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Chris Stops the Boys - by Dawsen Wright Albertsen
Chris stops the boys before Scott’s house. Scott stands on the stoop within the doorframe. He looks down the steps at Chris. He stares at her.
Chris ignores Scott. There is everything and nothing to say. She calms herself. She smiles. The boys stand still. She sighs. The boys smile. Their biweekly limbo holds them to that spot. She kisses each boy on his forehead and cheeks. She cups their faces so they look in her eyes as she says, “I love you, I love you, I love you.”....more
Monster - by Rebekah Frumkin
Most of the time the panther slept. Its breaths were resonant and shallow in the apartment. Perhaps it was sick; Danny couldn’t tell. His mother and father never heard it. When he looked up from his breakfast and cocked his head one way, they told him to go back to eating. He awakened his father in the middle of the night to tell him about it. “There is an animal in our house,” he said. His father rolled over onto his side and said, “Danny, honey, I don’t know if there’s a new bully at school, but you need to tell him to stop picking on you.” It was almost dawn. Danny was alarmed by his father’s apathy. He couldn’t believe such a tall, smart man would be willing to risk his family’s lives just to get some sleep. “Who will be here to pour milk on my breakfast tomorrow?” Danny asked. “There is nothing in our house but us,” his father said....more
The Day They Were Shooting Dogs - by Samuel Reifler
The snap of gunshots could be heard from the other side of the highway that ran past the school.
“They’re shooting the dogs!” Some of the boys whooped and darted out the double glass doors into the parking lot.
One of the teachers, a gray-haired woman in blue padded overalls, pulled a remote from her pocket. The doors slid shut and locked. “It’s nothing, people,” she said.
“My Brando is out. They’re going to shoot my Brando.” A girl in a pink sweater was slapping her hands against the glass.
“If he’s out, he deserves to be shot,” said a boy.
“I want to go home.”
“He’s breaking the law,” said another child. “Your dog is supposed to be inside the house or tied up.”
“I want to call Omni and have Mommy pick me up.”
“I’m sorry, Candace, we’re in intense learning mode,” said the teacher, indicating a large circular LED, which was now pulsing above the television screen....more
The Doctors - by Kirsten Menger-Anderson
I didn’t know my father was sick until the hospital called. Dad threatened his cleaning lady at gunpoint. He accused her of cheating on him, stealing his credit cards, ruining his career.
I didn’t even realize he owned a gun...
Mash - by Kim Chinquee
The poet said to all the listeners: “I've always wanted to meet her.” People sang to him “Happy Birthday” and he read his love poems, dedicating them to her, calling her sweet vegetable names like rosy radish and artichoke candy...
Balloons and Clowns and Popcorn - by Kim Chinquee
It was hot and he got iced, but I was always cold and ordered hot, adding lots of cream and Equal. He told me it would kill me.
We took baths inside his tub, and he scrubbed me with his Zest. His heart turned to putty at the Bang Saloon, where he drank tequila—I had beer and ate up all the peanuts, letting the shells drop. He was allergic to most things, was tall and blond with glasses. He always needed something...
Body Language - by Kim Chinquee
While he telephoned his mother in Greece, his girlfriend, Elle, read an article about the newest panda. He spoke Greek into the phone, like a song. The pandas were in danger. He paced around, between his two pianos, then sat next to Elle, reading on the sofa, where they'd just finished doing their thing with the blinds closed....
Whatever Happened to Harlan?
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