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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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A Fairly Decent Man

By Charles Turner Short Story

DON’T TOUCH MY CHILD,” the woman said. She and her son stood in front of me in the checkout line. Her son looked to be four, maybe five. A towhead. I had placed my hand on the short-cropped sunlight for the barest moment. The mother turned the boy toward me and pointed at my face. “Do…

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Ex Cathedra

By John Biguenet Short Story

Je me suis aperçu alors qu’il n’était pas si facile qu’on le croyait d’être pape…. —Albert Camus I found then that it was not so easy as one might imagine to be pope…. BOB BERGERON had been looking for the Pantheon when, having somehow wandered off the Via del Gesù, which he had been assured…

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