The Chant of Four Rain Horse ~ Jeffrey Ihlenfeldt

  Glug-Glug the Frog Boy would swallow anything, as the legend was told, and the posters and press releases announcing his arrival attested to that and spelled it out quite specifically: “from live trout to fluorescent tubes, from brass finishing nails to chrome hood ornaments.”    It wasn’t Glug-Glug that drew me to Sierra Salida—that is, […]

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Silence ~ Serena Crawford

    On an afternoon when Catherine was able to duck away from the Quiet Adventures tour group, in between two lectures she was signing for the traveling hearing-impaired, she took a taxi to a village outside of Taipei, to a small English school where she’d once taught.  She’d lived on the third floor in […]

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Private Lives ~ Bruce Ducker

  The call caught Elliot off guard, as if he’d been caught peeping into a window of Amanda Ward’s bedroom.  In fact, when the phone rang, he was standing in the enclosed sun porch, in his very own home, stealing an oblique glance at the Ward home.  And wondering—in an idle and muddled whimsy of […]

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Watch Me ~ Pete Fromm

    Watson took a sip from his water, glancing only once toward the commotion.  Not the kind of place you’d expect to see a baby, but true to the murmurings, the little guy was straight off a Gerber label, smiling like a cherub at his newfound celebrity, as stunning as his parents.  They took […]

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Touch Us ~ Lee Upton

Iris and Jacob slept with their backs to one another, as if even during dreams they were headed in opposite directions. As they were. She had nearly died. It seemed anachronistic—to be young still, or somewhat young, and to have such a bad heart. Only a month after her last surgery Iris and her husband […]

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Impalas ~ Mark Rigney

It took several days before anyone answered Lanie’s Craigslist ad, and even by the end of the week, she had received only two responses.  Summoning the courage to reply cost her the lion’s share of the next week, during which she lied to herself hourly that choosing between the two respondents was what caused her […]

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The Selfishness of Bravery ~ Gary Fincke

The week of my sixteenth birthday, every teacher at James Buchanan High School talked as if the world was about to end.  Instead of listening to three days of talk about the War of 1812, we heard about first-strike capability and how that was one way the United States could end the Cold War.  Instead […]

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Pisuwin ~ Robert Froese

  Back then, she hardly dreamed at all.  It was as if there wasn’t room enough in her head.  She was so busy running. She had been eleven days on the road when she saw the strip of meadow bordered by woods spilling down the hill to her left.  “Wow,” she said, without intending to.  […]

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Curb Appeal ~ Tom Noyes

  After the second house of the morning—a three-story colonial with six bedrooms, two fireplaces and a Jacuzzi tub on the back deck—Clay’s inclined to set Klecko straight, re-establish parameters and price range.  He tells this to Michelle on the front lawn where they wait for Klecko, who’s stayed behind in the house to use […]

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Bird Sanctuary ~ Gabriel Welsch

The sand is hot enough that Janet can’t walk barefooted, and Gloria forgot the umbrella they’d purchased from a street cart the night before back near the hotel room. So Janet wears sunglasses, flip flops, slathers herself in sunblock, and lies on their blanket—wide, fleece, a blanket for football games and wholly inappropriate but the only […]

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