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Down by the Bay

Issue 29 by Rebecca Amiss

July 15, 1954. Duckett, Louisiana.
The waves crashed against the dock of Hangman’s Bay, sloshing water on its rickety edge. The sun had long gone down and now all that lit the way was a small star off in the horizon. Luellen Temperance and Tessie Sinclair screeched in freed delight as they ran faster than their ten-year-old legs could carry them.

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This Is How We Walk on the Moon

Issue 29 by Jared Green

It wasn’t until the fourth or fifth time she played Iris’ voicemail that it dawned on Satya just how long she had gone without leaving her narrow slice of South Ealing Road. It took several more times before the full meaning of it sank in.
Satya…I know you probably don’t want to talk, but this is not just your daily motivational, so please listen to me: I just got out of Waterloo Station. Simon isn’t there anymore. They’ve replaced him with someone new. I’m sorry, but I thought you should know.

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The Fourteenth Child

Issue 29 by Sylvia Schwartz

My eyes, now watered by regret, find little pleasure sketching. The last time I tried, my fountain pen punctured my drawing sending tears of black ink streaming down the page. I must tell this story without the forgiveness of an artist’s eye that sees only what it wants.

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Of All the Wonders We Have Seen

Issue 29 by Jamey Gallagher

The young man working the two-pump gas station at the corner of Main and 443 stopped a black minivan with an upraised hand so he could fill Annie’s gas can. His narrow face and weak chin gave him away as a Scanlan, but she had no idea which one. Mickey? Eddie? Tommy? Or was he old enough to be Mick, Ed or Tom? He lifted weights and was cock-proud of his broad chest and thick biceps, one of which was tagged with an eagle tattoo, a screaming patriotic bird of prey, talons extended. He looked at her sideways as he eased the nozzle into the can.

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The Black Phone

Issue 29 by Alexandra Loeb

Carolyn drew a deep breath and tried to ready herself for her mother’s invasion. It was a damp spring Saturday morning and as she stood on the top of the brick steps of her front porch, drinking tea from her favorite handle-less mug, she looked at the wet cherry tree blossoms on the stairs and wished she had felt well enough to sweep them off yesterday.

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Someday

Issue 29 by Alexa Dodd

She is still in love with Brandt the night she bumps into Adam at a bar in uptown. She still likes the way Brandt styles his hair with pomade and a fine-toothed comb, like an old-fashioned gentleman, the boy-next-door from the 1950s.

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Fugue

Issue 29 by Alexander Fredman

I had already moved away when disaster struck. I saw the images on the TV news. The water moved slow, and the buildings crumbled slow, and animals perched still on the ruins. The people were gone, mostly. It was the next afternoon, I think, that the Mayor announced that there had been no fatalities.

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Vodka and Ice

Issue 29 by Nika Cavat

I am a Russian writer, a descendant of the great Tolstoy. I became well-known, both to the KGB and my devoted readership for subversive works, as the Soviet news wrote. My wife, Irena, would tell you I was best known in the bars and after-hours clubs, but she was a bitter woman, with faith in a marriage I saw more as a domestic necessity.

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Gargantuan Sky

Issue 29 by Andreas Hasselbom

The unofficial center of my town was the house of the Moson family, the only one to have any believable claim to blood nobility. Among the better caste of families, a close maze of interconnected family trees, theirs was the only one envied. The reasons were never clear to be anything beyond simple human petulance. Any open animosity was absent, but the roots never died.

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I’ll Let You Know When I’m Dead

Issue 29 by Phyliss Merion Shanken

Henry caught a hint of heavy breathing somewhere in the bedroom, but these days he couldn’t quite trust any noise that entered his large, pear-shaped ears. On too many embarrassing occasions, the old man’s fuzzy hearing had betrayed him.

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A Bridge Outside Limerick

Issue 29 by Paul Benkendorfer

A lingering chill filled the fresh morning air as the crown of the sun broke over the mountains and hills. Spring had come, but the final fragments of 1915’s winter had not yet dissipated. A plume of breath bleached with every breath he took. He sat, crouched behind a large boulder atop a small hill overlooking the road that meandered through the pass below.

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Lambs Cross

Issue 29 by Edward Harvey

In late September, Danny Munchak Jr. disappeared from the town of Lamb’s Cross, an old town in the western part of Massachusetts where redbrick mills stand like ancient landmarks, testaments to a glorified past of material production. Even at the time of the disappearance, which occurred on the edge of the millennium, the mills hadn’t produced much besides tetanus and unwanted pregnancies for over twenty years.

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