The Caiman Hide Boots by Harrison Kim 

Someone stole my caiman hide boots from underneath my styrofoam homeless shelter mattress.  My boots are a rich polished brown with chunky scale nubs rising from the foot area.  My Dad gifted the comfy caimans to me as a 27th birthday and university graduation gift, he purchased them online from Leathers of Louisiana.  It took me seven years to obtain my BA in General Studies due to my schizoaffective brain problems, though my measured IQ is 132.  Psychosis is eating away at my cerebrum. Sometimes it’s hard for me to tell what is real and what is illusion, but I know for sure my boots are missing.

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Hands by Marcella Hunyadi

He told me he was Special Forces. I thought it was a lie; sounds so sexy, I’m Special Forces. I imagined legions of girls in soaked underwear.

Me, I didn’t care. My daughter was one year old, I moved to Manhattan to a 5th Avenue apartment believing in a Cinderella story, only to find Lelle’s car seat in front of my door one morning with a “Sorry!” note. The prince paid the $12,000 monthly rent to fulfill the lease and told me to keep the 3 carat Harry Winston engagement ring.

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A Diner and The Cello by Tina Klimas

From outside the coffee shop across the road, Julia watches Charlie Miller leave the diner. It starts to snow again and if she narrows her vision to exclude all else, she can almost believe that she is looking at an idyllic scene. Snowflakes drift softly through the golden glow emanating from the diner window. Waitresses move about inside with coffee pots, amid the chattering, happy diners. Charlie Miller, in jeans and cowboy boots, plaid flannel shirt poking out from a nondescript brown jacket, completes this perfect portrait of nostalgic Americana. But then he pauses outside the diner and crosses his arms in a tight knot across his chest.  He stares straight ahead, as if he is viewing hell. The image of blood and clotted brain-matter leaps up before her eyes. She stuffs it back into the box too small to hold it, only to wait for the demented jack-in-the-box to spring again.

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