vermaelen

When I find the counselor waiting for me in the hallway on Sunday morning, I know something bad has happened. “Hello again, Miss Campbell,” she says when I’ve come near enough to hear her. “Could we talk in the lounge for a few minutes?”

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