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MOTHER BUDGIE by David Cook

You push open the cracked old oak door and marvel as you step into the room. A whirlwind of budgies, of burnished gold, sunset red, ocean green and all hues in between, swoop down around your ears, chirping merrily, joy infused in each and every note. Others sing from up…

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SHOWERLESS by Chris Wilkensen

This train is a church in both its movements and its congregation. No one dares interrupt the silence. Metal rolling over rusted metal. Outside the scenery passes by like life to a teenager: fleeting but feeling never-ending. Most passengers wish they could be anywhere else to feel anything else, to…

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PHARM BOY by Chris Milam

At the grocery, I was debating which would pair better with a chicken sandwich when I saw a ponytailed head wedged inside the refrigerated glass doors inspecting a carton of eggs. “Hello there, do you have a preference in pickles?” “Excuse me?” “Pickles.” I held both jars in front of…

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RAW MEAT by Jo Varnish

She was eighty when being eighty meant being eighty. It meant grey hair and dark colored calf length skirts, tights and rounded toed court shoes. It meant a green felted coat and patent leather black purse shaped like the queen’s, with a shiny silver clasp that snapped shut. It meant…

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PIERCED by Charles Duffie

Each evening, I remove the band-aid, pinch the tweezers’ silver teeth, and draw the splinter from my thumb. I faithfully clean the small wound. By morning my private stigmata will be partially healed. The body is a determined machine. The sliver of pine is only half an inch long and…

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AT NIGHT by Craig Rodgers

The clock reads 2:04.  The bedroom door is closed.  He stares. He closes his eyes. He opens his eyes.  The clock reads 2:09.  The bedroom door is open.  He closes his eyes. He opens them.  He stands and reaches out and he closes the door.  He gets back into bed….

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