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Thoughts from Port Royal, Kentucky

By Wilmer Mills Short Story

1. MY LIFE HAS GOTTEN so unpleasant that I have to write it down. I’ve learned that nothing makes a bit of sense to me unless I write about it, like I’m getting old and can’t remember things or can’t see straight until it’s all spelled out in front of me. But that’s ridiculous; I’m…

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St. John

By Peter Levine Short Story

MY OLDER SISTER calls to tell me about him. She is upset. Not upset, but worried. She said she saw him—a guy she went to high school with, in line at the grocery store. This was in the town in which we grew up; she moved back and I moved far away, didn’t have any intention…

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Pelagia, Holy Fool

By Melissa Pritchard Short Story

…we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to the angels, and to men. We are fools, for Christ’s sake. ————————————–—I Corinthians 4:9-10     Part the First: Spin, Beat, Spin LISTEN, wicked children! When une jeune slut-fille dirties her own halo, simple folk cast stones, and it takes the baroque and obstinate solemnity of…

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The Vermin Episode

By Jacob M. Appel Short Story

WE’D HEARD RUMORS of the difficulties that had befallen our neighbors, the Samsas, but we’d certainly never expected to become embroiled in their misfortune. In the five years that they occupied the flat opposite ours on Charlotte Street, while their familial habits offered us no grounds for complaint, they had held themselves conspicuously aloof from…

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Waterfall

By Scott Russell Sanders Short Story

(1994) FROM THE BREAKFAST BUFFET, Aurora slipped an apple and a banana into the pockets of her apron before opening the doors of the Seneca Hotel café. She looked around for the two skinny, towheaded schoolboys who often sidled up to accept her secret handouts. She never gave them donuts or sugary drinks, but always…

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The Sisters of Our Lady of Perpetual Help

By Nicole Miller Short Story

IT HAD BEEN a church once, no, had been a home for the Sisters of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, which is the name she finds stamped on the inside of the missal. In the vestry, off the small chapel in back, she finds a pair of candlesticks inside of a drawer, along with the…

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Scottie

By Elizabeth Smither Short Story

THERE WAS a great blackened pan being eased out of the greasy oven by a tiny old woman in padded oven gloves. No one in the crowded kitchen—yellow walls, hideous mess, marijuana smoke and incense—came forward to help her. But someone, a joker, called out “What is it this time, Scottie? One of your concoctions?”…

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Cure

By Gina Ochsner Short Story

BECAUSE IT WAS a Monday, the day their father, Pastor Eino Hililla, spent eight and sometimes twelve hours preparing the Sunday morning sermon, Lowell led his younger brother Jonas through the parsonage yard, past the cemetery. Past the dark walnut trees, through a thicket of manzanita, down to the dark tongues of water where they…

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Pilgrimage

By Paula Huston Short Story

SHE HAD A CHOICE: she could have flown to Boston to make a proper farewell. Gene was sure of it. “He’s in a very loving state these days, Melanie. Very weak, very thin, very loving. You’d hardly recognize him. I know it would mean a lot if you came.” But she couldn’t. They were fifteen…

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The Art Student

By Charles Turner Short Story

MRS. WALLER WAS seventy-one years old and she kept her invalid husband in cigarettes and beer by posing for the figure-drawing class at the academy. Her first name was Inez, but neither the instructor nor the students ever called her anything but Mrs. Waller. Darrell Horn, honorably discharged from Uncle Sam’s navy, had no idea…

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