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Maybe, If, and What Might’ve Been

Issue 37 by Nick Gallup

You’ve got to trust me on this, but back in the early sixties they had a thing called drive-in movies. The movies were actually shown outdoors, after dusk, of course. You pulled your car into a spot where there was a speaker mounted on what looked like a parking meter, except that the parking meter part was a speaker you could detach and place in your car.

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Pancreatic Cancer

Issue 37 by Douglas Brouwer

“Pancreatic cancer” were not the two words I was expecting to think about today on my long drive home from the university hospital on other side of the state. I knew, of course, that something wasn’t quite right, but always, in the past, the something that was not quite right could be treated promptly and effectively with an antibiotic.

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Baba Ji’s Handyman

Issue 37 by Kabir Mansata

Jay ran away from her home in Salt Lake, Kolkata, at the age of seventeen. She had an abusive father and an absent mother. Her parents’ were relieved when she left as they had one less mouth to feed.

She moved to Bombay and began a career as a part-time actor and a yoga instructor. Life was looking up for her –

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The Bear

Issue 37 by Mary Kate Baker

I was a child and already I could tell my dad was not paying attention the way he should. It was as if he had forgotten that living things grew. He forgot with my older brothers, lanky-limbed with pants that grew too short, leaving their bony ankles exposed. He forgot with me, my little girl body moving toward a brink of change that no one would explain to me.

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The Edge of Solitude

Issue 37 by Stan Dryer

I live on the edge of solitude. I try to exist with only the few essentials needed from our civilization and to hold at bay the tempting glitter of the rest of what it offers. The list of essentials is short. It includes such items as coffee, tea, sugar and a canoe. Yes, a fiberglass canoe. No one lives on my remote Canadian lake without a means of transportation.

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The Beekeeper

Issue 37 by Kathleen Powers-Vermaelen

When I find the counselor waiting for me in the hallway on Sunday morning, I know something bad has happened. “Hello again, Miss Campbell,” she says when I’ve come near enough to hear her. “Could we talk in the lounge for a few minutes?”

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The Mathematician’s Daughter

Issue 37 by Sonja Srinivasan

The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. She jerks her head up with a start and sees the clock–9:40 a.m. There just might be time! There just might be time if Nancy runs fast enough, time to see John and confess her love for him. She has been working on a proof all night and has fallen asleep at her desk and is late, is late, for a very important date,

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Bar Life

Issue 37 by Lily Lavender Wolf

all that fairy dust dancing inside your beer stein and yet you don’t believe in magic?

this incredible blast of light from the sun, ninety-two-point-ninety-five million miles from our planet, fragments through the surface of a stream and appears as shimmering waves streaking across your feet, and you still say you don’t believe in magic?

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Heat Wave

Issue 36 by Aaron William

Gooooooooooood morning Woodfield! This is Kap Freeman with your drive time weather update. It’s gonna be HOT again today! [cue: sizzling bacon sfx] Mostly sunny with a High of 92, heat indexes creeping into the triple digits. Continuing into this evening with tonight’s low only getting down to 81. [cue: loud barfing sfx] Then HOT again tomorrow!

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Breeze

Issue 36 by Alpheus Williams

The headland rises before the horizon like a giant lion’s paw, sun bleached and golden. Morning mist lifts above it in a soft mantilla of grey gossamer. You can just hear the breakers over the heavy equipment, the banging of gears and the blades of the bulldozers scarring the earth.

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Keep Going

Issue 36 by Forrest Brown

It’s October in British Columbia and unseasonably warm. This means it’s also hot in the cabin of the twin-prop Cessna carrying me northwest, so I twist out of my sweatshirt and squirm in my seat to find a comfortable way to sit. No success.

I’m on assignment for Outdoors, going to interview Diana Li at her vacation cabin up north.

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Onslaught

Issue 36 by Julie Beals

You are moving forward! You are moving forward. You’re cruising down the road in your jeep, on the way to work. The leather seat is cool beneath you; the world that’s passing by is overcast, but the yards and flora surrounding the nearby houses are almost a fluorescent green. There was a thunderstorm the night before.

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How We Got Here

Issue 36 by Cory Essey

We danced on my porch on the night I buried my dad. My feet were bare against the weathered wood, smooth under my skin. My dress, black and wrinkled, shifted in the cool night air and I remembered my father holding me up to the sky above his head. My arms outstretched, face toward the sun and flying, flying.

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Twisting Time  

Issue 36 by Gary Bolick

JENGA, yes, JENGA and rain. Both are safe for all ages, right? At the beach, sheets of rain rather than rays of sunshine coating the beach. JENGA! Throw in a slumber party game, a few choice words, a little alcohol, nothing too severe: Pinot Grigio, and wait. Now add a little, no, a lot more rain, bingo! Problem solved, right?

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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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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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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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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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