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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 sprays more disinfectant on the table, she thinks of the man that arrived as a DOA this morning. The gossip queens think he was in an adulterous affair, and the husband shot him. She’s curious about what he looks like. She turns towards the rows of drawers and knows precisely which one he is laid to rest in. Should she dare look? Sarah is known for lacking impulse control, so naturally she goes right for the drawers. She listens for anyone approaching, but it’s eerily quiet. She opens the drawer, and peeks under the sheet to see his face. He’s handsome with dark hair, a slight shadow of a beard, and she bets he probably has beautiful eyes too. He looks like he is sleeping instead of dead. She tells herself, "I will never find a man like him. I’m woefully plain and skinny." A man like him dates exclusively gorgeous women. Sarah stares at the man, wishing he was still alive, when she feels someone behind her. She jumps like she has 50,000 volts of electricity going through her.

“Sarah, what are you doing?” he yells too loudly. She’s sure her face must be on fire. Mr. Pellan, her boss, moves quickly to her side and yanks the sheet out of her hands. “You know the rules.”  His face turns scarlet, and his plump rosy cheeks are throbbing with anger. He reminds her of a pudgy little Santa Claus.

“Sorry Mr. P. I’ve been hearing so much about this man that I took a tiny peek. Please don’t fire me, because I’ll go back to jail if I lose this job.” She lets the tears fall down her face. Sarah is sure the tears will work.

Mr. Pellan says, “We have to trust our employees. This is a dead man who was once vibrant and alive twelve hours ago. We must respect the dead, young lady. I’m sorry you’ll go back to jail. Your work isn’t up to par here anyway. I suggest you get your life together, think about others rather than yourself. All your problems stem from your lack of boundaries, and you aren’t following the basic rules of this establishment. Don’t. Mess. With. The. Dead. This is a murder case, and everything is to remain sterile. You’ve been scrubbing with those gloves?” He wrings his hands in horror.

“I didn’t touch him, I swear.”

Mr. Pellan is wearing an expensive dark suit with a matching tie. Sarah stares at his rotund belly that is protruding and trying to escape a few buttons on his starched shirt. She thinks he looks like Porky Pig. Then she lets a giggle escape. She doesn’t mean to but it comes out anyway.

“Sarah, get your coat, and bag immediately. You’re fired.” Mr. Pellan shouts for the other janitor. “Mark, get in here and watch to see that Sarah leaves and don’t let her steal anything.” Pellan adjusts his tie and turns to leave with a sharp clip in his stride.

Sarah puts on her scruffy peacoat and walks out the door into brisk fall weather. She hurries home, and searches for her mother. At the age of twenty, Sarah already has a rap sheet for stealing. Most of the time it’s been petty shoplifting but the most recent time she’d stolen a Rolex watch worth over $10,000.

“Mom, I lost my job, because I peeked at a stiff.”

“Seriously? What are you going to do? You know better, right?”

“Yes, I do, but after all the gossip I was curious. Mr. Pellan will not allow anyone to open the drawers of the dead.”

“Honey, I can’t pay for another shrink. You still have the medicine you’re supposed to take, and I can’t force it down you. You’re an adult now. I’m at a loss how to help you. If your dad was alive, he could help you. He loved you so much.”

Sarah runs to her room, closes the door, and flings on the bed to cry. When she falls asleep, she dreams she can see her father. He tells her that he will love her no matter how much she screws things up.

When Sarah awakens from the dream, she feels a little calmer. She’s staring at the ceiling in her darkened room when the ghost from the morgue steps out of her curtains. She’s speechless. She stares at him for the longest time.

“Are you really a ghost or is this a dream?” Sarah whispers.

He isn’t talking, just hovering off the floor, and his facial expression is one of confusion. Then he disappears. Sarah decides it’s another dream and falls asleep once more.

The next morning, she calls her boyfriend Theo. “Hi, sweetie. Can you go hiking with me?” Sarah imagines Theo sitting in his favorite chair with his red hair neatly combed, and dressed to perfection as she talks to him.

“I guess. I’m not doing anything. Ma is after me to get a job though.”

Sarah loves his perfect lips, and he always smells like the ocean after he shaves. He constantly makes her smile and laugh too.

“You want to go hiking at Eagles’ Run? I need to get away. Come on. It will be fun sleeping under the stars or other activities.” Sarah snickers.

“I’ll pick you up in two hours. Dress warmly because it gets cold at night."


As the couple climb a trail leading to the top of the mountain, they take water breaks frequently. It’s late afternoon before they get to the top. Theo pitches their tent and sets up their camp. Sarah wanders around taking pictures. It’s not long until sunset. They sit on their sleeping bags and watch the sunset. As she feels the warm rays dissipate, she admires the beauty of the sun when it slides behind the mountain view. They decide to start a fire with the wood they collect.

Sarah sees the ghost appear behind the flames of their camp fire. He seems to want to talk to her. She peeks at Theo to see if he notices the ghost but he doesn’t. He just continues telling her about a new video game he bought. Sarah becomes nervous because she believes she might have serious mental issues. The ghost vanishes again; her anxiety mounts. Are there really ghosts, she asks herself.

“Sarah, are you listening to me?”

“Yeah, I mean sure. I’m listening. Theo, what would you say if I told you I have a ghost that is attached to me? Yesterday, I got fired. I was looking under a sheet at a dead man. There is so much gossip surrounding his death, I just had to see what a rich playboy looks like.

“Which part of him?”

Sarah slaps his leg, and says, “Don’t be stupid. I wanted to see his face.”

“I doubt a ghost can come this far.”

“I read a lot about ghosts. I believe a ghost can attach to a person if they have a strong need for unfinished business. This man was murdered.”

Theo hugs Sarah to reassure her. She is elated he doesn’t laugh at her. “Honey, I’m really tired, so do you mind if we party tomorrow night? I brought us some vodka and weed."

“Sure, I’m pretty worn out too. I had some crazy dreams last night. I want to explore some tomorrow. Every time I’ve been here, it’s been a day trip.”


Something awakens Sarah in the middle of the night. At first, she doesn’t see anything, but the tent flap is open, and she sees the ghost again. “What do you want?” she whispers to the ghost. “You are scaring me. Go back to the morgue, and I’m sure Porky Pig will take care of you.” Sarah turns over so she doesn’t have to look at him again. Pretend he isn’t there….

The next morning the two eat a protein bar and decide to head north. They walk until they need a break. It’s almost lunch time. Theo plops down beside Sarah. They sit on a beautiful bank of moss. The weather is sunny with only fluffy clouds riding the sky. A small breeze teases Sarah’s hair so she closes her eyes in relaxation while the warmth of the sun tickles her skin. They chow down on a peanut butter sandwich.

Suddenly, Theo jumps up, grabbing Sarah off the moss. She is about to blast him with a stream of profanity because he jerks her arm so hard. Then she grasps the problem. There’s a bear. Not a cute, cuddly one but a tall-as-a-tree kind of bear. The bear is standing on his hind legs now, and his ferocious huffing makes Sarah feel like all her wits have fallen out of her brain. She and Theo freeze.

Theo whispers, “We need to slowly back up and if he tries to attack, we run like hell. This must be his territory.”

The bear gives one more huff and falls on all fours.

Theo panics and using a shrill voice says, “Run. Sarah. Run.”

Sarah feels she doesn’t have a choice now so she follows Theo. The bear begins chasing them.
Theo looks over his shoulder with Sarah close behind. Theo misses the sharp drop into a ravine. He tries to stop but he loses his footing and falls head first into the ravine. Sarah screams his name but she still has the bear getting closer so she sits down and tries to slide into the deep ravine on her buttocks. When she lands at the bottom, she stares at the bear which remains at the top of the steep ravine. The irony isn’t lost on her. The only smart one is at the top. The bear decides he is rid of them and waddles off.

Sarah sighs in relief, her heart still pounding, and looks around for Theo. She stands up to locate him and finds him lying on his back on some rocks. Sarah rushes over to him, but he doesn’t answer her. She panics and shakes him to wake up.

She notices the blood seeping from his head so she checks for his pulse, and finds it is barely there, so she reaches for her cell phone and attempts to call 911, but there is no reception. What can she do to help him? She takes off her scarf and places it behind Theo’s head to stop the bleeding. Next, she looks around for a place to climb but the sides of the ravine are dirt with just a few scrubs sticking out. How is she going to get out? She starts rocking herself for comfort and cries over her misfortunes. Sarah wipes the snot on her sleeve, dries the tears, and tries to reassure herself that someone will rescue them. There must be other people hiking, right?

The ghost appears, hovering above her. The sun is behind him, shining with a golden light. He seems to be a part of the sunlight. She wonders if he is an angel now.

She asks, “Can you save us?”

The ghost says, “Finally, I can talk. My name is Cassidy. I don’t see any reason to help you. When I went out the door with you at the morgue, I thought you cared about me. Now I see you only care about yourself. You can’t sit here and wallow in pity. What about Theo? If you don’t climb out of here and get the boy some help, he is going to die.”

Sarah imagines he has been promoted to an angel. “Please help us. I can’t possibly get up these deep banks of the ravine. It’s impossible. Can’t you just fly down here and pick me up?”

“No. You will have to get yourself out of this mess. I could hear your thoughts at the morgue. I didn’t know that woman was married. She lied to me and said she was divorced. I’m divorced so I was careless and didn’t bother finding the truth. Now, I’m dead, and my children will not believe I lived a good life. You’re sitting here feeling sorry for yourself while your friend is dying. I bet you don’t want to mess up your pretty nails climbing that bank. You need to accept some responsibilities. I heard your mom say you have some emotional issues and I sympathize. However, it does not excuse you from being a kind and compassionate person. Think about others instead of always yourself. Get back in counseling and quit spending your money on drugs and alcohol. Spend it on things that matter.”

Sarah is mad as hell but she knows he’s right. She dries the last of her tears and tries to think of a way to climb the ravine. She looks all around for something to help her when she gets a brilliant idea. She turns to tell Cassidy and sees that Theo is floating beside him, looking down on her.

“No…no…Theo, go back. You can’t die. You’re my best friend. Cassidy, please do something! Make him go back.”  Sarah bursts into loud sobbing cries. “If you fix this, Cassidy, I will promise to take my medicine and work to be a better person. I am truly sorry you’re dead.”

Sarah feels something pulling her, but all she can see is light. Then she hears her mother’s soothing voice. “Sarah, darling, wake up. You're having a nightmare. I can hear you from the kitchen, sweetheart.”

Sarah sits up in bed and rubs her eyes. It’s light outside. She throws off the covers and says, “Mom, I need to apologize to Mr. Pellan, and see if I can get my job back. Also, will you call that counselor you found and get me an appointment? Thanks.” Sarah throws on some jeans and a t-shirt. When she goes into the kitchen, she grabs a pill out of the cabinet, and then gives her mom a big hug and kisses. “I love you, Mom.”

Her mother pats her back and tells her the same.

As she puts on her boots and laces them, she thinks about her ghost. If he comes around tonight, Sarah wants to tell him she will try to help him clear his name. She believes he was real.
Sarah throws open the door and scrolls down her cell phone contacts to call Theo. Her mom is all smiles.

“Theo, let’s go to a movie tonight.”


BIO: Sandra Niedzialek has B.S., MA, and M.Ed. degrees. She has taught band, drama, reading, and English. Now that she is a retired high school principal, she wants to be a writer. She loves magic realism, fantasy, mystery/suspense, and fiction. She lives at the beach with her husband, two dogs, and one cat. Her favorite hobbies are reading, collecting teddy bears, and writing. She has two sons and four grandchildren.


Safe

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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

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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

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Miriam Manglani

Jack pulled the comforter over his head and clamped his hands over his ears, but it did
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To the Moon

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

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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.”
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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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”

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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

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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

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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.

...

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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...

Read more: A Fear of Broken Things

 

 

 

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...

Read more: Neighborhood Walk Meditation

 

 

 

Dream Metaphor

by

Glenda Walker-Hobbs

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

Read more: Dream Metaphor

 

 

 

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...

Read more: A Whitmanesque Inventory: Spring

 

 

 

Solitary

by

Malkeet Kaur

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

Solitary.

Once it used to be...

Read more: Solitary

 

 

 

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...

Read more: The Blanket Hugs Me

 

 

 

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.

...

Read more: On Love and Dreams

 

 

 

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...

Read more: The Writer’s Breastplate

 

 

 

The Sweater

by

Malkeet Kaur

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

Read more: The Sweater

 

 

 

The Holly Tree

by

Nolo Segundo

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

...

Read more: The Holly Tree

 

 

 

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
...

Read more: waiting on an email

 

 

 

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.
...

Read more: Looking for Weeds

 

 

 

Ocean Mood

by

Malkeet Kaur

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

Read more: Ocean Mood

 

 

 

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...

Read more: The Beetle in the Sink

 

 

 

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...

Read more: Four Cats – Four Friends

 

 

 

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...

Read more: On Eating an Orange and Seeing God

 

 

 

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...

Read more: Summer – A Pantoum

 

 

 

Your Broken Heart

by

Miriam Manglani

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

Read more: Your Broken Heart

 

 

 

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.
...

Read more: Who Is Margaret?

 

 

 

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...

Read more: Made Whole by Others

 

 

 

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...

Read more: Autumn Villanelle

 

 

 

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...

Read more: Sunny Day Epiphany

 

 

 

Ocean City

by

Nolo Segundo

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

Read more: Ocean City

 

 

 

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...

Read more: All The Dead I Know

 

 

 

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...

Read more: The Dinosaur Will Get a Makeover

 

 

 

Fireplace Camping

by

Louise E. Sawyer

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

Read more: Fireplace Camping

 

 

 

My Love

by

Miriam Manglani

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

Read more: My Love

 

 

 

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...

Read more: The Never-Was-But-Could-Have-Been

 

 

 

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...

Read more: Farley vs Apricot

 

 

 

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, ...

Read more: Define Self Truth

 

 

 

Invisible Lines

by

Miriam Manglani

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

Read more: Invisible Lines

 

 

 

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...

Read more: She Bikes for the First Time

 

 

 

The Stranger

by

Miriam Manglani

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

Read more: The Stranger

 

 

 

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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