The Talk Part Two by Frederick K Foote

The Talk – part 1 

Mae’s back home and our abode’s now full of teen angst, motion, and noise. My daughter’s more than a handful, but Darin and I are glad to have her back at least for the first hour or so. I’m the primary custodial parent for both of our kids. However, my wife, Beth, has divorce decree defined vacation time with our children. Mae has blown off the last three vacation visits to her mother. To satisfy Beth’s angry demands and to avoid going back to court, I convince Mae to spend three weeks with her mother.

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Companeros  by Roger Ley

Giving it food had been a mistake, it was a mangy, cringing, skinny animal, and who would think that a dog would eat pasta anyway. It started to follow her on the trail, disappearing for a few hours and then returning and dogging her footsteps. After a couple of days, she started calling it Pedro. She didn’t need its company, this trek through the Iguazu National Park was supposed to help her come to terms with the divorce. That her husband had found a younger partner was humiliating enough, that he was of the same gender made it worse but losing both a husband and a competent handyman at the same time was unbearable. House repairs, gardening, car maintenance, Maurice could turn his hand to anything, she would never find his like again.

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Mr Sunshine and the Instant Dawn by Andrew Johnston

Over the years, I’ve interviewed a lot of people who wanted to discuss the end of the world with me, but Jeremy Smedley was a bird of a different color. He didn’t have a standard preferred pseudonym, for one. He was willing to speak with me on the phone without turning on any dodgy homemade anti-surveillance devices. Most significantly, I didn’t have to meet him in a church sub-basement, a hidden personal library, or anything one might describe as a bunker. Jeremy felt no need to conceal his galactic insights, instead offering to meet me on a charming grassy hill overlooking an otherwise charmless Midwestern town.

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