All Stories, General Fiction, Short Fiction

Chornby and Leo the Blind Man by Tom Sheehan

Silence is the color
 in a blind man’s eyes 

Leo wondered if it was some kind of contest, if it smacked of more than what it seemed. He had heard the poem a hundred times, Chornby always walking around with the book in his shirt pocket or back pocket suddenly reading it to him, again and again, and Leo, the Blind Man of North Saugus, let the words sink in and become part of him, part of his sightless brain. Just like Chornby had become part of him. Chornby’s face he could not picture, nor eyes, nor beard, nor jut of chin, but settled on the imagination of Chornby’s hands and could only do so when he felt his own slim unworked hands, the thin fingers, the soft palms, the frail knuckles, how the fingers wanted to touch a piano but couldn’t, or a woman, but who wants a blind man?

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All Stories, Humour

A Lost Cause Part 4 by Adam Kluger


Hey “Kamp-town Racist”… here’s a poem– doo-dah, doo-dah…
Roses are red, violets are blue–without your brilliant literary and sociological insights I wouldn’t know what to do.
Alfred Klumpner aka Drunk Holden Caufield aka Whitey

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All Stories, General Fiction

Milltown by Martyn Clayton



They call it the valley creep. A mire of mist slithers down the river bottom then seeps its way through the narrow terraced streets, climbing as far up the hillsides as it can travel before gravity calls time. Those who live at the top keep their distance. Their view of the valley is always from on high. Any problems up there are easily resolved. Those at the bottom bought in when they were in search of something that the cities could no longer offer. Some came to find themselves in this old mill town, industry given way to dreams of creativity and reinvention. Some fall between the gaps, others slide into the canal after a drunken night out. In the little bunting bound park the bewildered born and bred meet those who’ve blown in to tighten their arms and pierce their veins. Once a film-maker raised in the valley came back with his camera to meet them. He called out all the suicides, the blame getting put on the steep valley sides that hide the sun for months of the year. When it snows the roads in and out become impassable. The sun shines too though, and when it does the place comes alive with trippers from the nearby towns. People sit on the low old bridge and eat ice cream. Today it’s neither sunny nor cold, just a grey valley day.

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All Stories, General Fiction

John and Andrew, Philanthropists by Tom Sheehan


John Burns, teacher of English for more than half a century at Saugus High School, close to a dozen miles north of Boston, stood in the near silence of a splendid morning beside his home atop the high ledge, looking down on the pond he had helped save. That other morning from early in his career came back as crisp as a knock at the door. He could hear the door opening. Into yesteryear he stepped:

“How many ways can you say it?”

John Burns pointed out the words he had printed in block letters on the blackboard for his sophomore English class. Central and Winter Street traffic was light at the edge of hearing, the sun did a mote dance on the windowsill. Outside, Saugus breathed the deep breaths of spring.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Neon by Sharon Dean



“Name?” the receptionist asks.

“Conrad West.” I study her face. No blink of recognition. I sign the waiver and give her the phone number of my wife, who will pick me up.

I look around the waiting area, deciding where to sit, and choose one of the sofas that face each other. Between them, a curved coffee table holds neatly stacked magazines. From here, I can look through window-walls that join in a 90 degree angle. The view is spectacular. In the distance, the Cascades, green from the spring snow-melt, rise against a blue, blue sky. Soon they will purple over with vetch and when they burn in the summer heat, we’ll call them golden. Below the hills, I watch cars moving along I-5. Picturesque, but closer I would feel the treachery. The noise, the smell, the speed of trucks that carry food, fuel, lumber into thirsty California.

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