A collection of Short Fiction — May, 2019

May 12th, 2019

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We had many excellent entrants in our recently concluded 50th Short Fiction Contest.  In addition to publishing the winning story on March 11, with the consent of the authors, we have published several of the short-listed stories, all of which can be read by following the links below.

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Short Fiction Contest-winning story #50 

“And so we left for Paris,” by Sophie Jonas-Hill

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 .And so we left for Paris, you in the green jacket I’d made you with the picture collar and turned back cuffs, and I in my blue pinstripe, which made me look like a handsome young man.
…..“You look like a boy,” you said, laughing as we stumbled to our carriage on the train.
….. “I suppose it would be easier if I were.”

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Click here to continue reading the story

 

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“How Love Happens,” by Brian Greene

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…..On my second date with Samantha, I told her, “We shouldn’t fall for each other.”

…..Samantha was a hostess at a seafood restaurant in my hometown. I worked there as a waiter for the summer season, after my second year away at college. Samantha had also just finished her first year of college, at a local school. She was from the area, and a year younger than me.

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“The Cardinal Club,” by Carole Ackelson

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…..Glo squares her shoulders, pushing through the dented metal door. The doorman barely glances over, waving her past, more intent on the front page of the newspaper emblazoned with the words WAR OVER! She holds the fur coat closer, a present from a Canadian soldier on his way overseas less than a year ago, hoping she doesn’t seem shabby. It seems long ago, what with the war practically over. Mend and make do nearly ruined her closet. She pushes all thoughts but music from her mind. All they do is distract, and Glo must be at the top of her game. Glo’s obsidian eyes take in the fierce competition. A line of young ladies snakes around tables all the way to the bar.

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“Live a Little,” by Anisha Johnson

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….. Stelle eyed herself in the bathroom mirror, nodded firmly at her reflection, and tore her wig off.

…..Her new shingle cut was so sharp it could have sliced through paper like scissors, and it gleamed the same glossy hue as ink. She smoothed the pads of her thumbs against her head to straighten the curls that had bloomed beneath the wig, and examined herself with satisfaction. She was a painting of dark hair and dark eyes and moony skin, with perfectly crimson lips and a figure that was concave and convex in all the right places. Her skirt came to an abrupt end just above her knees and her elbow-length gloves were even downier than down. Perfect.

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“The Music is Not Your Nightmare,” by Molly Ertel

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…..She aimed her horn at my left ear and blasted it for 16 seconds that lasted the rest of my life. Even though the trumpet was pressed to her lips, I could see the smirk her mouthpiece couldn’t quite hide.

…..I’d been the one judging her out of the corner of my eye in the hallway before the show thinking, “Who is that slob of a woman wearing a muumuu and a backwards ball cap?” I assumed she was a friend of a friend of a friend that they let in for free, out of pity. When they announced her name, she, Janie Burch, lumbered onto the stage flaunting my disdain.

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“D-Natural Blues,” by Salvatore Difalco

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Galinsky was killing my buzz. I could not see his face behind a fuming joint, clenched between his tarry teeth, but I could see his hands—one holding a deck of playing cards, one opened gesturally. They wove with the languid rhythm of a Greek rhetorician as Galinsky droned on about the pratfalls of legalized cannabis: how the government had screwed up a good thing, how the government was greedy, how the government had put the kibosh on a thriving subculture—a tribe to which we after all, at this game, belonged. The black market had provided a beautiful service, in his words, without all the red tape and documentation blah blah blah. I could barely see the other boys behind a gray-blue indica haze, each squinting into their own throbbing hum, probing their own low-level well of despair. The moody jazz muttering over the speakers—muted Miles—spoke for them.

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“Strings of Solace,” by Kimberly Parish Davis

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Carly squeezed her little car into a metered parking space and got out. She hoped the long walk to the campus would give her a chance to clear her mind and get her nerves under control. She was walking around to get her stuff out of the trunk when her right foot slid out from under her and she hit the pavement. Hard. She pushed herself up and dusted her butt off as she looked around to make sure no one had seen her fall.

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“Before the Sky Was Blue,” by J. Lee Strickland

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…..It is tempting to say that this story took place a long time ago, but that would not be accurate. The place where this story unfolds did not suffer Time as we know it—the linear time of beginnings and endings, of what once was, of what might never be.

…..In that place, each day was like every other—days of sun, days of rain, calm days, and days when the wind blew and the trees of the forest danced. The seasons slid seamlessly one into another, more places than times—Winter, a place where the fishes gathered; Spring, a place of flowers; Summer, a place to dig savory white roots from the soil, and Fall, a place where ripe fruit hung so low, in such abundance, that one picked one’s fill sitting on the ground without moving.

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Details about our upcoming Short Fiction Contest

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