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A True-Begotten Father

By Steve Edwards

I see him on a cold blue February night: He steps onto the back porch to drop a garbage sack by the bin and my mother pushes the door shut behind him, turns the lock.

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Animals

by Robley Wilson

How old was I then? I was in sixth grade, which meant I was twelve. That was another part of my uncle’s argument: I was “old enough” for the fights.

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Circumstances

by Camille Griep

By the time they pull you out of the car, the party is already half over. Harry from accounting has mown through the good cheese and the VP is opening the evening’s lesser quality wines.

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I Keep

by Ian Hilgendorf

I doodled your name a thousand times a day. Even before I seen you, I knew you was made like on a potting wheel, formed together by the fires of my womb.

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The Triumph

by Frank Scozzari

Mowambi was breathing hard, panting like a wild animal, his leathery face wincing in the hot African sun. He had been hit cleanly through the side, the wound causing numbness in his abdomen.

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The Last Philosopher

by Robert Wexelblatt

You will appreciate that the title of my lecture is ironic. As yet, there has been no last philosopher, nor do I think there is likely to be one.

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Wise Young Fool

by Sean Beaudoin

My room is tiny and dark and smells like sweaty sheets. The window is wide open, but there’s still no air. A heavy pre-lightning gloom overwhelms my clankity-clank fan.

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Sleigh Ride

by Kenneth Robbins

Where: the ninth floor of the Ritz Building, downtown in a median American city on the Southern side of the Mason Dixon Line, a city like Jacksonville, Savannah, or Montgomery, or none of them, or all of them.

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Visitation Rights

by Dino Parenti

He’d pick me up from Mama’s early Saturday while she slept, always waiting in his truck down the street and staring down the sun while gnashing on a spicebush twig.

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Accidents

by Midge Raymond

We’re having the same argument before my sister and her kids come over for a barbecue. I’m running out of reasons he hasn’t heard before, so I tell him, “This morning I saw a woman at Stop & Shop with a bullet on her key chain.”

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Us

by Raymond Philip Asaph

A social researcher, she had actually been affiliated with Harvard University, part of the team which had issued an important, ignored report on the mental health of the American people.

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The Hollow

by Kathy Fish

Afternoons, the girls play in the hollow. The heat buckles their energy and sweat drips into their eyes. Their mother works hard, but the girls are unkempt and secretive, given to a layered, sarcastic wit.

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This Meatless Heaven

by Anna Mantzaris

Shiitake Happens. Soy to the World. The Girl From Echinacea. The slogans were printed on heavy hemp T-shirts with vegetable dyes.

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The Year Nobody Died

by David Jauss

It was March before anyone noticed. The first was Merlene Svensgard, whose husband Al had died on New Year’s Eve while he and Merlene were counting down the final seconds along with Dick Clark on TV.

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The Ultimate

by Robin Becker

I’m a line-sit for the Ultimate Roller Coaster. At first, I thought the job would be depressing, everyone standing in line waiting to ride-n-die, but what I do is altruistic.

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