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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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The Green Bike

Issue 27 by Nick Gallup

Benny had forgotten about signing up for a job to deliver newspapers. It’d been two years, but that was evidently how long a kid had to wait to get a paper route. It was one of the few jobs reserved for kids. The routes didn’t pay much more than $15 a week, which was too low for grown-ups but high enough that every kid on Point Cadet wanted one.

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To Love

Issue 27 by H. C. Phillips

Professor Victor Miles, head of the Department of Future Insight at a highly prestigious institution, was to dine with one of his favourite ex-pupils on one particular spring evening.
Carl Werner arrived on the stroke of seven, ever punctual.

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Mugwah, The Winged Tortoise of Love

Issue 27 by Steve Young

The last time she saw Tommy Greene was in a laundromat in downtown Essex Junction, where he gave her $180 in cash in a plain white envelope. She drove her car in to meet him through a cold, drenching, late-winter downpour. The grayness and the raw, chill rain had infected the little college town that morning like a virus; the streets and sidewalks were waterlogged, the storm drains overflowing, the stores and cafes, with their pale-yellow beacons of light, lost and abandoned in the torrent.

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Our Soldier of Fortune

Issue 27 by Kirk Combe

Cleve Clucus was high mountain people before he came to live with us. Not trappers or recluses or nothing odd like that, but high range people in the Sawtooth, over by the Salmon River. Kin. Part of our clan families around Arco. Clucuses, Combes, Barlows, Gordiols. All Swiss that hadn’t wanted to be in the Italians’ war.

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The Exorcism

Issue 27 by Willow Barnosky

So there was a man named Ed, and I really liked him at first. I thought he had an interesting life story, although I didn’t know all the details. I knew all that I cared to know, all of the essentials, but when I tried to tell other people about Ed, they had the tiresome tendency to ask for more information: “Oh, but how’d he meet his wife?” or “Why doesn’t he have any children?” or, even more exasperatingly, “What kind of car does he drive?”

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“Safe” Spaces

Issue 27 by Natasha O'Brien

‘But Mummy…’ Lukas tugged at my sleeve, protesting. ‘It’s not bedtime, look!’ He pointed out the window at the sunlit peaks topping over the valley. ‘The sun’s still up!’
‘That’s because the sun stays up later in the summer.’ I guided Lukas towards his small bed in the corner of our living room. He usually slept in his own bedroom, but I felt safer if we all stayed together.

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