Sly Promotion by Tom Sheehan

The conversation had gone all the way around the corner and came back to death, or getting there, Prince having the floor and saying, “I had a friend just north of Boston.” That’s how he started, a simple opener, the way he does it, with natural pauses built in and a pass at saying he was familiar with Elizabeth Bishop’s poems. Hell, we knew that from similar discussions.

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Kilted by Adam Lynch

‘The yung stag stood there wi blud on his muzzle. Prostrated before him wis the defeated challenger. They didnae fight for the right to a wuman, nor the right tae land but fae the sake of fighting’s sake. A hatred bore within both stag’s hearts exploded that misty mornin. For one had been taught to hate the other and the other tae hate the first. In truth the stags both looked the same and lived the same lives. Yet one lay deed and the other munched on his flesh. The ecstasy of hate well realised pumped thru the yung stag’s veins. He felt strong and mighty and the monarch of that moment. Whit did his violence gain besides this fleeting high? Fuck all. He sustained a wound to his left shooder and part of his earlier impressive crown was snapped aff and jammed in the deed stag’s neck. Blood soaked his soft brown coat and he looked altogether minging. The meat of the deed stag was tough and manky. The yung stag was close tae boaking so he left the quiet scene of quiet violence.’

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Ghost Hats by Marco Etheridge

Grace Walsh stood on the platform of the train station, imagining the dead. The tracks and platforms of the Bahnhof were cut into a hillside. On the far side of the tracks, the earth was held back by a concrete wall fronted with rough concrete pillars. The wall was the height of two Irish women, more or less. A graveyard crowded the brink of the wall, almost spilling over onto the tracks below. Above the concrete edge, Grace could see headstones adorned with bright splotches of flowers. The Viennese tended their dead well. At least you could say that much for them.

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