Village Square Logo

Tony Spencer applied the first coat of wax to his prized possession, a 1973 Pontiac Grand Prix. Oh, sure, it had flaws, like a smashed door and a dragging muffler, but the interior was a beaut. It had bright-red bucket seats with a gleaming silver gear mount between them, and flawless upholstery with not even a speck of lint on it. Tony had owned the car for about a year now, and it was just like an old friend.

“Kid!” screamed the old man next door. “I told you to keep that piece of junk away from my house.”

“And I told you, sir, that you don’t own the street and I’ll park where I please.” Why couldn’t that old goat leave them alone? They had five cars – so what? There were five of them and they all needed a car. Mom and Dad’s took up the driveway, and his, Keith’s, and Barb’s were on the street. Luckily Rhonda was married or there would be another one. The garage was so full of junk a bicycle wouldn’t fit, let alone a car. But, a lousy six feet of space was enough to give the old crab a hissy fit.

Tony gave one last flip to the headlight with his cloth, and then gathered his cleaning materials, and added them to the growing mound inside the garage. He had thirty minutes to get cleaned up and get to work at the local Kroger store. He liked his job as a sacker; it kept him in spending money and gas in his car. He was a 17-year-old high school senior who was six feet tall and still growing. His bright red hair was an irritation to him because of the accompanying freckles, and boy did he have them. He figured he could live with them though, as long as the girls didn’t mind. His grades were good, he was on the football team, and he had a car, all the things necessary to attract a girl.

Business had really been slow for a Saturday night, and he only needed to get through another half hour until midnight, and then he could go home and sleep.

“Oh brother, my favorite neighbor,” mumbled Tony as the old man placed a gallon of milk and a package of cigarettes on the counter. Tony placed the items in a bag and held it out to him.

“Carry out,” he spat out. “Ain’t that what you’re here for?”

Tony followed him out to his car and handed him the sack. Snatching it from him without a ‘thank you’ or a backward glance, the old man pulled from his parking space.  Tony could see his own car gleaming in the moonlight. He always parked way down at the end of the lot so grocery carts wouldn’t be smashing into it. He’d seen those carts do a lot of damage to paint jobs. 

Tony was much too far away to hear his car rumble into life, and as he turned to enter the store, he didn’t see his car slowly pull behind the old man, and follow him from the parking lot.

Tony heard the sirens from the rescue squad but didn’t pay much attention. He needed to get to bed so he could get up early and ride the church bus. He could take his car to church, but he was trying to get up enough nerve to ask Cindy out, and the only time he saw her was on the church bus.

He was dreaming of Cindy when his mother shook him awake. “Wake up Tony,” she said. “I have some bad news. Old Mr. McDade died last night. It appears that his car was forced off the road and into a tree in Peterson’s front yard. It caused him to have a fatal heart attack.”

 “A heart attack,” breathed Tony. “I wonder if that’s why he was so crabby last night. I’m glad I held my temper. Do they have any idea who forced him off the road?” 

 “No, it was too dark for the witness to get a good look at the car before it sped off,” said his mother.

The next few weeks were hectic for Tony. His time was divided between work, football and trying to keep his grades up. He was in a neck-and-neck race with his best friend, Troy Roberts, for an athletic/scholastic scholarship. As of now, Troy was ahead by a few percentage points, and in three days time, they had to take the big test to determine the winner. Tony figured Troy would win because outside of football, he really kept his nose to the grindstone. Oh well, if he didn’t win, he couldn’t think of a better person than Troy. They had been friends for years and were almost always in some kind of competition, be it sports or girls.

Tony, Troy, and their friend, Randy Radner, were on their way home from a football meeting where the coach had given them a dressing down over last night’s loss.

“Boy, Drake was really mad, wasn’t he?” said Tony. “If we aren’t careful, we may get our names dropped from the scholarship consideration.”

“Oh, come on Tony,” laughed Troy. “We lost last night’s game, but did you see who scored the most for our team? That’s right, yours truly. You may get dropped my friend, but not me.”

Even though Troy laughed to take the sting out of his words, Tony knew he was serious. Troy had always been a bit conceited, but his good points usually outweighed his conceit.

About three miles from home, Tony’s car started spluttering and then stopped. “Oh good grief!” exclaimed Tony. “What now?”

“Pull the hood lift, Tony, and let an expert check it out,” said Troy as he jumped from the car. He fiddled under the hood for a minute and said, “Try it now Tony.” The engine started on the first attempt. Troy reached under the hood to adjust the linkage when the hood crashed down on his shoulders forcing his face directly into the fan blades. His horrifying scream pierced the night while bone, hair, and blood flew everywhere. The matted tangle of Troy’s body killed the engine; it was all over with by the time Tony and Randy scrambled from the car. Tony tried to raise the hood, his hands sticky with the blood of his friend. The moonlight showed clearly what was left of Troy’s head, and Tony felt himself slipping into blissful oblivion. He knew no more until he woke up in the hospital. They told him he had gone into shock. His mind felt numb. He knew he would never, as long as he lived, forget that blood-curdling death scream.

“Tony,” said the principal. “You can’t refuse this scholarship. It’s too important to your future. I know how you feel, son, but it was a freak accident and not your fault. Call it fate if you like, but I know Troy would have wanted you to accept this and get on with your life.” Tony knew that the principal was right, but oh how it hurt.

The insurance company had paid to have the car engine cleaned or Tony could never have driven it again. He and Keith were on their way to the K-Mart store when Keith said, “Tony, why don’t you get rid of this piece of junk? You have enough money saved to put a down payment on a really good car.”

The brakes squealed as the car came to a grinding halt, throwing Keith forward into the dashboard. “Good gods, Tony! Are you trying to kill me?” 

“Keith, I didn’t do anything. I didn’t touch the brake. I am not getting rid of my car”. Instantly the car shot forward, expertly maneuvering into traffic with a shocked Tony behind the wheel. He knew that he was not controlling the car. “My God,” he thought. “What can I do? This car hears. Surely not, I must be losing my mind.”

The car pulled into K-Mart and expertly parked. Tony and Keith walked slowly inside. Tony’s head was in turmoil. He’d just forget what had just happened, because people would think he was crazy if he even suggested such a thing. He found the flashlight and batteries that he wanted and was putting three quarts of oil into the shopping cart when he glanced toward the door and noticed that Keith was leaving already. Keith had only come along for the ride anyway and usually picked up a package of licorice. His teeth were often black from the stuff.

Keith walked out toward the car, kicking rocks and trying to open the package of licorice that he had indeed bought. Just as he stepped near the back of Tony’s car, he saw a pickup truck rapidly approaching the parking area. Suddenly, a hard jolt from behind sent him sprawling to the pavement directly in front of the truck. Tony heard the sickening crunch of Keith’s bones as the truck rolled over his leg. “I don’t know what happened,” moaned Keith. “I thought I had been hit from the back, but our own car was parked behind me. I must have tripped.”

Tony followed the ambulance to the hospital to be with his brother. He was sweating profusely and was scared to death. He knew what had happened. His car- his friend- had hurt his brother, killed his best friend, and maybe even killed his neighbor. What was he going to do? He didn’t know the source of this car’s intelligence; he only knew that it was.

After notifying his parents of the accident and seeing that Keith was being taken care of, Tony left the hospital to test his theory about his car. He wondered if it could also read his mind. He knew he had to do something. He forced his thoughts to remain calm as he drove along the highway. He prayed to God for guidance as he began to think negative thoughts about the car.

“I wonder if Keith was right?” he thought. “Maybe I should get rid of this car.” The car slowed perceptibly. “No,” he thought. “I’ll keep it. It has been a good little car.”   The car picked up speed and cruised smoothly down the road. Suddenly Tony screamed, “You piece of junk! I hate you, do you hear?” The car swerved sharply moving all over the road, and the front tire was flapping crazily. It halted abruptly along the shoulder. Tony knew the tire was blown, but was that all? Perspiration beaded his forehead and upper lip as he forced himself to get out and open the trunk to get the jack and spare tire. He stood beside the car listening. Nothing! Was he losing his mind? He’d been through a lot lately and maybe his imagination was just playing tricks on him. He knew one thing for sure, he was going to seek out the counseling that had been offered after Troy’s death and get himself straightened up.

Tony rolled the spare tire to the front of the car and squatted down. He started to loosen the hubcap when he felt, rather than saw, the car moving backward. He looked up as if in a trance, as it revved up and came hurtling toward him. He felt the impact, felt himself flying through the air, and then total blackness as he came in contact with the hard pavement.

“Looks like he was about to change a tire,” said the state trooper. “Hit and run, I’d say. Shame too, and he’ll be lucky if he makes it to the hospital.” As the siren from the ambulance faded into the distance, the trooper pressed the button on his intercom. “Whose turn is it for the tow job? Get them down here on Highway 29 and tell them to put the spare tire on.”

Tony lay in a coma for three long weeks, hovering between life and death. His father was standing beside his hospital bed when his eyes finally opened. Remembrance dawned. His first words were, “Dad, my car?”

“I’m sorry son,” said his father. “We sold the car because the doctor said it would be a long time before you would be able to drive again. We put the money in the bank for you and we’ll help you get another when the time comes."

“It’s okay,” sighed Tony as he drifted down, down into a deep and natural sleep. Tony’s father’s eyes were brimming with unshed tears. God had answered his prayers and spared the life of his son.

Kevin Coleman applied the final coat of wax to his prized possession, a 1973 Pontiac Grand Prix. He’d only had it a few weeks, but already it was like an old friend.

Bio: Leona Pence is a lifelong resident of Illinois. She has published one book, Hemphill Towers, and stories in five murder anthologies. She mentored a creative writing course called F2K (Fiction for 2000) for six years, and is a lifetime member of Writers' Village University. Her hobbies include reading, writing, and having fun with her great-grandkids.

Leona has four children, twelve grandchildren, and fifteen great-grandchildren.


Safe

by

Brian Hunt

Everyone wore a mask now, but why they did was no longer a question. Those who asked either disappeared or, after a suitable period of re-education, joined their faceless colleagues. The masks kept us free not just from airborne threats to health but from the complexities of signalling...

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Eagles’ Run

by

Sandra Niedzialek

Sarah Jensen works at the county morgue. It’s the only job available, her probation officer tells her. She’s a lousy thief, it seems. Gah, she hates scrubbing stainless steel. She’s the only one in the morgue because her shift is from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. As she...

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How Horrible the Moon

by

Brian Hunt

How horrible the moon. How horrible the pale light it cast upon my grave as it called me to my duty.

In a few short hours I would leave the comfort of my grave to walk among the living. I scared most of them, but now after over...

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The Woman in the Mirror

by

Miriam Manglani

Jack pulled the comforter over his head and clamped his hands over his ears, but it did
little to block out his parents’ screaming. If it got any worse, he would hide in his closet.

“I told you I wanted shrimp for dinner,” Amit, Jack’s father, scowled and...

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To the Moon

by

Brigitte Whiting

"How terrible the moon," Mr. Abrams said each time there was a full moon. "There's sadness with beauty."

At first, when the future Mrs. Abrams met him, she thought it was odd. When he was young, he'd wanted to ride on the back of his older brother's motorcycle...

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One Precious Day

by

Paul K. McWilliams

“We love those who know the worst of us and don’t turn their faces away.”
                                                                                                                     -Walker Percy

                                                                   

Mike Hanlon, an old childhood friend of mine, had cultivated the pot, not for kicks or profit, but expressly for relief.  He was a poor and suffering soul growing...

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SkippyGraycoat

by

Peter Mancusi

Skippy Graycoat woke up early to the chirping of birds. It had been a long night for the young squirrel. He spent hours fixing up his new apartment, a fancy little hollow inside of an old, maple tree, and he was happy to finally have some privacy. No...

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A Pot Full of Beans

by

Brigitte Whiting

Clara Beth didn't remember that she'd promised to fill the cast iron bean pot for the Smithville Annual Bean Hole Bean Pot supper until late Friday afternoon when she received the call that the bean hole was prepared, the embers hot and ready. "Almost ready," she lied. What...

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How You Can Go Wrong

by

Lisa Benwitz

“Don’t be ridiculous,” Angelina scoffed at Sam, her husband of sixty years. “You’re not leaving. You won’t last a day without me.”

“I can’t deal with you anymore,” he said as he walked out the door. As if she’d been the one to disappoint, to betray.

Angelina’s sagging...

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The Piano

by

Nitin Mishra

The old grand piano sat in lonely corner of the room. Dust covered the piano body, and insects crept in through the keys. For the house’s inhabitants, the grand piano was merely a dead wooden sound-making device mechanically operated. No one ever tried to infuse life into the...

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Makers and Takers

by

Kim Bundy

Jake dropped the baby off at daycare early that morning and replaced three water heaters by lunch. There were two HVAC systems left to service, so he wolfed down a sandwich as he drove between jobs. When he got back to the shop that afternoon, his boss called...

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The “Ely Kay”

by

Paul K. McWilliams

It’s my boat yard, and I don’t much care for the look of her. It’s a point of pride. You should be able to take a level to a boat up on lumber. Every day with her list, she stares me down. She looks guilty and sad with...

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What We Long For

by

Cyril Dabydeen

Creating an imaginary garden
                            with real toads in it.
                                    --Marianne Moore


Frogs circle the yellow-and-black snake in the trout stream by instinct, no less. Mr. Yorick, tall, but roundish, ...

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Emerson

by

Paul K. McWilliams

He hurts, body, mind, and soul. Death has made its introduction and he has given it a knowing nod. At this moment he’s in a hospice unit. The head of his bed is elevated and he’s in the consoling company of his dog, Emerson. The dog proved quickly...

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Blunt Trauma

by

Paul K. McWilliams

To all, excepting only Annie, Charles W. Durgin fell while fishing and drowned.  It has been nearly ten years since she struck him with his own club, the club he affectionately called “the priest.” Nightmares still waken her upright and screaming. Not the stifled screams into his calloused...

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Man in the Mirror

by

Nitin Mishra

It may have been the sultriest day of the decade, who knows, maybe two or even three decades and the excessive humidity had invited swarms of insects. In such a sweltering afternoon people were destined to stay indoors, and if anyone ventured out, the insects would certainly torment...

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The Impostor

by

Mick Clark

I was amazed by how many people were stuffed inside my uncle Henry’s corpse.

My aunt clung to me for the first time in her life, bird-bone brittle and ashen pale, while the mourners breathed crowds of ghosts into the icy morning air.

The coffin swayed...

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21 Days of Lockdown

by

Donna Abraham Tijo

Day 1:
When Coronavirus Comes Calling
A five-year-old declares, 'I wish to always have my favourite pancake in my world.'

Day 2:
An E-mail of Hope
He sent the e-mail to the school reserving seats for his daughter for the fall session. It’s in the new city they...

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Sugar Daddy Dreams

by

Enza Vynn-Cara

Burnt toast, avocado, honey, two poached eggs laced with turmeric and garlic, and a new vitamin concoction that makes my stomach churn, and still, I guzzle half of it down with gusto, as if it’s our first Godfather Cocktail at Carlo’s Bar.

Why, you ask?

Because...

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The Visitor

by

Brigitte Whiting

Madeleine saw the visitor in her Sunday school class, a man her age, maybe fortyish —she considered herself a youthful fifty —with a deep dimple in the middle of his chin. He wore no wedding ring. He introduced himself as having just moved to Cannington, and was the...

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Chickens

by

Brigitte Whiting

First, there was dust everywhere, but now, far worse, there were chickens everywhere. They were pecking through the yard, leaving puffs of dust. They were roosting in the pine trees. And they clucked from morning to night. The five roosters vied for which was loudest and shrillest. Amanda...

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Desiree

by

Joe Cappello

I buried him in the backyard one night after a rainstorm. The soil I removed from the hole was thick and sticky and clung stubbornly to the surface of my shovel.

I connected the hose to the backyard spigot and used it to clean off the shovel. Then...

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The Anointing of Mary Ballard

by

Joe Cappello

The young lady entered the laboratory with her eyes cast down reverently, as though entering a church. When she reached the gurney, she pulled a chair close to it and placed the things she was carrying on a nearby table. She removed the sheet covering the body and...

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Beginning at the End

by

Joe Cappello

I am in a meeting at our England location in a typical rectangular conference room walled off from the real world of work taking place outside. Suddenly, I am a spirit floating above my colleagues, as though I had died only seconds earlier and am waiting to be...

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Hope Held My Heart

by

Chel Talleyrand

We were isolated that summer from the rest of the world. The excessive rains had pounded the fields into mosquito-infested pools, destroying our harvests of corn and beans. We heard it was worse in the cities. As food supplies depleted, guns decided distribution. Friends and families banded together...

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Bibliosmia

by

Penny Camp

My love for reading started early. I traveled the world and rode dragons, fought knights, stormed castles, stole treasure with pirates and rescued kidnapped princesses. I floated down rivers in the deepest regions of unexplored lands. I climbed trees and mountains and flew on clouds.

Mom read to...

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To Thwart a Wild Turkey Hen

by

Brigitte Whiting

A flock of wild turkeys has wandered in and out of my yard for years. I have a raised deck so my birdfeeders stand ten feet off the ground and the turkeys graze under them. They are timid birds, and typically when I step out onto the deck, ...

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The Style of No Style

by

Frank Richards

I must be the Charlie Brown of writers because I’ve never been able to figure out what “style” is all about. What does that word, ‘style,’ mean? I’ve always had a problem with it. If there were such a thing as “styleblindness,” a disease like colorblindness, I’d be...

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Corona Clean

by

Fran Schumer

The Corona virus presents new challenges. Stuck at home, and with more of us sleeping, eating and working here, and a dirtier house, I was finally going to have to figure out how to use my new vacuum cleaner. Ordered a year ago, it mostly sat in its...

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Occasional Neighbors

by

Brigitte Whiting

I understand a little bit about wild turkeys. They're on a constant hunt for food, drifting through the neighborhood scrounging what they can. But I don't know how it happens that a few will either be left behind by the flock or leave it. This past fall, I'd...

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Enjoy the Ride

by

Penny Camp

Get up early. You can’t ride all day if you sleep in. Braid your hair tight — you don’t want it flapping in the wind. Make sure you don’t wear the undies with the seams down the back because after a long day of riding they will make...

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Cocoa and Biscuits

by

Penny Camp

Saturday mornings were special occasions at our house when we were growing up. My friends begged to spend the night so they could be part of the Saturday morning ritual.

Mom would take out her green plastic bowl and splash in a little water, a little cocoa powder, ...

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Livin’ the Dream

by

Holly Miller

When I was a child, my mom and Aunt Leona would pack us six kids into our blue Chevy Belair and drive to a local mobile home dealer (they were known as trailers back then). We would walk through the new homes, just for something to do. How...

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Fall in Maine

by

Brigitte Whiting

Autumn is falling in Maine, harder this year than I remember over the last few falls. We've had two nights of close to freezing temperatures, not enough to ice over the birdfeeders or kill any of my plants yet, but cold enough to turn the furnace on. My...

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Best Laid Plans

by

Penny Devlin

Every year shortly before spring, the Gurney’s Seed & Nursery Co. catalog shows up on my doorstep. The cover is plastered with a WARNING label in big black letters informing me that if I don’t order now, this will be my last catalog. It also has coupons: $100...

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One January Morning

by

Brigitte Whiting

Mornings, I like to have a Kindle eBook open on the dining room table so I can read and look out into the backyard to see what might be happening. 

I live in a raised ranch with an attached two-car garage. My deck, which is off the kitchen...

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The Ruins and the Writing Technique of Negative Space

by

Sarah Yasin

A book club I’m part of recently discussed The Ruinsby Scott Smith. It’s not a book I would have finished reading based on the first 50 pages, but sticking with it afforded me insight into what a narrative voice can do. The story is about a group...

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A River of Words

by

Penny Devlin

Go to work every day. Do your job. Do it well. Always learning, getting better every day. Soaking in the letters that become words, that lead to success.

Meetings, instructions, to-do lists, directions — the words start to drown like a river of brown muddy water rushing through...

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Canada, Marty, and The Exorcist

by

Jen Lowry

On our homeschool adventure today, we dreamed aloud of the places we would travel to if we could. My kids and I agree: Ireland and Scotland are our top two places to visit. We played music from Spotify and sang aloud to the merry tunes of the Irish.

...

Read more: Canada, Marty, and The Exorcist

 

 

 

Monarch Butterflies

by

Brigitte Whiting

I had no idea what milkweed looked like because I'd never seen it, but I'd always wanted it to grow in my yard so I could see the monarch butterflies.


For the longest time, I've hoped the patch of wonderfully fragrant plants with pale purple flowers growing...

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A Monarch Chrysalis

by

Brigitte Whiting

The monarch caterpillar couldn't decide where to turn itself into a chrysalis. He wandered across my front stoop so many times I was afraid I'd step on it so I stopped using the front door. One time, he'd be crawling up a post of the front railing. Another...

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Truth

by

Angela Hess

I am twisted, bent, and deformed on every side. Everyone trying to use me to serve their own purposes, to justify their own beliefs and actions. Their eyes constantly sliding away from my pure, unaltered form, too brilliant and painful to behold without their chosen filters to dim...

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The Goldfinch

by

Brigitte Whiting

On a Monday afternoon, I carried a bucket of water outdoors to refill the birdbath. A male goldfinch jumped down from the bath’s rim, and hopped away as quickly as he could to creep beneath a nearby spruce branch. I thought how odd he was...

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Of Heroes and Holiness

by

Angela Hess

What does a hero look like?

 

George Bailey is a hero.

 

George Bailey dreamed of traveling the world.

 

George Bailey gave up his dreams to care for his family and community.

 

Rudy left his family...

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My Desk

by

Luann Lewis

Another rejection letter and I feel like a loser. Yeah, I know, I’m not trying to make a living doing this. I even claim to be “writing for myself.” Butwe all want validation and, let’s face it, us writers want readers. So here I sit, ...

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My Mobile Space

by

Janet Harvey

 

In June, I will expect to find my special place in Townsville, Queensland. Last year it was in Darwin, Northern Territory, and today my place is in Hobart, Tasmania.

 

 

We live in a truck, a 2004 Isuzu 350NPR turbo automatic...

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A Red Squirrel's Narrative

by

Brigitte Whiting

This past summer and fall upturned me. The birdfeeder, usually so generous, abdicated her job, and I had to scrounge for food during the long wet season. My mother told me it was unusual to have such a rainy August and October. She would know. I was born...

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Talk-Back, Dear Lia, on FnF

by

Joy Manné

This essay is part of a Talk-Back series – I owe that title to Karen. A Talk-Back is my response to a chapter in a WVU textbook, my communication with its author.

This Talk-Back is a response to the exercise in Lia Purpura’s chapter, ‘On Miniatures,’ (Flas...

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Reunion

by

Lina Sophia Rossi

“Why the F--- Do I want to see a F—ing alligator jump up to eat a F—ing chicken hanging on a clothesline?”

 

The last time I hung out with my Uncle Dan is when I dragged him to Gatorland to do something touristic. ...

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A Fear of Broken Things

by

Angela Hess

“Does he look at you?”

 

My cousin’s innocent question triggers a flashing red warning light in my brain. My baby doesn’t look at me. I assumed he was too young still, but my cousin’s baby is only four days older than mine, and they are...

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Neighborhood Walk Meditation

by

Lina Sophia Rossi

Vultures gather on the old man’s neighbor’s barn,
‘decorated with ravens and barren trees.
A small cottontail stirs...

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Dream Metaphor

by

Glenda Walker-Hobbs

I shiver in the darkened room,
stretch, try to pull the covers higher,
suddenly I am floating near...

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A Whitmanesque Inventory: Spring

by

Phebe Beiser

So glad it rained last night. Now, late morning, sun shines,
an unexpectedly warm early March. What a...

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Solitary

by

Malkeet Kaur

For eons now, the very core of my being
has become inaccessible.

Solitary.

Once it used to be...

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The Blanket Hugs Me

by

Louise E. Sawyer

I’m grateful that I have a daybed
downstairs where I can rest during the day
with my Guinea...

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On Love and Dreams

by

Miriam Manglani

1.
Love is a beast and angel and dream on fire.

2.
Your soul wakes in your dreams.

...

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The Writer’s Breastplate

by

Louise E. Sawyer

…apologies to St. Patrick


Creative Spirit with me,
Creative Spirit before me,
Creative Spirit behind me,
Creative Spirit...

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The Sweater

by

Malkeet Kaur

As I rummage through the clothes,
I spot it, the well-worn white sweater
that now had aging spots...

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The Holly Tree

by

Nolo Segundo

We have a large holly tree
in our backyard—
is it foolish to say
you love a tree?

...

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waiting on an email

by

Gerardine Gail Esterday

rain beats against the metal awning.
winds whipped up against two storms
racing each other over the Mississippi
...

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Looking for Weeds

by

Louise E. Sawyer

Pushing my walker with the purple
pet carrier propped up on the seat,
I walk down the driveway.
...

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Ocean Mood

by

Malkeet Kaur

The roaring, crashing surf summon us.
Soft and damp ecru sand lies beneath our bare soles.
The sun-baked...

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The Beetle in the Sink

by

Miriam Manglani

There is a beetle in the sink.  
A big fat one,
shiny and black
with sharp needle...

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Four Cats – Four Friends

by

Glenda Walker-Hobbs

I
the painting of four cats
hangs on my living room wall


II
you can see
Glory Barrie...

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On Eating an Orange and Seeing God

by

Nolo Segundo

I miss the big navels, the big navels when they are not in season,
but almost any orange...

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Summer – A Pantoum

by

Glenda Walker-Hobbs

I sit on my deck and enjoy summer sun.
Zephyrs caress my cheeks with soft kisses.
Bombay cat...

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Your Broken Heart

by

Miriam Manglani

I found your heart’s hinge —
I knew it could open!
Inside, I saw all of its broken...

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Who Is Margaret?

by

Glenda Walker-Hobbs

I find the small black and white picture in a box
of old letters untouched for twenty years.
...

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Made Whole by Others

by

Miriam Manglani

Some people fill deep holes in us
the space that’s left when our loved ones leave
they plug...

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Autumn Villanelle

by

Glenda Walker-Hobbs

leaves don orange, crimson and yellow gowns
as they prepare for Cinderella’s autumn ball,
soon the leaves will...

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Sunny Day Epiphany

by

Lina Sophia Rossi

Umberto, my Golden Retriever is sad,
Sparkie and Sal, his companions, have died

I wanted to adopt a...

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Ocean City

by

Nolo Segundo

I saw it then as my own little Shangri-la,
for I was very small and knew nothing
of...

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All The Dead I Know

by

Nolo Segundo

Let’s start with Eric—a nerdy-looking kid before
nerds were invented, and only 18 when he crashed
his funny...

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The Dinosaur Will Get a Makeover

by

Miriam Manglani

She talks of makeovers with friends,
using contour sticks and beauty blenders,
making “Tiktoks” with dance moves
called...

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Fireplace Camping

by

Louise E. Sawyer

After supper, my brother Frank and I beg Dad,
“Tell us a story in front of the fireplace.”
...

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My Love

by

Miriam Manglani

My love for you was tentative and tender
Now it blazes like wildfire through dry fields
Cuts through...

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The Never-Was-But-Could-Have-Been

by

Miriam Manglani

I never doubted that he loved me
even after he died from dementia —
There were tight hugs...

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Farley vs Apricot

by

Glenda Walker-Hobbs

Apricot the Beanie cat
perches atop the bookcase,
guards the books,
taunts the ginger kitten down below

Farley’s...

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Define Self Truth

by

Gerardine Gail (Esterday) Baugh

How blind are we with
wishes that bite; with
memories that burn;
that we choose, to be
trapped, ...

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Invisible Lines

by

Miriam Manglani

When I first saw their formless
bodies on screen,
worlds unfurled
in their grainy black and white images,
...

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She Bikes for the First Time

by

Miriam Manglani

“Keep peddling!” I call.
Not prepared to watch her fall.
I hold the bike steady
and let it...

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The Stranger

by

Miriam Manglani

You were always quiet but
grew quieter.
Unable to retrieve basic words like “cat”.
There were other small...

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A New Day Begins

by

Bob Hembree

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Angst

by

Alberto Rodriguez Orejuela

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The Fly on the Wall

by

Bob Hembree

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Glancing Vulnerably

by

Alberto Rodriguez Orejuela

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Fowl Squabbling

by

Bob Hembree

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A Mid-Photo's Daydream

by

Alberto Rodriguez Orejuela

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Solar Reflection

by

Bob Hembree

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Being Held Up

by

Alberto Rodriguez Orejuela

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Reflections

by

Paula Parker

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Jack

by

Gerardine Gail Esterday

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Hollister

by

Alberto Rodriguez Orejuela

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Evelyn

by

Gerardine Gail Esterday

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Curiosity

by

Alberto Rodriguez Orejuela

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Rebecca

by

Gerardine Gail Esterday

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Hazel

by

Alberto Rodriguez Orejuela

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Working Hands

by

Paula Parker

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Maya

by

Alberto Rodriguez Orejuela

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The Birds in the Flower

by

Alberto Rodriguez Orejuela

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Pst... Hey

by

Alberto Rodriguez Orejuela

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The World in Her Hands

by

Alberto Rodriguez Orejuela

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Oak

by

Craig Gettman

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Flower

by

Craig Gettman

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Berries

by

Craig Gettman

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Winding Road

by

Craig Gettman

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Sunset - April 2020

by

Craig Gettman

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