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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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Describe How You Feel in One Word

Issue 31 by Ali Wilding

Left with no alternative, Kate had decided to believe in God. She prayed to him each morning on her knees.
And then this, sudden as rain.
She stood alone in their bedroom, reflected in the long mirror that had once belonged to her mother.

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The Bet & The Dirge

Issue 31 by Thomas Weedman

I walk the orchard in my Sunday suit, black Oxfords dusted with gypsum and dirt. Ten thousand apple trees bower sans scabbed bark or a plague of beetle borers. Hard to believe the ginger dwarfs grew at all. They bulge trunks and muscle boughs heaped with green leaves and red apples. Rows even hummock deer shit without fences to keep out the wildlife that feast on the fallen fruit. It’s sweltering out.

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Kip’s Choice

Issue 31 by Alice Faryna

Kip tapped his fingers impatiently on the steering wheel. The traffic on State Route 33 had slowed to 25 MPH. Four inches of snow had accumulated and more was still coming down. The plows were busy clearing the interstates and would not get to the other highways for hours. The secondary streets would be impassable until tomorrow. He glanced at the packages on the passenger seat.

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Runaway

Issue 31 by Laurie Zerwer

The night before the morning that Tracey’s mother left, her dad took the early train and arrived home just past six. It was an event that occurred with less frequency since Tom had become a name partner at O’Malley, Sugarman, Rizzo, and Gray. Usually, on weekdays he was gone before Tracey left for school. She didn’t see again him until nine o’clock, when he came home smelling of single malt scotch…

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Moana Rising

Issue 31 by David Bowne

I still feel them, despite all that has happened. The nerve-racking drone of rickety gears straining against gravity, the anticipation of reaching the summit, the thrill of descent, Sarah squeezing my thigh with her hand as we plummet towards the ocean’s surface, the vibrant victory kiss as we pull into the coaster’s station, I still feel them all.

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Shorthand

Issue 31 by Catherine Vance

When I went to live with my three-fourths sister Dora, I was fourteen years old.
Dora and I had the same father, and our mothers were sisters. Her mother died in the flu epidemic of 1918, and a few years later Daddy married her younger sibling, my mother Isabel.
When I was four, he died, leaving nine children from two wives.

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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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