Red Christmas by Mike Ramon

It was cold enough to freeze your balls off; he wanted nothing more than to be back at home, sitting in his big green recliner and sipping a hot cup of cocoa with little marshmallows floating in it. But no, the little bastards needed their toys. That was bad; worse was that those toys had gotten more complicated (and more expensive to make) over the years. Once upon a time, a little red truck or a simple rag doll would have been enough. Hell, even the days of the Etch A Sketch and Easy-Bake Ovens hadn’t been so bad. A few brats burned themselves with those ovens, but was that his fault? No, siree; they’d asked for ‘em, and they’d gotten ‘em.

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Insomnia by Liam Silveira

I had trouble sleeping through the night in high school: insomnia. But I hated the label.

It is a stupid and hateful prejudice that words are truth-bearers. I remember those torturous dark nights spent shifting beneath my blankets: the desperation of those countless hours I spent tossing and turning. I felt like I was lost in a thick mist. I tried everything: supplements, meditation, exercises. But nothing brought me any nearer that gentle foretaste of death. Insomnia: what nerve it must take to reduce it all to four digestible syllables.

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The Postmaster Who Never Left  by Shane Plassenthal      

I’ve been the postmaster around these parts for going on fifty years and I reckon I just might stick around until I’m dead. I ain’t got no plans to retire and that’s the truth. My Daddy was the postmaster before me, he got the job through the New Deal and when he shot himself back in ‘69, I took the reins. I ain’t ever left since. It ain’t never bothered me none to stick around, not like my Daddy who had left a note saying he just couldn’t do it no more. Besides, you get to see plenty of folks when you have their mail. You never get lonely. It’s been the same old same for all these years. That is, until that Becky Sharp mess.

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