A Day in the Life of a Sandwich Artist by Tom Roth

I got up from the floor and glanced at the frozen lake. In the morning, the sunlight streaked across it like bright scribbles of yellow crayon. I saw yellow spots all over the cabin.

“You got a little too mcskunk last night,” Wiley laughed, pressing empty beer cans to his chest. Wiley was big. His body was shaped like a bulb baster.

B was small and just flushed the toilet. “Mcskunkess is up. How ya feelin’, bitch,” he smiled as he walked toward me. B had a patch of frizzy hair that looked glued to the top of his head.

“Um,” I said.

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The Kite People of Ang Thom by Lawrence Buentello

They said Nimol could walk on water, and perform other miracles, in his youth; but when he went blind and failed to regain his sight, the villagers ceased believing in his divinity and derided his words. He retired alone to the hills beyond the farms.

When he returned to the village as an old man, most of the people who knew him in his youth were dead. He descended the hills and emerged from the trees beyond the fields, and many watched his progress along the road, which he achieved with the assistance of a staff carved from the root of a banyan tree.

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A Soldier’s Crusade by Tom Sheehan

The cowman Oliver Weddle sat his horse on a small hillock, looking out over his ranch, the grass running off to the hills, Texas itself stiffening his backbone as it always had. He tried again to count the help he’d need to get the ranch back in prime order after his return from the war, wishing that some of his command had come along with him when he separated from the service. They were good soldiers, good riders, and courageous and loyal to the duties; but had their own visions of search. Three foremen in a row had failed him and their mission, one or two of them he suspected had complicated issues on purpose. So glaring were the failures that they cost him a good deal of his money. Now he was contemplating what would happen if he did not get a good man for the job.

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The Lobster That Wouldn’t Sleep by Tom Sheehan

It had happened again and bright-eyed, thick-chested Judd Farro, half clad in the yellow foul weather gear of his trade, couldn’t remember how many times it had happened over the years. The sea, obviously, has its own rules and regulations, he thought, its own machinations, and you don’t really count on them. But here, in its own great mystery, the lobster with the bold X on its backside was caught anew in one of his traps, big as life, healthy, and as if daring to say Here I am again. The X was indelible, unmistakable, and struck him with an awed intensity.

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A Journey Begun In Lovers Meeting By JC Freeman

Readers’ Advisory:

The Union of Pennames, Imaginary Friends and Fictional Characters (UPIFFC) has gone on strike. The reasons for this are unclear, but there’s a bunch of them outside my office window at this very moment alternately singing We Shall Overcome and making unflattering chants that feature my name and the accusation of miserly behavior on my part: “SAY HEY FREEMAN/HOW ABOUT A FEE MAN.” Don’t blame me, I didn’t say these were good chants.

Anyway, my penname, Ms. Leila Allison, seems to be the brains of the outfit, which is the only good news I have to report. Until she either gets bored with this rebellious activity, or the situation is in some other way resolved, I am forbidden to use the alias. Until that time, however, the show must go on.

Yours Truly,

JC Freeman

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