Sisters from Another Mister by Jill Malleck

Cheryl picks me up at the corner of Queen and Duke on Saturdays at three. It just makes sense, she said not long after we met. I’m going right by there anyway. It was my bus stop to Freeport, only now I lean out of the Plexiglas shelter and give a little wave, so the bus doesn’t stop. Today he pulls in to drop someone off. My face is red. It’s stupid how ashamed I feel about that dismissive wave.

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Through Amazed Eyes by Leila Allison

It’s three feet farther to hell from New Town Bridge. The city recently installed an eighteen-inch “safety” extension to the pedestrian rail. Since it opened in 1978, at least twenty persons have jumped off the ugly gray span and found death waiting two-hundred feet below in the beckoning Philo Bay Narrows. Northern seas swiftly kill the pain; and when that comforting certainty outweighs the threat of damnation, I don’t see another foot and a half up, and down, getting in the way.

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The Drinking Hour by John Conaway

Beachum stops at the Bi Lo to get his latest prescription filled. While he’s waiting he looks for something to kill the cat, some kind of poison. He looks up and down the aisles. It appears that grocery stores do not carry poison anymore.
“Where would I find the poison?” he asks the pharmacist
“What kind of poison are you looking for?” asks the pharmacist. He acts as if the mere contemplation of such a question has given him indigestion.
“Something that will kill a cat.”
The pharmacist sighs. “There are many things that will kill a cat,” he says stapling a sheaf of instructions and disclaimers six inches thick to the bag containing Beachum’s prescription that no one, least of all old Beachum, will ever read.
“Can you recommend something?”
The pharmacist shakes his head sadly. “No,” he says.

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West 86th Street Time Machine by Patrick M. Butler

Two days ago there were still those who went about saying that Peter was a false Tsar, perhaps the Anti-Christ himself.  But then, just as the hour of three was being struck, two long, thin clouds joined in the form of a cross above our village.  It was a Friday according to the new reckoning.  Marina, the serf girl, was the first to see it.  She fell to her knees and crossed herself, then ran to tell the priest, my father.  If he was drunk, as usual, he was nevertheless quick to realize how he could use this “sign”.  Were the rumblings of those who opposed the Tsar to go unchecked, the soldiers would soon be set upon our village to leave behind the smoldering remains of peasant huts and bodies swaying from scaffolds.  So I was ordered to toll the bell which summons the peasants to the village square where my father put them on their knees in witness to this miracle.  Such a voice he had!

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