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Clouds

In Short Story by Jan Jolly

McPherson Women’s Prison 2018: age 80
The clouds look higher than usual this morning, far above the razor wire and guard tower. The bored officer paces slowly, checking her watch every few seconds, sipping her tepid coffee at the start of the morning shift. My hour in the yard is early, right after shift change, morning haze still thick across the fields.

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Spine of Empire

In Short Story by Nicholas Maistros

Three days after the avalanche, Onderdonk arrived in his private car. “There she is,” Roscoe said, having let go his end of a plank, smiling a dirty, squinted smile. “Miss Eva, and ain’t she a bee-yute.”
Emil dropped his end and a flurry of snow clouded up. When the snow cleared, he saw the car. It looked more like an oversized trolley from his Barbary Coast days than a railcar. . .

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The Black Rose

In Short Story by Anthony Raymond

I turned the uncut stone three times over in my hand. It was rough and coarse, but he explained to me that it was imperative it wasn’t altered. He said the process stripped away at it, and if I wanted it to “harness the powers of the earth” as he said, I needed to keep it the way the earth made it. Or in this case, the moon.

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Flanked By These Heroes

In Short Story by C.W. Bigelow

One hundred stitches winding like a leafy vine across his backside kept Dorrey on his stomach and abruptly delayed his induction into the army. The weapon that wielded the damage had been the sharp edge of a tin can top, just an innocent bystander minding its own business. The blame lay somewhere between Dorrey, a fifth of Jack and a group of our friends gathered at a going-away party.

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