The Funeral by Kevin Counterman

Sonny’s hand shook as he took a drag from his cigarette. Rain drops from the eaves above bruised onto Sonny’s faded grey scaly cap. He watched on as his lifelong friend Daniel reached the walkway to the funeral home. With his head down, and hands in his rain slicker’s pockets, Daniel walked down the cobbled path. “Sonny,” he said with a nod, as he reached the tall, twin hinged doors. The two men shared a moment of a silence, backs toward the funeral home, long faces towards the rain, as Sonny’s cigarette began to fade.

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What Follows (The Chair) by R. Harlan Smith

On the night Frank Pearls died, he gathered his little congregation around his chair and gave each of them a little snack like a priest giving Holy Communion. They received their snacks gleefully and smacked their lips to show their appreciation. Then he settled back in his chair, swallowed another glass of whiskey, filled the glass again, and in his calm, pleasant voice,  proceeded – sometimes he would read to them from Joyce, or Kierkegaard, or Al Capp, or sometimes he would just talk to them about philosophy, but he would never tell them it was philosophy. Tonight he would talk.

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The Talk Part Three – Driving While Black by Frederick K Foote

“Hey, Beth, you got a minute? I need your advice.”

“Greg, not really, however, I’ll always make time for a call from my ex-husband and the father of our children. First of all, you should move out of that horribly dangerous Oak Park place where you have domiciled my children. Apparently, the law enforcement thugs have a year-round open season on black people in Sacramento.”

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