Absence Makes the Heart

Absence Makes the Heart

I wake up from my nap. The house is empty. You said you were going to the store, but that was many hours ago. In…

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Who Cares for the Dead

Who Cares for the Dead

A lean man of average height with intelligent eyes set far apart, a narrow chin, and a mouth that sloped downward at its corners, August…

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Fear and Feathers

Fear and Feathers

Every evening, she set up the altar afresh, because she couldn’t leave it out overnight. Even if it didn’t rain, the dew at dawn was…

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The Jim Crow Dope

The Jim Crow Dope

“There’s not supposed to be a test,” I said. The man behind the table gave me a skewed look, his mouth turned in a malignant…

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Ten

Ten

The tears came early that night, something she had expected. She had felt it building all day, a jagged boulder against her chest, sliding deeper…

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Land Lore

Land Lore

Alan finds a glade with no overhead branches that might come crashing down if winds blow up. But hard ground, rough with exposed pebbles, frustrates…

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Gender Reveal

Gender Reveal

Jordan chewed on her pinky nail until it started to bleed.  “Shit!”  She reached over Avery’s lap, opened the glove box, and pulled out a…

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My Mother’s Ring

My Mother’s Ring

When I first see it, I shudder. The knuckles are wrinkled and gnarly. The skin is gray. The middle finger tilts too far to the…

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No Such Number

No Such Number

I remember the last time I saw my father. He left for war and died a short time later, a Marine helicopter pilot, flying in…

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The Year of the Tomato

The Year of the Tomato

When I was growing up, the Chicago suburbs of Chicago ranked within a hierarchy of goodness and desirability.  You had the ones on the bottom…

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Salami

Salami

The summer after 6th grade, my lizard died. My parents had never owned reptiles before and the vet we took our dog to wouldn’t cremate…

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Sundown

Sundown

“Hey! Where’d that woman put my fan?” Mimi yelled. “That woman—she took it. I know she did. She’s always taking my stuff.” Ruth held her…

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Scavenging

Scavenging

A dozen donuts popped and sizzled in the deep fryer. As they floated into one another, Cosmo took out a pink box from under the…

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The Lesser King

The Lesser King

It’s just an unknown web journal that probably no one reads, but something I wrote has been published. I’m thrilled. You would be, too. I…

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Trespassing

Trespassing

Their mother knocked on the door and leaned inside quick enough to catch Susan swaying to “The Wallflower” playing on her transistor radio. Elyse, lying…

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An Evening with my Father

An Evening with my Father

I noticed the paint coming off the white iron table in the lawn. I had made two steaming cups of coffee, baked some shortbread for…

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Catacomb

Catacomb

The soft, wet grass beneath our rain boots made squelching sounds as we straggled behind the tour group led by a small, dark-haired, Italian woman….

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Grocery List

Grocery List

A lock of strawberry blonde hair peeking out from under a fuzzy winter hat freezes me in the grocery store parking lot. The hat is…

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In Those Days

In Those Days

In those days, there were no wheelie bins, there was no recycling: you put the trash out in round metal cans of the sort you…

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The Architect

The Architect

“I need three Model B’s by this afternoon,” said George Oxburn, “And Harrison, nothing fancy.” Oxburn pointed to a sign posted above Ronald Harrison’s cubicle:…

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