Progeny by Dima Alzayat

Nineteen is the number of times I stabbed my father. One in each forearm, shoulder, thigh, calves. Neck back stomach balls. Between two ribs the knife plunged and pierced one lung, two, and caught on a shard of bone, a tendon shred. Wrench tug free. I’d pictured each puncture in detail one by one. Not over and over on loop like some freak but while waiting for the bus or falling asleep I thought about the order of it, in and out and back in, the quiet shrill of it. Muscle rip against blade, bone scrape against metal.

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Simple Pleasures by Fred Vogel

Muffy had a feeling her relationship with her boyfriend was on rocky ground when he professed he loved her with most of his heart.

“Come on now, darlin’. I gotta keep a little of myself in reserve. Who knows when the next Dolly Parton might show up looking for a guy like me? There’s not a single red-blooded American man worth his salt who wouldn’t want a piece of that action.”

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Trigger by Doug Hawley

I’m out target shooting in the country when I hear the gravel crunch and somebody yells “Hey asshole, what are you doing?”  Without thinking, I turn and shoot him.  Well, shit, nobody should sneak up on somebody and scare him like that.  Before, I can check him out; somebody comes running up with a handgun and screams “You shot my brother.”  I turn around and shoot him too.  Him carrying the handgun, I figure it is self defense.  The first guy was sort of an accident.

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