The Boy at the Bus Stop by Nick Sweeney

The eve of All Souls’ Day, and the dead to be visited, provided with light, the all-weather candles of the graveyard, the living visitors to be catered-for with bread and beer. It all meant shopping, the carrying of things, and of all-weather people, in and out of the darkness brought down by November. The eleventh month announced the onslaught of the winter, a drain on the spirits, a greying of the skin, the miniscule tightening of arteries, the dimming of the vision, the only clear thing in sight the glimmer of the wrongs done and not righted, a time of ghosts.

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Aref and the Hermit Crab by Phoebe Reeves-Murray

Hundreds of hermit crabs wearing toothpaste caps as shells shuffled through the dirt at the construction site, dirt so full of broken glass that it sparkled even at night, even with no light. Aref knew probably only he saw that seemingly infinite sparkle, just like he knew the hundreds of hermit crabs were really only one because you’d never find that many crabs wearing toothpaste caps for shells.

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Stars Burn Out by Fred Vogel

As a youngster, I watched as my father was electrocuted while stringing Christmas tree lights. I remember his body flopping on the carpet like a gaffed tuna before coming to rest near my little feet. My mom walked in and dropped her groceries all over my little head. I was unable to attend his funeral, having been admitted to Anchorage Memorial Hospital with a head full of lumps and a lifelong fear of colored lights.

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