A Whistle for the Goatfooted Balloonman by Leila Allison

Today, quicksilver March clouds hug Torqwamni Hill in a multilayered embrace composed of soft kisses and the murmured promise of a twisted-shank thrust below the sternum and into the heart. Both may be interpreted as acts of affection. And it is Tennyson who claims that spring is when young men think of love; yet nothing the Lord says expands well on what the young ladies make of the situation. Perhaps this is because it is less poetic, and concerns what passes from mothers to daughters on the subjects of cows and the price of milk.

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Death in the Shadows by Tom Sheehan

The Texas evening carried grace and expectation as the sun moved on its last legs; soft shadows fell from all heights as though they were cotton balls shaped into vague contours, and a hush moved across the land the way mystery crawls, unknown, unsure of where to put down its feet, looking for contestants in the arena where life is lived a good part of the time. In Trinity Cove, Texas, it was The Wild Eye Saloon, a catch-all for what the west brings to dry throats, hungry cowpokes, desperate criminals, sneaky card players, and a few ladies lost in the game of life.

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The Louder You Scream by Martyn Clayton

 

Every girl loves a showman reckoned Big Micky Taverne.

Stand behind their car as the waltzer takes a group of them up and down. Watch as they huddle up, heads rested on shoulders, screaming in unison. One if not all will be giving you the glad eye, willing you on. Come on they’re saying, give us a spin. So, you do and they scream so loud it would burst your eardrums if they weren’t already bust from the music.

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The Deep End by Sarah Dara

Note: There is some Urdu used in this piece. Translation is provided at the end of the prose.

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My toes sank into the warm sand. I wiggled them in deeper, walking toward the fierce body of water ahead. The sand became cold and wet. Wind blew against my face; echoes of the past whispering in my ears. I brushed my hair aside and started to move towards the ultramarine waves. My family called to me as I neared the sea. Shouts of ‘what are you doing,’ ‘come back,’ ‘it’s too dangerous’ were heard spreading in the wind, but I kept going. Waves tickled my feet as I wandered deeper and deeper. The sand beneath my feet vanished and I was paddling. The sea enveloped me. Waves struck me violently. I was deep enough. I stopped paddling.

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