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A Gift of Fire

Laura Walker

When you first drive into Riverside, it has as much distinction as any other town in this smear of Southern California cities—that is to say, virtually none. But if you look closer, through the haze of pollution that browns the summertime air, beyond the stark graffiti that coats the concrete surfaces, past the drooping palms and withered storefronts lining the freeways, you’ll start to see some character.

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Dogs, Post-Polio and the Poetry of Living and Dying

Alpheus Williams

You have to wonder what it was like when the L’Esperance and La Recherche came into these uncharted waters. The young ensign Jacques-Bertrand Le Grand high in the rigging of the frigate’s mast, pitching and yawing precariously in big swells and rough seas, guiding ships and crews through the treacherous waters of the archipelago. Here they were thousands of miles from their homeland.

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The 23rd Hero

Rebecca Anne Nguyen

Sloane Burrows was racing down the train station steps, holding her bicycle by the handlebars, trying to keep a birthday cake from flying out of the basket as the doors began to close on the northbound line to Downtown Vancouver. “Hold the doors!” she called as she reached the bottom of the steps. Of the ten or so passengers she could see through the glass, a few looked up, but nobody budged.

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Peeling the Onion

Sean McFadden

Kevin called Nolan to warn him that the clock was ticking, that if he wanted to see Dad before he died, Nolan had better go through Mimzy to schedule an appointment soon. The slots, Kevin said, were filling up. Mimzy and Oscar were allowing one family member visit per week, only over the weekend, then Oscar had to have the rest of the week to recuperate.

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19 Miles

Darryl Lauster

It was a tougher slog than on most days. The spring had come early, and the rain hadn’t let up for three weeks. With every step, his boots sank an inch deep into the muck and released with a slurping sound. He was approaching a transition point in the woods, where the heavy canopy gave way to the wetlands that extended several miles to the abandoned northern train tracks.

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A Civil War

Faraaz Mahomed

The streets around here empty out in December, until there are just the lazy summertime sounds of a few people walking their dogs or hosing their plants. Neighbourhoods are blanketed under a mostly placid silence, but sometimes there’s also a pall that covers those of us that haven’t escaped to the seaside.

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