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He sucks on his lower lip. “You and I don’t often clash on judgment issues. I thought you might be … disappointed.”
Guilie Castillo Oriard, Quixote Always Loses
“If word gets out that there are no consequences when Salvatore Mancuso doesn’t get paid back, what kind of business is he running? You see?”
Townsend Walker, La Ronde / Jimmie and Al
“And how are you?” Rebecca is asking. It’s not hard to see how much the past few weeks have taken out of him. The cancer is spreading.
Derek Osborne, Things We Can’t Explain
The ocean and long walks on sand mellow me out, waves of peace washing over me as I lie on the sunny beach.
Gloria Garfunkel, The Dread of the Jewish High Holidays
Something wet and heavy hits Charles’ shoulder and neck, then drops to the floor. Charles knows it’s mashed potatoes; at his feet, a melamine bowl clanks to a rest.
John Wentworth Chapin, Mauve
First, Bill Plover fell in love with me, then I went out with him because America told him to and because I’m an idiot, then we went out again because I wanted money and he tried to propose, then Seamus asked me out but set me up to run into Bill because he wanted money.
Lynn Beighley, Unmended Fences
The kicker for me is that this isn’t a kid out in India or someplace like that, not even California, Land of the Kooks, but here, in my own neighborhood in Maryland.
Andrew Stancek, Vtak Ohnivak
I had been under the impression that we were meeting at a cute little French bistro downtown for some much needed rosé and chatter. Why does a man need to be involved for that?
Rachel Ambrose, At the Bistro D’anglaise
“So d’you get to fuck anyone famous? Anyone I know?”
Gill Hoffs, Callus
Inside, a Lady Gaga song pumps from the speakers. For a moment he imagines it’s Kay Starr instead, her silky song filling him with the confidence he feels at home.
Jessica McHugh, Paradiso Monday
I spend the rest of the morning thinking about things. About this job, where I am, where I’d rather be. What I should or even could be doing instead of being tied to a desk for most of the day.
Shane Simmons, Opportunities / Escapes
He dreams of Ellie day and night. He’s been dreaming of her for years, it turns out, but those were dreams he pushed away. Those are not the kinds of dreams you can let take form.
Michelle Elvy, Cake
What if I was gay, I want to say. What if I was gay, I want to say, and I pulled out a gun and put a bullet through your waxy forehead. What if I was gay, I want to say, so what? At least I can reach the dinner plates in the cabinets.
Len Kuntz, Jerrod
I try to imagine a situation where I would see Juan before the bus tomorrow morning. Yes, we play a game, but it’s still a workplace. We don’t hang out in each other’s room and braid hair.
Michael Webb, Eighth Inning
The Clara Road is birdsong and clouds of raised dust, the scents of summer sultry and reminiscent of childhood when he’d take the road almost every day on his way to his favorite fishing spot.
James Claffey, Endangered Species
As they stand in line for tickets, Diane slips her left arm around Phil’s right one. It is a friendly gesture, he knows. Still, he says, “I wonder if guys are wondering how I scored you.”
Gwendolyn Joyce Mintz, Peace and Utter Joy
“Look, Mac, I don’t mind hauling yinz around – ain’t like we don’t have empty seats – but don’t get on this bus again ‘til you wash off some of that stink. I get complaints.” The four or five passengers are looking at us. It makes me itchy.
Stephen V. Ramey, Wounds
“I’m calling an ambulance,” she says to Gus. “Do not move.” She straightens – her bones creaking – and hurries up Ian’s steps, pounds on his door, opens it.
Gay Degani, Unravelling
“What are you doing? Singing Romanian?” my husband said to me across the table, his mouth half-full of half-chewed Old Viennese imperial omelette. (His manners have deteriorated the higher we go in altitude, it’s crazy!)
Sally-Anne Macomber, Musical Moments
I toss the letter on the table. “I have no idea what he’s talking about. He doesn’t actually say anything except he’s coming to Australia.” Bloody prick, he wants to sell the farm.
Mandy Nicol, Purple Elephants
There is a comfortable silence between them, the man and his dog, and with it, Ned feels time move slowly, each second like a drop of molasses dripping out of a bottle. So much better than the break-neck speed towards death he was feeling at the beginning of the year.
Margaret Bingel, Ned Makes Friends
Outside I’m looking for the exit signs between trees to some other world than mine. The sun, the wind, these mean nothing to me, except to let me know they can slap me around.
Darryl Price, Time in the Well
“What did you do?” Susie asks, sad for Rachel and her romantic failures. She’s so smart and beautiful, until she opens her mouth and scares men away.
Teresa Burns Gunther, Working On My Jokes
“But we need to talk about Mum and the cake shop,” Jane adds. “When was the last time you saw her?” I shake my head. “I’ve sort of been keeping to myself lately.”
Matt Potter, Morgana Malone and the Mystery of the Family Trust
John Updike once famously described his imagined or ideal reader as a teenage boy who happens upon one of his books on the dusty shelves of some library one afternoon looking for literary adventure. Updike found me in this way.
Gary Percesepe, Q
“Do you need a room?” the concierge asks. Samford looks at the woman in a panic. Will she want to share a room with him after that?
Nathaniel Tower, Samford, a Motel 6 Couch, and the Blonde Woman
She bought mozzie nets to cover her and the bub’s faces, and the bub kept fussing to pull hers off. She was trying to eat the mozzies. This is not a good sign.
Kimberlee Smith, Kununurra
I sit in meetings and talk on the phone, and shiver: envisioning the holes. I drive home and kiss Iris hello and sit down to something low-fat and low-calorie for dinner, and shudder: imagining the holes.
Vanessa Weibler Paris, Trypophobia
Anne scrutinizes my identification in its leather holder and quickly reads the letter from Homeland Security which vouches for me. She shakes her head and hands the credentials back. “I don’t understand. What do you want with us?”
Joanne Jagoda, Eli Dangott
Obviously, they were both sauced and I would need to keep my wits about me so I could drive us. I also knew that Robin would try to pick a fight soon if we didn’t get some liquor in her.
h. l. nelson, Gingerhead Man