All Stories, General Fiction

Christmas Lights Icicle Frost by Antony Osgood

The year becomes indented, single-spaced, and winter edged with summer grammar. Every stamped boot is a syntax-wish for warmth, a yearning, for once upon a time, happy ever after, when things were and always will be, somehow, golden, likely better, bountiful, without end. Each shudder this morning is modified by such expectations. This is an English season to be endured.

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All Stories, Science Fiction

Fragments by Jennie Boyes

We sometimes remember that other universe. It comes to us in dreams, intangible and unattainable, an echo that rebounds on the parts of us that grieve our old form. We were once a deity of the heavens, too ancient and vast to consider the lives of mortals. The cosmos was our domain. We walked between planets and hurled asteroids at moons. The feuds and petty wars with our god-kin could supernova a sun. How mighty we were, and how foolish in our arrogance.

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All Stories, General Fiction

They Always Welcomed Visitors by Mariam Saidan

It had been a year since the separation, and she was still trying to get a divorce. Domestic violence. Or ‘family issues’, as they would say. Her husband admitted he’d made mistakes, but he’d do better. Be better. A better man. She didn’t want him to be a better man. Or anything else, in fact. Only to agree to the divorce. But the court needed evidence. Specific evidence of maltreatment or betrayal.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Steady Space by Yash Seyedbagheri 

Dad communicated in grunts and edicts. But Uncle Max communicated in smiles and jokes and deliberate instruction. He told me dirty jokes and turned condoms into water balloons. But he also took me bowling and taught me to drive, telling me always to look forward, guiding my hands with ease.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Smoker’s Holiday by Tom Sheehan

Ahead, Big Coppitt Key flared suddenly behind the rowing fisherman who had rescued him, like carnivals appear around far corners, though sounds not audible. Randy had no idea how he had gotten out here on the Gulf, afloat in a dory. He’d only guess. His head hurt. His ass hurt. His gut hurt. Blisters rode his lips. His tongue was swollen. He felt lumps under his beard.

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All Stories, General Fiction, Short Fiction

Week 343–Some Good Things Lost, Gained and A Celebration of Hairspray

Some Good Things Lost

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Wisdom

I asked my grandmother if everything was wonderful in the good old days. She told me that “wonderful” can exist at any time as long as you are young and have enough money. She also said it’s better to be young than anything else, but since nobody stays that way, sources of money should always be cultivated.

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THRIFT

My Grandpa Henry was a custodian at a community college for forty-three years. And although he made a decent “working man’s wage,” and in all other ways was a generous man, not once in his life did he pay more than two-hundred dollars for a car.

He had a thing for extremely tuckered government vehicles at state auctions. One year he landed a 1970-something Plymouth Fury for twenty bucks because he was the only one to bid on it. Grandpa Henry was proud of that car even though the only way to start it was to wrap your left arm behind the wheel and pull hard on the shift while cranking the starter with your other hand and pumping the accelerator, hoping it fired before the battery croaked.

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All Stories, General Fiction

To Serve by Yash Seyedbagheri      

When I was little, I was afraid aliens were going to eat me. Of course, it was just that Twilight Zone episode I’d seen, To Serve Man, the one where a message of peace turned out to be an alien cookbook and the world was its meal, people being fattened up on a spaceship for the slaughter. They had to convince me it was just a show, a parable about humanity and all that.

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All Stories, General Fiction

The Wait by Lisa Toner

The child is painfully thin.  Her ribs poke against the taut skin of her back as she draws on the dusty floor with a stick.  She crouches on toothpick legs, supported by hardened feet which rarely see shoes.  The bottoms of her filthy white shorts graze the dirt floor.

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All Stories, General Fiction

The Bund by Richard Yu

There were many things in life that Oscar did not comprehend. Miro, for one, totally baffled him. When it comes to abstract painting, he would readily relegate that area of expertise to his wife. Afterall, she had attended art school for a big part of her life, so she was supposedly an art connoisseur as well as an artist herself. What puzzled Oscar was why she bothered to learn all those advanced techniques just so to paint like a five-year-old. “You should find a job teaching kindergarteners how to paint,” Oscar would snipe. Naturally, his wife ignored his snide remarks. Just recently, she had bid on a sketch by Miro for as much as five years his salary, he being a CEO of a high-tech firm that supplied chips for the space shuttle. Had he run across such a sketch in a flea market, he wouldn’t have paid more than the price of a can of sardines for it, if only for the scrap value of the frame and mat.

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