THE CHAIR

By Kim Dallesandro
Photo By Max Reeves

“She liked to trace the varicose veins on her legs with her fingers while she stared out the window in the late afternoon. They were like mazes, or intricate spider webs; she tried to find a beginning point and an end making it a game but never succeeding in finding a clear path to the end and it always surprised her…

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SIX BUCK

By Díre McCain

I was born rootless and restless, the youngest child of six, three of each kind. I materialized in Raleigh, North Carolina, USA, and on the eighth day, found myself in Memphis, Tennessee. The first phase of my life was spent in excruciating discomfort. Midway through the gestation period, my pill-popping mother…

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THE BAD EGG

By Matt Leyshon
Photos By Patricia Routh

The summer afternoon trembled to the buzz of chainsaws as workmen tidied the trees around the allotments. Magpies chattered angrily, hopping back and forth on the bushes. Paul took his bag from his shoulder for a moment and looked across the road to his mother’s house and the estate beyond.

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M AGAINST M (EXCERPT)

By Declan Tan

There is a constant and infinite realisation of this over and over and over: What it means to be in such a position. Trapped. All of us. Unable to break free for reasons created by outsiders. But it seems a sentiment lost forgotten erased only for some to begin the Clutching. Horrific tones that deny, and viscous inks…

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RODGER PIDGEON IS DEAD (May 14, 2017— October 22, 2063)

By David Gionfriddo

Providence, R.I., November 6, 2063: Cold drizzle from the autumn sky hung all around the restive swarm of mourners outside the Mortech Necroplex Parkside East. It collected in the folds of plasticene mourning cloaks, glued medieval tunics to the bodies of tattooed tribalists huddled in office doorways…

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THE BURNING PAIN

By Kim Dallesandro

I always wear Frank’s old flannel shirt when I go out after dark. Frank being my biological father, the asshole, the bank robber, the one that made mom spit on the ground every time she said his name, that Frank. The shirt is old and worn, with a broken top button and a blood stain that won’t ever come out…

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FACEBOOK DOG

By Mike Hudson
Art By Rob Sussman

The little house was close and dark and cluttered. The shades were drawn and the windows shut tight. Outside it was a gorgeous morning in the Hollywood Hills, 74 degrees, the bright sun shining and not a cloud in the sky. But inside, the woman took no notice.

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THE WOODEN-SPOON BABYSITTER

By Hank Kirton
Photo By Richard A. Meade

The baby was crying. It wouldn’t stop crying. Alisha, 16, turned up the volume on the television, trying to drown out the sound. She hated the nerve-peeling screech of a crying baby. It was the sound of psychosis. It was the sound of a car collision, of tearing flesh and metal and the shattering of glass and bone.

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RENUNCIATION (EXCERPT)

By Kim Dallesandro

The Westinghouse Building stands in the middle of broken dreams. Six floors high, gutted, engineered, plotted and planned into living spaces where we look outside and watch the despair. My windows face a sweatshop and each day I watch the Hispanic workers lose a little more hope with each garment…

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TOPANGA

By Mike Hudson
Photo By Dale Johnson

Chloe was as ugly as Lola was beautiful, but he loved them both, having found one in arid Bakersfield and the other over near San Bernardino. Lola was an aristocrat while Chloe came from humble mestizo stock and when they weren’t sleeping with him they slept with each other.

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GLYPH

By dixē.flatlin3
Drawing By Dolorosa De La Cruz

Theresa drove down the street noticing how nondescript and common the main streets of most American towns were. Some touted their Main Street as a source of pride and ingenuity, a throwback to better times, but mostly they were relics of Americana.

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AURÉ (A NARRATIVE)

By J Karl Bogartte

There is only the moon with vague rumors and the whispering brothel of the last “I love you” ever spoken, the dream that is not a dream, but the corrida of the veil, the “more, deeper, yes!” cast for a parallel series across the harbinger light…

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SCENE GRAPHIC: SYNTHETIC REALITY

By Christopher Nosnibor
Photos By Dale Johnson

So near and yet so far… there was something there, in the mists that eddied around him, just beyond his perception and just out of reach… but try as he might to follow, he simply couldn’t get near to whatever it was, that intangible shadow, that will-o’-the-wisp, that flitted, fleetingly, a fraction of a metre…

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FIRST SNOW

By Mike Lee
Drawings By Bren Luke

Define this whirlwind: lips touch after that moment at the precipice when verbal and visual relation confront the desire for completion, expressing emotional need and physical desire with a singular act that makes me think eternal.

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FASHION FAUX PAS

By Jim Coleman

Years ago (must have been in the mid 1980s), I thought I might be able to get away from my problems, my mess of a life, if I went out west. I know, really an original thought. In retrospect, so many things in life seem like clichés.

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SHAPESHIFTER

By Joe Ambrose

I had no money that particular day. This is not about the extrovert part of life. God knows where the money went. God knows where it came from. It came in fast, often from several directions at once like the American bombs dropping on Baghdad.

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FERAL

By dixē.flatlin3
Photo By Richard A. Meade

Johnny didn’t like it when they came in his face. Johnny didn’t like them at all, if he were to be honest. They don’t pay him for honesty, though. Exiting the warmth of the vehicles was the worst. Johnny made his way back to the bus stop where he worked.

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STRONG

By Claudia Bellocq
Art & Photos By Stefanie Vega

You kept the thing secreted about your person at all times. Its silent beating heart sustained you. It reassured you and in fact, there was some suspicion on my part that it kept you standing upright. Kind of like a sellotape maze of unfathomable significance.

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VILE PASSIONS

By Mike Hudson
Photos By Malcolm Alcala

The room cost sixty five a night and had a flat screen TV, a double bed, a little table and three small chairs with worn out blue upholstery. In an old hotel that had gone by many names on that run down section of Western Avenue near Hollywood Boulevard.

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BRACKISH WATER

By Benjamin Robinson

The question arose quite naturally during the course of our preliminary conversation and without my having to prompt Subject. It was established that a vehicle was driven to an all-night store with the purpose of purchasing a set of objects.

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GREEN TONGUE PORTAL

By Douglas J. Ogurek writing as Val Woodson
Painting By Andrew Abbott

Makeup. That’s it. A woman returned her dog to the shelter this morning. She said it was a year old, and “It’s just not compatible with my lifestyle.” It chewed up her furniture. It chewed up her dress. She doesn’t have time for it. The typical spiel. But she did have time to apply gobs of makeup.

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THE STRINGS

By Tony Rauch
Painting By Rob Sussman

“Well, it all started one night. I was sitting at my desk in my attic study when a piece of paper at my side began to flutter. Just the corner at first, but then gradually the entire page began to vibrate until it was tapping a slight shimmy.

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EVEN TRADE

By Gene Stewart writing as Everett Bedford

He came hard just as his cock slipped out of her slicked ass, spattering semen all over the insides of her thighs and onto the dark blue satin sheets. She groaned and said, “You wasted it, I wanted it pumped into me,” and began rubbing her clitoris with frantic little motions…

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GLENDA’S TRANSITION

By Chris Madoch

A great effort needed to be made with what she called her Dalek walking frame over rising and uncertain ground; over short orchard grass, like carpet, fitted right up to the French doors; on a shingle driveway; through longer park grass hiding rabbit runs and mole-hills…

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A

By   v o l c o f s k Y
Painting By F.X. Tobin

A bodes poorly, he thought. But there was nothing he could do about it. It never failed to stun him – a blow that divided time – how much the contour of her skull, her jawbone, the sealed vaz that was her head – how little that physical object – her skull…

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MAMA IS ALWAYS ONSTAGE

By Thomas Kearnes

Hogan tried to concentrate on his task. The checkered blindfold started to slip down his nose. The Hispanic with the thick, uncircumcised penis didn’t slow the rhythm of his hips bopping closer to Hogan’s face. Hogan felt compelled to please men he would never see.

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