All Stories, General Fiction

The Year of 13 by Lisa Shimotakahara

When I was twelve I was cute. When I was thirteen I was ugly.

Acne whacked me. The cute me. The twelve me. It happened overnight. It happened so fast that inside I was still twelve. Still wide-eyed and twelve. Still wide-eyed and twelve and oh-so-underprepared.

My friends (friends!) called me Silly Putty. Me, with my shiny, bulbous, pink-colored face. Grinning like jackals, they called me Silly Putty.

How did this happen? Overnight! How did the canyon open? The open canyon. From twelve to thirteen. From cute at twelve to thirteen, bulbous.

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All Stories, Fantasy

Suburban by Teresa Berkowitz

Our houses had always been haunted. We were always running from one old New England house to another. Finally, my parents found a ranch house in a small subdivision. It was painted a soft buttercup yellow. Everything was mostly new, less than five years old. “Only one owner,” the realtor reassured my parents. I immediately loved it. No scary attic. All of us on one floor. Even the basement was finished with wood paneling.

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All Stories, Fantasy, General Fiction

You’ll Never Understand the Circumstances That Brought You To This Moment by J Bradley Minnick

Story goes: Wonders like Rock School are more dreamt and pieced together by collective imaginations than planned; perhaps Tumbling Creek had called itself forth during the flood season and its rushing waters had picked up the first rock and transported it to the top of the hill and set it down there and once Rock School took shape, it could only become what was intended.  

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General Fiction, Short Fiction

 Black Flowers by Michael Ventimiglia

Being home hurts. It’s a subtle sort of pain that isn’t always obvious, but it’s always there just the same. The aching starts the moment I cross the state line and it won’t stop ’til I cross it back over. I guess that’s just the price of having a past, having to live with it.

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Short Fiction

No boy, no Tie by  R. P. Singletary

Three months later and back into my routine, I returned to church. I noticed all the families at early service. Little girls with exquisite ribbons, little boys all about their first ties. My father couldn’t teach me how to tie a tie. He was dyslexic. I was left-handed. Charming, the pair of us. Unsuccess greeted us at every skinned knee of childhood. Laces. Did it matter whether on new or old shoes, no. Scouting badges for all kinds of knots and things? Well, we attempted all that! Every sport imaginable involving foot or paw, naw. The neck tie was the worst. Eventually, I’d give up or stammer off. Or he would. Often crying throughout. He’d stopped cursing at some point. Sometimes, I would start cussin’ at another point. Only for Mom to intervene. She said she had to pray: “No boy, no tie, no boy.” I promise I remember that prayer.

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Short Fiction

Leaves by August Miller

The spiced cool air blowing through the car vents comes laced with wood smoke. It is a scent that weaved its way into the fabric of childhood alongside that indoor fireplace, which had been a burning city, or a burning home, or a burning bridge, or any burning spectacle I felt should be extinguished during games of heroism in the autumn and winter months.

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Short Fiction

As Ever, the Nun by Antony Osgood

To some, hindsight proves a faithful if fashionably late companion. Though it often offers questionable advice, reflexion is more tolerant than people, each of whom seems keen to speak of subtle feelings Chas rarely recognises. His, ‘I’m just angry’ stock response fails to satisfy those in search of his finer feelings.


‘No space for sadness when you’re angry.’

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All Stories, General Fiction

The Music of Lana Jardine by Harrison Kim

Lana Jardine always told me she’d be taken in the rapture, when God would gather up true Christians just before the apocalypse.  She accepted Jesus as her Lord and Saviour, so she’d never burn in hell.  “I confessed my sins,” she said.  “And he saved me.”

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All Stories, General Fiction

The Young Man Who Said He’d Never Eat Chocolate Again by Tom Sheehan

Today it all came back. Once again, on another brilliant dawning, the Western Yetness still calling me, I woke with a toothache. A stupendous one! In half an hour, despite quick brushing, the stimulator poked here and there, gargling, all proving useless, the ache remained in force. It was, without a doubt, the chocolate again, or the mere thought of chocolate. I knew I was weak to most any candy, and to chocolate in particular, right from the beginning.

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