UNCLE CHARLIE’S BICYCLE by Rick White

Esther lived in corners. And behind the backs of armchairs. In the black and white shadows cast by the TV which Ma sat in front of all day. Saturday afternoons was wrestling—Ma’s favourite—and the other kids, the other ‘no-hoper-kids’ the ‘wargs of the state’ all gathered round to watch. ‘That’s…

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JUMP by Neil McDonald

Arlene had felt like a criminal the first time. You’re thirty-seven, she thought to herself.   Don’t remind me, she’d say in jest, whenever her age came up in conversation. But here she was again, sneaking into the back yard in the dark. The first time she had done it on…

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LENA by Divya Iyer

I want this to be honest in a way that makes empires shake. I need to text Lena back, and if I do text Lena back with the right words, the ones that hum and whimper and shake and do not cajole (under any circumstances), I know what I would…

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LINOLEUM FLOOR by Mark Tulin

It’s morning. Circa 1972. I turn over in bed and gaze down at my gray marble linoleum floor. It’s coming up around the edges, and there are all sorts of dirty stains, punctures, and dried bubblegum spots on it.  I remember when it was new. My father laid it down…

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2005 by Tom McAllister

2005 In February, LauraBeth (then my girlfriend, now my wife) flew to Iowa City to visit me for my birthday. It was colder there than I had ever thought possible—negative thirty degrees, factoring in wind chill. The kind of cold that would kill a Martian. The college students still went…

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