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The Prince’s Gargoyles

Issue 30 by Maria Thompson Corley

They were circling again, their leathery wings flapping slowly, noiselessly. Through a small square window lodged high in a stone wall of my cottage, I could see a large gargoyle passing just in front of me, so close that I could have touched its gray, scaly hide or wrapped my fingers around its slender neck if not for the barrier between us.

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Nyama

Issue 30 by Glenn Schiffman

“Put lice on pillow,” Anan said. “Efa woman annoy you, put lice on pillow. Dat’s how you break da connection.”
Anan and I were sitting on a bench on the quay by the St. Laurence River.
“Is that an old country adage?”
“I don’t know dis word, adage. You want get rid of da old lady, put lice on pillow. Next you know, she kick you out.”

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Pecan Pie and Psychosis

Issue 30 by Lara Colrain

Please don’t be dead.
Yet June knows the words in her head are hollow. Insubstantial. He has either done it right this time, or he hasn’t, and she can’t do shit about it if it’s the former. She hates it in here. She and Johnny always joked that the hospital’s waiting room was like depression cramped into airless chemical space. It makes her want to retch. As if she is looking into a glass of curdled milk and knows she has no choice but to gulp the lumps down.

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The Conspiracy

Issue 30 by Robert Klose

I was not alone. Every resident I knew had toyed with giving up. Even though I was several years older than the others it was still, sometimes, simply too much: the workload, the hostile or uncooperative patients, the long hours, the smug attending physician who, even at this juncture of our education, conveyed the impression that if we so much as considered quitting, maybe we should.

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Purity

Issue 30 by Robert Stone

Edward and Marcia had got into the habit of walking along the cliff-top at dusk. What, here on Auskerry, Edward was tempted to call the gloaming. The sultry day was much cooler now and, indeed, would soon be cold. At this latitude the summer sky was still pale, but the first stars could already be made out. Marcia had something she wanted to tell Edward and Edward did not want to hear it.

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Von Lindemann’s Proof

Issue 30 by Michael Peppergrass

The warehouses lining the arrival and departure lanes of the space port are constructed out of red brick instead of the traditional glass and steel common to the colony of New Guadeloupe. They tower high above Leif, as he dashes in between them through an alleyway. Surely, he cannot keep this tempo up for much longer.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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Whale Scouts

Issue 28 by Mary Fifield

Three dollars in pennies. A handful of over-the-counter decongestant pills, expired. A piece of fabric printed with elephants from a pair of pajamas he had as a kid. A compact fluorescent light bulb. Folded liner notes from “A Love Supreme.” A rusted USB flash drive. Hair in a hair brush. A dried oleander flower. A flint of quartz.

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Mary’s Memory Box

Issue 28 by Damian Robb

Mary kept a box inside herself in which she kept all her unwanted memories.
It started when she was nine, on Christmas day. After running into the lounge room to see what presents Santa had brought her, she had slipped and hit her head, and so her parents had rushed her to the hospital.

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This Account Has No Feelings

Issue 28 by Philip Jacobsen

When Peter Petersen entered the Marriott and saw no line at the check-in outside the convention hall, he knew he was late. There was a woman sitting at the table, staring at her phone. He approached her and said his name. She scrolled threw the document on the laptop. “I’m not seeing you.” He pulled out his I.D. “I’m with the Bureau of American Innovation.”
She smiled. “We were wondering where you were.”

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Bombs Gone

Issue 28 by Ian Evans

My best friend when we were growing up in Hamilton, New Zealand, was Stephen Walker. The only thing we had in common was that we were both born on D-Day, 1944, just a little ahead of the baby boom. I liked camping, fishing, swimming, cricket, and riding my bike. Stephen liked playing the piano, reading, and listening to Ray Conniff records. But we were mates and during school vacations I spent my time at his house.

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Chemistry

Issue 28 by Andrea Chesman

The first time Chloe kicked Brian out, they weren’t even married. And she didn’t really kick him out. Chloe was the one who left, though the house was in her name, though he was the one who transgressed. She thundered out of the house before she could do something she’d regret—like throw the pot of boiling sauce at him.

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Before Her Time

Issue 28 by Jacqueline Schaalje

“Let it go for a while,” said Fem when the alarm rang again from Mrs. Johanna (Hannie) Raven’s room.
I flicked my women’s magazine close that, a bit early in the season, displayed colorful spreads for Easter brunches that my parents would be quick to condemn, and got ready to get up.
Fem shot me a withering look. “She just wants to get turned over again onto her other leg, Steph.”
I began: “She’s in pain. She can’t sleep when she’s lying on her fractured leg.”

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