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Precious Possessions

Issue 35 by Kennedy Weible

Carson Rawlings, attorney for the late Miriam McShanahan for over twenty years, waited for Trapp to stop laughing at his mother’s burial request. Trapp sat dwarfing a brown leather chair across from his desk. Carson leaned forward, fingertips pressed together, hands tented, glaring at Trapp. Trapp continued giggling. Carson sighed. “I remember the hilarity of my own mother’s passing,” he said.

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Young Woman Pointing (in a Landscape)

Issue 35 by Terence Byrnes

The nurse standing behind him tucked a strand of dark hair into her lavender hijab before grasping the rail on the back of his gurney. “Gib” Gibson and his surgeon had been discussing the modern hospital building that was under construction while they waited for an operating theatre here in the old one. The stony turrets and false battlements of this showy Victorian relic on the Montréal skyline would soon be put to some new purpose.

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Actors Therapy

Issue 35 by Jessica Mannion

Amaryllis stood in the rain, squinting at the little blue dot on her phone that showed her location. The cracked screen was barely readable, and the rain didn’t help. It was the correct address all right, and nicer than where most auditions were held. The lobby was very warm and very posh, with doormen, a security desk, and turnstiles that allowed entry only when security pressed a button.

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They Look Like They Are From A Dream

Issue 35 by Jamaluddin Aram

It was raining loudly on the tiled roofs and on the concrete sidewalks and on the trees but quietly on the grass. “This rain doesn’t sound and smell like rain,” I said when I went back inside the garage. My brother made a mark on the wood and put back the short yellow pencil behind his right ear. I looked at the cigarette behind his left ear and waited for him to say something.

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Dendra

Issue 35 by Becky Strohl

She lived alone in the woods.
As far as anyone knew, it was just nature beyond the Clifton Wilderness Park’s Welcome Center. Trees and mosquitos and dirt. What else was there to it? Hikers might enjoy the crisp air and momentary escape from their day-to-day life, which they termed “becoming one with nature.”

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The Corpse in the Woods

Issue 35 by Hallee Israel

Marli finds a corpse resting at the bank of a river in the middle of the woods after school. She almost doesn’t see it hidden amongst the brush and the moss, but the dingy gray color of its sneakers sticks out underneath the vibrant autumn leaves. After cleaning off her Dana Scully glasses – and squinting for good measure – she’s certain that it is a corpse, and not a fresh one either.

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Password

Issue 34 by JW Heacock

Edgar thought they’d travel in a chartered jet. He’d never flown on one before, but he knew the Company used them when they needed feet on the ground ASAP. Cantor Fitzgerald was the Company’s biggest client, generating millions in revenue each year, which he figured would make them charter worthy.

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Wine and Roses

Issue 34 by Victoria Shannon

First, there was Roses. She met him more than 30 years ago, at her second research job. Now, when they saw each other, he always brought her a single rose.
Roses, 6:16 a.m.: “I know this: You and I belong together. We have a beautiful future before us.”
Then, there was Wine. She broke up with him when she was 36. That was 23 years ago.

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A Different Man

Issue 34 by Sascha Goluboff

The day he arrived started off as usual as any for Pru. It was late spring. She stood by the stove in the summer kitchen, boiling water to wash Miss Vena’s petticoats and undergarments. Old Janie, who worked at the Moffatts’ neighboring farm, sat at the large wooden table gossiping with Aunt Betty, Pru’s father’s sister, who was Miss Vena’s cook.

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The Lottery House

Issue 34 by Alli Parrett

Every Friday, while co-workers are out for their weekly happy hour, Meg sits in bed, her ticket perched on her keyboard, combing through design ideas on the internet while the local newscaster announces lottery numbers. One at a time, the numbered table-tennis balls appear on the screen.

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The Columnist

Issue 34 by Neal Lipschutz

Max Toffer was pretty much everything I wanted to be. A newspaper columnist, an author of fiction and nonfiction, a devoted advocate of the First Amendment. He was from Philadelphia before he moved to New York to become a Greenwich Village institution at The Oracle. I learned all I knew about Toffer from the about-the-author paragraphs at the back of the novel of his I just finished

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The Socialite

Issue 34 by BJ Fischer

Logan began looking for his friends as he waited to make a left turn at the gate. The corporate headquarters stood behind a gleaming white iron fence that stretched for furlongs. He followed four black Navigators down the long-curved driveway.

The parade of cars stopped at the valet, which gave him time to scan for the one belonging to the people he knew.

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Bald is a Feel, Not a Look

Issue 33 by Jarrett Neal

Byron shook the rain off his driving cap and wool blazer before he hung them on the rack by the entrance. He handed the chubby lady behind the front desk a twenty-dollar bill. She was honey-colored with glossy yellow fingernails and plump black and gold braids coiled atop her head like a nest of vipers. When she passed him his change and gave him a receipt she said, “That’s for them,” gesturing to the phalanx of barber students several feet away.

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Saving Grace

Issue 33 by Reyna Marder Gentin

One day, Grace Stevenson stopped coloring her hair. All those hours and all that money spent trying to keep aging at bay, and John had gone off with a younger woman anyway. What was the point? At seventy, she thought the gray made her look refined, worldly. That’s how she wanted to feel. Like she’d arrived at a certain stage in her life where her choices should be respected.
She knew she wasn’t fooling anyone.

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Temilola

Issue 33 by Doley Henderson

I see her still. Her beaded plaits, flashing smile, bubbling laugh. Temilola. She has five other names but this is the one she prefers. Lola for short.
Toronto, Canada 2019 Floating downstairs after a therapy session, I hold the invisible balloon around me, a hot golden bubble of healing light from my osteo-physio. Pain free for now, I exhale, re-enter the city.

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The President’s Garden

Issue 33 by Jordan Smith

“It is with some delicacy,” began the note that May had found that morning in the wastebasket in Theo’s study when she went in search of a scrap of paper, that I phrase this apol…” And there the script sputtered and ended. May knew exactly what had happened.

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The Tale of Alimona

Issue 33 by Margaret Sullivan

There lived a woman Alimona who was called so because her evil husbands had forced her to pay them alimony before they would agree to free her from their miserable reigns. Many, many evil husbands, too many to identify, lest you find her thoughtless or promiscuous, tortured Alimona’s good faith, good heart and good intentions.

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The Cave

Issue 33 by Ellis Shuman

They say the cave offers a passage to the underworld. In ancient Greek mythology, a musician, poet, and prophet named Orpheus, son of the god Apollo, descended through the cave into the subterranean kingdom of Hades in search of his beloved, Eurydice. There are many versions of this legend and none of them have happy endings.

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