All Stories, General Fiction

Friend Request by Yash Seyedbagheri

Mom costs me friends. She shows up drunk to my high school functions. Double-fists Merlot at a parent teacher conference. And it happens again at my drama club production of Hamlet, set in a Burger King. Although this time she imbibes Pinot.

Friends’ parents suggest I’m not good company. It’s not me, they claim. They just have to be selective. This is high school, it’s a volatile time for everyone. People are easily influenced.

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All Stories, General Fiction

They Shot the Beave by David Lohrey

Yeah, I live on Scarlet Street all right, near the corner of Agamemnon and Chintz. You know it? There is a pool hall on the corner, where there was a stabbing last year. 1732 to be exact, apartment 2C, in the back. I used to have a Plymouth Valiant but now I drive a Malibu.  I just finished a box of crackers and a hunk of Swiss. I’m all out of dough. Cashed my pension over a week ago, paid some bills, and haven’t a dime to my name.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Sister Mother by Yash Seyedbagheri

One day, you look for money in your sister’s drawers and you discover something else completely. You started out the day Nick Botkin, sister of Nancy, son of Penelope. Now Penelope’s your grandmother and Nancy’s your mother.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Gameday with Gran by Shawn Nocher

 “But why, Gran, why does everybody have to die?” He was only eight and it wasn’t like the idea was news to him. But it wasn’t something he thought much about until it got personal.

She only shrugged, advanced one of her checker pieces. “Pay attention.”  

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All Stories, General Fiction

More Ice Cream by Yash Seyedbagheri

The night they announce the divorce, my older sister Nan takes me for ice cream. I’m fourteen, she’s seventeen.

Nan insists I get two scoops.  Mint-chocolate chip.

Nan has cookies-and-cream.

“Everything should be a little sweeter,” she says.

“I guess,” I say, hunched over the bowl. “You wonder what would happen if things were too sweet, right?”

Nan smiles, a smile as crumpled as a dollar bill. She has circles under her hazel eyes and I want to tell her something positive. I don’t know what.

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All Stories, General Fiction

The Ice of Old Lily Pond by Tom Sheehan

The man was raw-boned, sleek, could skate like the wind that blew out of Canada on days like these around the corner of Appleton and Summer Streets, near cliff faces where the Montreal Tunnel holds forth. His hair was dark, his eyes held stories recessed and reserved, but he wore a magnificent pair of hockey gloves. Great, shiny black elegant things, tools of the trade. If he stood still, you’d swear you could smell the new leather of them.

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All Stories, General Fiction, Short Fiction

Dodging Traffic by Tim Frank

Nina and I were just kids when we started running into oncoming traffic. Dodging cars was something that felt natural – a part of growing up, facing demons we didn’t know we had. We’d sit on the low curb, flicking crisps into the gutter like cards into a top hat, then as we heard the rumbling of a car approach, we clamped hands and dashed into the street. We experienced short spurts of ecstasy, drifting away on a sublime high and yet the feelings were short-lived, elusive.

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All Stories, General Fiction, Short Fiction

Circles by Leila Allison

The pomp with the primered Ranchero dropped three stacks of jackrags in the alley behind Elmo’s Adult Books and rang the bell. This happened every other Saturday afternoon. Sometimes the pomp waited for old Elmo to waddle back, sometimes he’d drive off before the fat fuck unlocked the back door. It was one of the times the pomp drove off first. Tess stood lookout, and I dashed from our side of the alley, snatched a bundle, and got back under cover with seconds to spare. Then it was off to Fort Oxenfree, leaving Elmo a little poorer.

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All Stories, General Fiction, Short Fiction

Wingsy by Tom Sheehan

Long and lanky and always of a dark eye, ever adept at study of any kind, Wingsy held a broad maple leaf aloft, with fine fingers at the end of one long thin arm, against an angle of penetrating August sunlight. To a young friend he pointed out the webbing of shadowed filaments. As he pointed out the leafy veins, he spoke in an instructive manner, yet indirectly, as if for the moment he had but half interest, which was somewhat unlike him. Interest was something he had a facility of generating, no matter the subject.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Child at the Edge of the Wilderness by Harrison Kim

Ten-year-old Josh walked to school on an already hot May morning.   The bulldozers roared and pushed along the river, clearing the bush and the cottonwood trees for new condo development.  Josh’s skinny white pony-tailed neighbour, landlord Glaser Neil called out from his yard “hey, take a look at this,” and Josh stopped.  Neil often acquired odd things.  Odd but interesting.  Neil pointed behind his lilac bush.  Josh looked over and smelled the lilacs.  Glaser motioned for Josh to come in, and the boy opened the gate and peered at the back of a cage.  “What’s in there?” he asked.  He heard a growl.

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