All Stories, General Fiction

Welcome by Yash Seyedbagheri     

Once, the coffee shop walls were sunshine yellow. It was a yellow that to Nick evoked the shape of sweet dreams. Dreams that whispered and took him by the hand. Dreams he couldn’t get facing white walls, six months ago. White walls that faced other white walls, with faceless neighbors who never made themselves known.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Good Morning by Yash Seyedbagheri 

Once, a good morning or a how-are-you rose from me like a wave. I smiled that little jack-o-lantern grin, as my sister Nan called it. And once I cruised the streets in my Subaru, just feeling empty streets at dusk, while streetlamps came on, feeling the smooth motion of turning wheels, the rise of oldies and classical from radio, Elvis or Tchaikovsky accompanying me home.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Screens By Yash Seyedbagheri

I awaken to computer or phone screens with emails beckoning. Mostly junk, links to New Yorker articles, reminders of delinquent dues on this card or that. CONTACT US IMMEDIATELY, black words growl on a sterile background.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Light by Yash Seyedbagheri   

It’s the first clear winter night in almost two weeks. I drive the streets into our valley community, 2003 Subaru Forester rattling with age and emptiness. Well, more like I’m driving down the one winding main street that slopes down a hill, flanked by cathedral-like ponderosas. A few side streets branch off to the market and the cluster of shops and the one or two churches that flank either side of the river. The outskirts, the hills beyond, my cabin,  darkened rooms, and bills wait behind me, all splayed across the kitchen table. Power, water, a myriad of cards maxed out, in part due to my fondness for Fat Tire.

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All Stories, General Fiction

A Controlled Moment of Light by Jo Robson

I’m in the changing room of a high-end boutique when Oscar calls me back.

 ‘What’s up?’ he says. He is at home. I can hear the whir of the washing machine behind his voice.

 ‘I’m trying on a dress.’ It is red with white polka dots and hangs just below my knees.

 ‘You never wear dresses.’

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All Stories, General Fiction

Over the Limit by Yash Seyedbagheri

Robotic card reps call to collect in the morning, reiterate in the afternoon, and assault my ears in the evening.

They really need to get in touch with Nicholas Alexander Botkin. Age thirty-four. Date of birth 16 January 1987.

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All Stories, General Fiction

My Plea For Solitude by Harrison Kim

Right out of high school after Dad died I inherited eighteen acres down the road from Mom’s house.   Raye,  who I now call “The Old Crow”  married me quick after that.  I started building for our great future.  I framed the house around and over top of the trailer, then took the inside trailer wall out.  We trucked in water from Mom’s place.  My friend Elton and I constructed the septic tank, a fifty gallon drum with pipe holes at both ends, pushed down in a rocky hole.  My brother Jackson helped lift the roof trusses. My life pinnacle topped there, Raye and I bouncing on the bed by the wood stove, sex and drink and rock and roll in the custom made residence,  and then came three kids, Raye and my mighty sperm created them two girls and a boy.

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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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