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Day Lilies

By Elaine Neil Orr Short Story

SHE KEPT WAKING up at 4:45 in the morning, and when she did she felt lonelier than death, like an iron globe was locking over her heart. A dull but definite click. She could almost feel it, a shudder in the bed. Sometimes she went back to sleep and she would oversleep, staying in bed…

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The Tower

By Gina Ochsner Short Story

Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. As men moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there. They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves…

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The Newest Thing in the World

By David McGlynn Short Story

FOR THE LAST MONTHS of his life, my father lived upstairs from us. His ceiling pitched all the way to the floor, and three tall windows overlooked the pines and the bayou behind the house. For furniture there was a double bed, an oak dresser, and a nightstand—any more wouldn’t fit. The room had never…

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Four Short-Short Stories

By Erin McGraw Short Story

Breaking Glass NOT THINKING, I MENTION the Year of Breaking Glass in front of Ben. His face tightens, but he doesn’t pretend he doesn’t know what I’m talking about, or doesn’t hear the faint yearning in my voice. The year was more like two years, on and off. Glass exploded and covered my couch or kitchen…

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The Bodies of Birds

By Melanie Rae Thon Short Story

THE LIGHT OF LATE AFTERNOON touching everything—my hands, my face, the wings of birds—illuminating edges of clouds—the kitchen a bottle of light, pale green filling with sound—the woman playing piano in a room down the hall—everything clean until the boy, the girl, the husband come home—I’m on my knees in the light scrubbing the floor—my…

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Sticking the Landing

By Tim Farrington Short Story

The following is an excerpt from The Lazarus Kid, the third novel in a series that includes The Monk Downstairs and The Monk Upstairs (both from HarperOne).   And what I say unto you, I say unto all: Watch.                 —Mark 13:37 YOU HAD TO PICK your battles with thirteen-year-olds. If you fought about everything,…

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Sister Saint Maisie Connecticut

By Randy Boyagoda Short Story

WHEN CALEB WAS THREE YEARS OLD, he went to his cousin’s house. At the door he was met by a little girl holding two coins in one hand while pulling down her bottom lip with the other. She lived a few houses over and was visiting to show off the money she’d been given for…

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Recollecting Satan

By Farrell O'Gorman Short Story

I MET THE MAN we chose to call Satan in Myrtle Beach in the spring of 1986, and my only direct dealings with him took place over a period of less than twenty-four hours. The last time I saw his face by light of day he was clutching a can of warm Meister Brau on…

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Garden of the Gods

By Janet Peery Short Story

  The following excerpt appears in Peery’s new novel, What the Thunder Said. Copyright 2007 by the author and reprinted by permission of St. Martin’s Press, LLC. Available this spring wherever books are sold.   YES, SHE KNEW THEM. They were her grown sons Sam and William and she loved them dearly but she wished…

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A Freak of Nature

By Valerie Sayers Short Story

THE FIFTIES. I don’t remember much—I was a small child—but I do know that fear was always buzzing in the background, like static from a transistor radio: a jangly, jazzy fear, not altogether unhappy. The day I discover I’m a freak of nature, the thrill runs from my bellybutton to my throat. We’ve come to…

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