An Engagement by Michael Hyde   

The scene is set on the top floor of an old greystone apartment in Chicago’s North Side, the windows of which look out to a black Lake Michigan. Two plates sit on a pub table. One is cleaned and on the other half a pasta portion remains. The diners have taken the wine to the couch, where they are presently reposed; John with his feet up on the coffee table, Lauren with her legs across his lap, her head on a pillow on the far side. Sinatra plays faintly from a speaker, about the same volume as the crackling fire across them. John reads and Lauren thinks. But then….

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Dark Return by Tom Sheehan

Wonder had him in its grip and worked him over, tossing him into past years as clean as a pistol shot. More than half a century flipped through his movie mind, stopping whenever he wanted, at whatever spot and breaking loose the sounds, the smells, the fingers touching, the skin knowing again, rocking him with total recall. He saw again the older woman who paraded nude behind a window, who finally beckoned when he was on the way to school one day, calling him on to manhood, and to silence and war, and to the eternal draw.

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