Rob McClure Smith

Tea Party

It was my friend Lewis’s fault. Actually, he’s not a friend, just a person I do some consulting with, a K-street Kommando, more Facebook friend than friend-friend. Lewis was the one got the American Ambulance Assoc. to switch to Patton Boggs LLP, and parlayed that into a Venn Strategies gig. We’re talking a person has […]

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Chris Killen

Excerpt from In Real Life

Somehow Paul finds himself teaching creative writing. He is thirty-one years old. He is going bald. He is wearing black skinny jeans and a pale blue shirt and a pair of smart, real-leather shoes. He is standing in a large room on the first floor of a university building, holding a marker pen, about to […]

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David Gaffney

Two Stories

User Group Disco Stanley and I were happy together, happier than anyone should be allowed to be. White-hot joy. So we chose to celebrate our first wedding anniversary by renting a room at the very, very top of a posh hotel –  the twenty-first floor. It was amazing being elevated like that, way above the […]

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Sharon Millar

Making Guava Jelly

The girls had been eating guavas for weeks. Guava jams, juices, stews, tarts with latticed pastry, every day the kitchen was misty with the perfume of guava. It was the largest crop in years, the branches obscenely laden, bending under the fruit. Nana always believed the dead came out at night to eat guavas. Guayabas, […]

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Jim Quinn

A Son in Iraq

After Edith Wharton’s A Son at the Front and Heinrich von Kleist’s The Marquise of O   “We both know you’re cynical,” my son Danny says. We’re in my studio, tenth floor, big corner of what used to be a factory warehouse. I’m painting his portrait. C-SPAN on my beat old TV with sound down […]

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Emily-Jo Hopson

1922 – Charles Bemis Dies

Polly poked the dead colt with the toe of her boot, lifting and twisting the neck. Shock, most likely. A weak heart in a working animal was rarely discovered until it dropped dead. She knelt down in the wet grass. Scavengers had exposed two of the vertebrae and a solid, tooth-white hip on the left […]

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