All Stories, General Fiction

Boundless Growth by Simo Tchokni

‘And all of this is replicated across twenty datacenters.’

With a flourish, Davide draws a large rectangle around the messy, sprawling diagram he’s drawn on the whiteboard. He turns around. ‘Any questions?’

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All Stories, General Fiction

The Scary Lady by Jeffrey Penn May

Not long after Mike and Katherine moved into their spacious St. Louis county house with pillars and brick facade, its value plummeted. But it was a nice house, woods in the back, nice deck.

“What will we do when they’re gone?” Katherine asked, brushing a tangle of brown thinning hair.

“Who?” he responded. She was talking about their kids. Two more years and both would be in college.

“All this space,” she said. “Empty.”

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All Stories, General Fiction

Elbows With Fishes by Leila Allison

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Holly More first got drunk at the reasonably late age of nineteen. On a late summer Saturday night in 1977, he dropped in on a pair of college classmates who shared a shithole studio apartment at the base of Seattle’s Capitol Hill. The roomies extolled the virtues of “Bokay” apple wine, which sold for sixty-nine cents a bottle. Ritzy nectars such as Boone’s Farm, T.J. Swann and, Allah-forbid, Lancer’s were too fancy-pants pricewise for students who earned $2.10 an hour at Work Study jobs. That left MD 20/20, Night Train, Thunderbird and Bokay. Since the first three were what the Pioneer Square bums drank, the guys went with the Bokay. Holly later found out that Bokay was the wine of last resort amongst the Pioneer Square bums.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Heights by Darren Gray

As I stood on the top of the tower and looked down, I wondered if I should jump.
I decided against it, for the fourth night in a row, and headed downstairs for a cup of tea. I wanted tea more than I wanted death, so things worked out great, all things considered.
I couldn’t help thinking, though, while I sipped on my tea, that, right at that moment, I could have been a bloody, broken pile on the concrete path, perfectly, precisely between the two spot-lights aimed up at the tower.
After finishing my tea, I went to bed and, before I feel asleep, thought: maybe tomorrow, then.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Rocking In The Meaning (of the World)  by Harrison Kim

I’m rolling my head back and forth back and forth for hours at a time, sometimes against the wall, sometimes along the bed.  I regard my first morning view, freezing ice frost patterns on the inside of my single window.  Then it’s back to blankets awhile and rolling my head.  To be free you must connect with people, withdrawing with my rocking is disappearance in my trance.  But it is also liberation.  I conjure up visions from the pace.  My intent: to take the randomness of life and organize it,  to picture by motion daily happenings and rhythm out a purpose.  I spin through a back and forth reverie sweep of prairie sky, the colour and thought of the blue turning in my mind, imagine the bridge over the South Saskatchewan river, take that bridge to wilderness, to antelope leaping over the Great Sand Hills.  I have $42.39.  I’m 24 years old.  I have a college degree.  I lie on my bed and rock.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Dead Rock Stars by Peter J. Stavros    

Sadie puts a bottle of white wine in the fridge before she goes out for a long run. She figures that if the run doesn’t help purge her of the toxins from the day then maybe the wine will. And if that doesn’t work she always has that fifth of bourbon on the bookshelf that girl from work gave her for Secret Santa, red bow taped to the top, and a few oxy left over from her thumb surgery last summer stashed at the bottom of the clothes hamper. But she figures the run, or the wine, should do just fine.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Distraction by Sharon Hajj

Distraction by Sharon HajjIn the morning, I like to bury my dreams under the pillow so I can immediately check my to-do list:

  1. Go to store for soy milk, oatmeal, and dog food
  2. Buy paint and stencils for bookshelf
  3. Make an appointment for a mammogram
  4. Call and wish Mom happy birthday
  5. Dump your belongings in the trash

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All Stories, General Fiction, Short Fiction

Vmbra Wormwood by Leila Allison

And the name of the star is called Wormwood…

–Revelation 8:11

Pus star Wormwood glowered ceaselessly in the cigarette sky. Although it was only midday, Wormwood pulled long shadows from the sour crabapple trees, whose fruit not even the crows will eat. Embittered little trees, Scotch broom, feral blackberries and scrub grass are all that grow in the brief ridges and ravines and knolls that serve as the community “backyard” throughout the valley. During wildfire season the broom pods burst and the smoky wind disperses their dusty spore. During wildfire season it’s easy to believe in hell.

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