The Knock on Ransom Kegler by Tom Sheehan

First, the powers-to-be, as Ransom Kegler called city hall and its tight-fingered allies, the politicians and the developers, had squeezed a piece of land out of him and were going to make money on it. They had cut him out of the profits when, post-sale, they had engineered a zoning change. The profits of the change promised to be immense. He had come alert too late, but it was better to come up breathing than not breathing at all.

Now, on top of this damn thievery, he was put on the spot by, of all persons, his youngest grandson Talbot with a barrage of questions, so simple coming and so complex moving on.

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The Long Way Home by Jason A. Feingold

Robert got up as he did every school day morning to his six-fifty alarm. Liz, his wife, was still asleep. She didn’t get up until seven. He woke his son Jonathan to begin the process of supervising him for getting ready for school. As the boy reluctantly dressed, Robert went to the kitchen and took his blood sugar. It was high, so he cursed under his breath and thought about all the bad things he’d eaten the night before.

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Fool on the Hill by Dave Gregory

I work for the federal government.

Federal.

Government.

I don’t know what that means.

Yes I do. It means pushing this broom from one end of the hall to the other ─ this end to that end ─ when it’s dark outside. Like now. I don’t like the dark, but these humming lights always work. If they don’t, I must report them to my boss. Mr. Shapiro.

Report them.

Does that make me a reporter? No one likes reporters.

Jackals. Hounds.

I hope the humming lights never burn out.

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All I Love Dies Alone by Leila Allison

 Squirrel Pen Diary: First Entry

Last Wednesday morning I entered Our Lady Star of the Sea church during mid-week mass. While two dozen or so senior citizens went through the ancient, dusty rites (monotonously administered by an equally ancient and dusty priest), I rose unseen and snuck upstairs to a small balcony that communicates with the church’s attic. I climbed atop the guano splattered stone rail that hugs the balcony and balanced myself on one foot and held the other out as though I intended to take a seventy-foot step onto the marble walkway below. After I had done all that, there wasn’t much else to do except wait for someone to notice me.

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