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JUDITH, MOTHER by Matthew Lovitt

Judith didn’t want to force the boy, but Jacob refused the chance to be reborn in His image. Willow, the regression therapist, said he suffered a PTSD-like disease, and that simulating a second birth would release him from the trauma of years of processed food, daycare by television. And so…

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SLEEPY TIGER by Matthew Bookin

Paul started doing deliveries. He was 19 days sober. The passenger side of his car still looked like a carefully crushed soda can. The travel bottle of Listerine was still in his glove box. Emir’s food truck business had expanded into an actual restaurant. Paul was hired on as their…

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COYOTES by Dan Crawley

I find myself fading under ballooning khakis, a parachuting buttoned-down shirt. I let myself in Big Sis’s place through an open sliding glass door. Last time, I found a bundle of twenties in a kitchen cabinet drawer, next to the stove. I ripped out most of the blue paper from…

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FRIDGE NOTE by Matt Boyarsky

Good morning, my little junkyard dog. Sleep okay? I put on a fresh pot, and your old man is propped up sturdy in the recliner. I sprayed him with Febreeze to be safe. He’ll be fine. He’s not going anywhere. Please come watch the sunrise with me? That spot — down…

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DEATH LAB by Howie Good

Air Like Poison Hey, did you see those sea turtles down there? I often see them, though not as often or as many as I did before there were boats, the bridge, some buildings, even a small amusement park. Wherever they go, the turtles seem to leave a trail of…

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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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