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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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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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OUT by Michael Lehman

I walked out of the desert to get on a bus, and the driver threw me off in Phoenix. He said I was too dirty and shoved me out the door with a big bucktoothed grin. I changed my ticket at the counter. Immigration cops wearing body armor with black-and-white…

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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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