All Stories, General Fiction

 A Little Red Wagon, a Long-remembered Face III by Tom Sheehan

One Christmas many years ago there was for me one present from my parents, a little, done-over red wagon with a long hauling handle, and slatted sides. The sides were for extra cargo! For overload! The name, the logo, of the wagon has not stuck with me, but its ownership has. That the wounded wagon, from some wars of its own, had been touched-up, repainted, a bit of rust covered over, two wheels replaced, had no interest for me. Early and mid-Thirties had all ready made their impressionable slash in the mind of a seven-year old. This one, now, was mine!

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All Stories, General Fiction

Shake or Float? By David Lohrey

I drove a 1963 Flamengo-orange Thunderbird, wore navy blue tennis shoes, and sat eating a banana split at the A&W. It was 1986. In White Haven, Tennessee, where truck drivers were thought to be rich, it was still considered a big deal to go to the movies. Girls looked forward to losing their virginity in the back row at the Malco Theatre.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Steady Space by Yash Seyedbagheri 

Dad communicated in grunts and edicts. But Uncle Max communicated in smiles and jokes and deliberate instruction. He told me dirty jokes and turned condoms into water balloons. But he also took me bowling and taught me to drive, telling me always to look forward, guiding my hands with ease.

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All Stories, General Fiction

The Wait by Lisa Toner

The child is painfully thin.  Her ribs poke against the taut skin of her back as she draws on the dusty floor with a stick.  She crouches on toothpick legs, supported by hardened feet which rarely see shoes.  The bottoms of her filthy white shorts graze the dirt floor.

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All Stories, General Fiction

From an Appalachian Peak, a Small Red Star for Me and My Father by Tom Sheehan

This appointment came when light tired, this arrangement, this syzygy of him and me and the still threat of a small red star standing some time away at my back, deeper than a grain of memory. I am a quarter mile from him, hard upward on this rugged rock he could look up to if only his eyes would agree once more, and it’s a trillion years behind my head or a parsec I can’t begin to imagine, they tell me even dead perhaps, that star. Can this be a true syzygy if one is dead, if one is leaning to leave this line of sight regardless of age or love or density or how the last piece of light might be reflected, or refused, if one leaves this imposition? The windows of his room defer no light to this night, for it is always night there, blood and chemicals at warfare, nerve gone, the main one providing mirror and lethal lens, back of the eyeball no different than out front, but I climb this rock to line up with another rock and him in the deep seizure of that stolen room, bare sepulcher, that grotto of mind.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Pearl by Morgan Krueger

I thought it would be a relief to escape, to finally be free; free from the accusing eyes, the whispered comments, the scornful stares. And for me, it was. It was glorious freedom. I relished the human interaction that was suddenly possible. I was free to be me without being accused of being a witch or a devil’s child. But for mother it seemed to be a punishment, to be void of punishment. This puzzled me; indeed I was hard to understand my mother’s plight, why she spurned the friendly people of Austria, always polite and a willing confidant, but never inviting friendship. After a while the reason became apparent; it was the embroidered patch on her dress that still set her apart, not because others spurned her, but because mother chose to keep that scarlet token as a wall between herself and the Old World.  

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All Stories, General Fiction

Eddie Jordan by Frederick K Foote

The day after I turned 14, I asked Julie Wong to go to the Pepsi Cola show with me on Saturday. The price of admission was three Pepsi Cola bottle tops. We project kids loved to show up and show off as we watched cartoons, serials, and short movies. This was going to be my first real date.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Cold by Yash Seyedbagheri

My older sister Nan and I climb up our makeshift tree house armed with our latest swiped goodies. Vienna sausages. Saltines. Sardines. Plastic Merlot bottles. The Sutter Home brand, not anything fancy, but durable. Plus, it’s enough to give you a good buzz, but not enough to get truly, raging drunk. Not like Mom.

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