General Fiction, All Stories

My Plea For Solitude by Harrison Kim

Right out of high school after Dad died I inherited eighteen acres down the road from Mom’s house.   Raye,  who I now call “The Old Crow”  married me quick after that.  I started building for our great future.  I framed the house around and over top of the trailer, then took the inside trailer wall out.  We trucked in water from Mom’s place.  My friend Elton and I constructed the septic tank, a fifty gallon drum with pipe holes at both ends, pushed down in a rocky hole.  My brother Jackson helped lift the roof trusses. My life pinnacle topped there, Raye and I bouncing on the bed by the wood stove, sex and drink and rock and roll in the custom made residence,  and then came three kids, Raye and my mighty sperm created them two girls and a boy.

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All Stories, General Fiction

The Plea by Craig Dobson

It began when the weather turned. That cold, still brightness had gone. The leaves’ rusted gilt was torn from the trees and scattered across the tumbling grey clouds by the winds that knocked over the bins and beat down the last of the climbing beans in the vegetable patch. The shed’s corrugated roof flapped like a fish, clanging through the night.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Friend Request by Yash Seyedbagheri

Mom costs me friends. She shows up drunk to my high school functions. Double-fists Merlot at a parent teacher conference. And it happens again at my drama club production of Hamlet, set in a Burger King. Although this time she imbibes Pinot.

Friends’ parents suggest I’m not good company. It’s not me, they claim. They just have to be selective. This is high school, it’s a volatile time for everyone. People are easily influenced.

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All Stories, General Fiction

The Sisterhood of Nod by Leila Allison

A Day in the Life of 1987

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Ever since it was installed in 1951, the carillon atop the Charleston city courthouse plays a piece of classical music after it chimes noon. On a day long since protected by the statute of limitations, I was waiting out a red light in front of the courthouse when the carillon played the Chopin nocturne featured in The Deer Hunter. Maybe I’ve reached the age where my cultural references are “out of print,” but there’s a special sadness in that melody which always sinks me; yet on that day, when I was twenty-eight, I felt nothing at all.

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All Stories, General Fiction

They Shot the Beave by David Lohrey

Yeah, I live on Scarlet Street all right, near the corner of Agamemnon and Chintz. You know it? There is a pool hall on the corner, where there was a stabbing last year. 1732 to be exact, apartment 2C, in the back. I used to have a Plymouth Valiant but now I drive a Malibu.  I just finished a box of crackers and a hunk of Swiss. I’m all out of dough. Cashed my pension over a week ago, paid some bills, and haven’t a dime to my name.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Otter by Tim Hildebrandt

My cubical is in a row along the east wall of the building. Windows provide ample light on a sunny day, filtered through a bank of trees ringing the parking lot outside. The wind in the trees create moving shadows on my desk, and I follow them as my mind wanders.  I gaze at the ceiling ignoring my work. Reading is time-consuming, time I need for maintaining appearances and impressing others with skills and abilities always needing attention. Skills and abilities are my life’s work. I know what people look like when they have such skills, I know how they act. I try to act the same way so people will assume I have the same abilities. My goal is to learn how to engage effortlessly in small talk and put others at ease with humorous anecdotes. I search for anecdotes whenever I can, I sprinkle them throughout my conversation. But it is hopeless, I know I have no social skills. One has to learn how to get along with people, it isn’t an innate skill.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Sister Mother by Yash Seyedbagheri

One day, you look for money in your sister’s drawers and you discover something else completely. You started out the day Nick Botkin, sister of Nancy, son of Penelope. Now Penelope’s your grandmother and Nancy’s your mother.

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