“Surrogate Love” by Damhnait Monaghan

Rounding the corner, I see a motorcycle on its side, rider flung to the verge, like trash from a car window. I drop my shopping bags and run, while a man on the pavement shouts ‘accident’ and ‘ambulance’ into his cell phone. I kneel and grip the boy’s hand. My eyes skim over shredded jeans, …

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‘Keeping Time’ by Niles Reddick

My great grandmother was in her seventies when her crooked fingers with thin skin hammered chords by ear on the piano in the living room, and she patted the bench and said, “Come on. I’ll show you.” She taught me the major chords (A, C, D, E, F, and G) and the minor ones, and …

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“Three Little Birds” by Mary thompson

We never intended to hitch, but a State of Emergency has been declared in Greece, so banks, trains and even bread shops are on strike. We scribble Thessaloniki on a cardboard box and plonk ourselves down at the side of the National Road. It’s scorching hot so we roll our shorts up and expose our thighs …

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“The Fisherman’s Wife” By Sandrina Dorigo

Should this be the day that he returns, she is ready with the brightest red lipstick. The table has been set. She makes their evening meal. A week has passed since he was due, with no word. Yesterday, she saw the rails of the harbour wall washed out to sea. That evening she watched the …

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“Where a Dark Heart Burns” by Barbara Black

I move forward facing backward. Water drips from the oar tip. There are those of us for whom islands are exile. For others, they’re an oasis from humanity, where one can occupy one’s self in seclusion. “Sometimes you have to go dead to be alive again.” As she put it, sequestering on this little island …

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“Mr. Wizard” by Robert Scotellaro

I was ten when I saw Mr. Wizard shoot down past our window from the sixth floor, that red checkered vest he always wore in a blur.  I gasped and pointed.  “Mr. Wizard…” I said, barely able to get the words out.  My father was a few feet away talking to a guy in a …

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“An Episode Between Houses and Jobs” by Valerie fox

Maybe still in the recovery room, I hear my Nana say, it’s okay honey, there are plenty of other fish in the sea. Later, not in the recovery room, I’m feeling formal, a little hungry. So Swoon and I decide to go out for a fancy oyster dinner. We celebrate our blues. I like to …

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“The Coulee Song” by Bretton Loney

Early morning’s soft light washes over prairie stretched tight as a drum skin eastward to the horizon as Mark lifts himself out of the truck. The menacing buzz of mosquitoes, the insistent spit of irrigation sprinklers and the drone of an engine pumping water break the morning’s silence. The residue of sleep lingers in his …

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“Car Tag Kids” by Jennifer Todhunter

After every funeral, we play car tag. Lift keys from our front hallways, still dressed in black skirts and skinny ties, pair into the driver and passenger seats of our parent’s cars, some of us holding memorial handouts, some of us a little drunk from the flask passed around the funeral home bathroom.  We snake …

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“CANADA” by Steven John

You collected me from the jetty in the small logging town. I’d been waiting in a striptease bar, the lumberjack customers more interested in their beers and televised ice-hockey than the girls. I’d seen your boat from a mile out, cutting a quick white swathe through the lake. During the ride back into the forest …

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“What a Babe!” by Karen Schauber

He stands up erect as she approaches the table. She is a vision of sea breeze and morning glory; her stride, a diaphanous runway walk. Subduing a rising blush, he slides out the upholstered chair and catches a tumble of soft brown curl as she folds into her seat. What a babe! Conversation is easy, …

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