All Stories, General Fiction

Paper-Lined Tables by Rachel Sievers

“Will you bring me something to drink from the kitchen?” She asks with her feet up on the couch. I swivel from my perch looking out the kitchen window. The open floor plan of the three-bedroom, two-bathroom house makes it easy to see the bottoms of her feet from where they lay on top of the armrest of our couch. Her neon pink socks have white writing that read: if you can read this bring me wine. I consider her socks and reach into the walnut cabinet and pull out a water glass, filling it directly from the sink. I bring her the full glass and hold it out to her. She doesn’t look up from her phone but grabs the water glass and brings it to her pale and chapped lips. She needs to drink more water.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Hana by Mariam Saidan

I’m baking a cake, a well-mixed paste of carefully measured amounts of flour, eggs, oil, sugar, banana, baking powder and a pinch of cinnamon, ready to go in the oven for 45 minutes, when she knocks on the door. I think of taking my apron off, but I decide not to. It’s cute, with birds frolicking in a pink world. I look like an unusually traditional woman for our time, I feel. A woman. A kitchen. An apron. A cake. Pink. But I feel something perverse, almost noble, in quietly subverting these clichés still viciously clinging to these symbols. 

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All Stories, General Fiction

Perry by Dianne Willems

He wanted to be a hero. He wanted to be a hero so badly he could hardly think of anything else.

The Parrot sighed, and thought. A lump the size of an orange had formed in his throat, and he wanted it gone. It felt suffocating.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Light by Yash Seyedbagheri   

It’s the first clear winter night in almost two weeks. I drive the streets into our valley community, 2003 Subaru Forester rattling with age and emptiness. Well, more like I’m driving down the one winding main street that slopes down a hill, flanked by cathedral-like ponderosas. A few side streets branch off to the market and the cluster of shops and the one or two churches that flank either side of the river. The outskirts, the hills beyond, my cabin,  darkened rooms, and bills wait behind me, all splayed across the kitchen table. Power, water, a myriad of cards maxed out, in part due to my fondness for Fat Tire.

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All Stories, Fantasy

Shut Your Hellhole by Gabriel Munro

The Thing at the Border:

But erecting a building on consecrated ground presents its own challenges. Wailing banshee? Use stone-wool insulation for soundproofing. Vengeful demonic presence? Mix a dash of salt into the foundation concrete. Ghosts? Use the phrase “historic charm” in the branding. Carlos is ready for anything.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Rewind by Yash Seyedbagheri

Streaming services kill our multiplex. The multiplex my sister and I went to Friday nights, as regular as anything. They don’t say it outright, but I know Fridays, Saturdays, Mondays even, people are hiding behind the glow of screens, including some of my own friends. They sink into names like HBO, Netflix, Amazon Prime, contrivances with big letters and feigned cleverness.

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All Stories, Crime/Mystery/Thriller

Sonny’s Shadow by Marco Etheridge

My eyes snap open and in that instant, I’m battered by the three-punch combo of a massive hangover, Rosie pounding on my door, and three more dead on my ledger. The hangover will sort itself eventually, the dead are dead, but Rosie will beat the damn door down if I don’t answer. She’s stubborn as hell, is Rosie, and dangerous strong for a female.

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All Stories, General Fiction

A Psalm for Eddie by Tom Sheehan

“One day,” Ed LeBlanc said, up to his crotch in the swiftly flowing Pine River near Ossipee, New Hampshire, rod tip high, a bright Macintosh apple half eaten in his left hand, his words more oath than wisdom, “we’re going fly fishing in Curt Gowdy country.” He said little else that morning, intent on the merest sensations electric at fingertips, on early May temperature of water laying heavy tongue on our boots, on the Mac’s sweet taste, on delicious silence falling on our heads as if the world was a mushroom and we under that still cap.

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