FAIR NIGHT NUMBER ONE by Tom Weller

Scrap Boys have each other. Scrap Boy 1, Scrap Boy 2, Scrap Boy 3, three prepubescent bodies lean and sharp as barbed wire, three backyard haircuts, three thunder-clap voices, three tornado spirits joined like the three chambers of a rattler’s heart. And tonight the Scrap Boys have the fair. Tonight…

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I TOLD HIM I WOULD by Steve Chang

Before his accident, he’d called to ask if I’d go drinking with him. I told him, No, not tonight. I’d started writing again. Wow, he said. That’s cool! I guess, I said. We both listened a little longer on the phone.  * I would tell myself—in the months to come—that…

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BABES by Ian Anderson

She wants to know how it works.  It’s easy, he tells her. You create a profile on the Babes app, upload a couple pictures of your baby, fill out the profile, and then people can start Holding. Thirty dollars for the first hour; five dollars for each additional fifteen minutes. …

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FILLING THE GOYA ROOM by Beth Gilstrap

One wouldn’t think my hands would sweat the way they do walking adjacent to you, with your khakis, too short and wrinkled, but here we are. Since day two of the retreat, your various states of beard have complicated my hair and makeup routine, my mind equally untidy. By day…

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HAPPINESS by Matthew Licht

My father wasn’t a traveling salesman, just a guy who never seemed to be where he was. A look crossed his face if someone came into the room where he was thinking or dreaming or scheming or whatever he was pretending to do, or spoke to him directly when he…

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GOD AT 60 by Bill Merklee

We started as marginal Catholics, going though the motions. Now I was having dinner with Kenny, the only one of us who’d stuck with it. Father Postlewaite to his parish. It’d been too long. “Andre still an atheist?” he said. “Yup. In Oregon. Found himself a nice godless girl.” “And…

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LAST WORDS by Jayne Martin

There’s usually two of us, but it’s Christmas Eve and I got nowhere to be. Anyway, she’s just a little bit of a thing, barely 90 pounds from the looks of her. I can roll her onto the gurney.  The Super found her after complaints about the smell. I don’t…

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