Take Him to a Better Place by Chris Benjamin

Coach Henden is going to take a puck to the face. All the parents of the B-level kids agree it’s coming; it’s a favourite topic of conversation as we wait for our bitter canteen coffee before our little Hornets in their “gold” (yellow) jerseys stumble onto the ice for the first period. We’ve got a pool on which of the kids on Henden’s Triple-A team will be the culprit and how many months into the season it’ll happen. I say Rogan Flieger before the end of January; he’s got the hardest and most accurate wrist shot any of us has seen on a 12-year old. I saw him moping in the parking lot one time, hours after his practice had finished, when my son Kevin and I arrived at the rink for Kevin’s practice. When I asked Rogan where his mom was he pushed past me leaving a trail of little boy musk and fury. But he lives just down the road so I figured he’d be alright making his own way home. He isn’t a bad kid, just competitive. Fiery, Coach Henden called him, “like myself.”

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No Edge to Glory by Tom Sheehan

Everso, Nevada must have seen McKenzie Dodds, newly quit of the Great War, coming all the way, all the time, sitting as it did on a rise with a splendid view of the river and the grass running for miles beside it dotted with cattle. It could have been termed a welcome in some quarters the way the town hummed, had bustle in the streets, doors opened and closed, hellos and good mornings and halleluiahs blending in Dodds’s hearing. It was all saluted by a group of boys in an old game of tossing slender sticks at the side of the livery where leaners were yelped up to victory; “Huzzah. Magnificent! Numere uno!.” Or “Attaboy, Vinnie! Attaboy!” Or “Do it again, Carlo!” coming as “Lo hace otra vez, Carlo!”

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The Upside-down Push Up Busker by Harrison Kim

Sobola’s standing on his head against an artist painted wall, pumping upside down pushups.  The backs of his feet slide up and down the surf wave mural bricks.  From his close to ground position, he views a reversal world, the feet of the curious street crowd.  Beside him, on left and right, two volunteers participate.  Cindy Lou and Nick.  They pushup for their totem animal.   They volunteered to participate in this busker challenge.

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