a taste of ‘December’

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He looks happy. More relaxed even than in Bonaire that one luscious weekend. Maybe it’s the tan, the weight he’s lost. All that lugging around of tanks in the sun.

Guilie Castillo Oriard, The Miracle of Small Things


After Thanksgiving FT called FS and said he needed to check a couple more details, flew down, while making the tour: excused himself, dipped into the alcove, grabbed a vial of thallium salt, pocketed it.

Townsend Walker, Frank and Madge


The bearers are coming, the graves men stand to one side. Rebecca takes the SAT phone from inside her jacket, its weathered red case and black stub of antenna strange in her hand.

Derek Osborne, Farewell to Loved Ones


My father always loved Chanukah the best of Jewish holidays because it was totally joyous despite the Destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem.

Gloria Garfunkel, Chanukah


“You need a therapist,” Stephanie drones through the invisible speaker of Charles’ phone. “No, I need a philosopher,” he answers. Moving is usually a terrible chore, but not this move.

John Wentworth Chapin, Ivory


I let her help me find some more clothes. She seems thrilled to help me look good, and I’m happy to let her. I’m optimistic that a discount will happen.

Lynn Beighley, Fleeting


From a corner of the room a six-legged wingless ant, indistinguishable from billions of its brothers, marches three steps and stops.

Andrew Stancek, Ant


We’ve decided to have a classic tree-trimming party complete with English crackers (which explode), American crackers (which hopefully do not), and altogether too much mulled wine for a Monday evening.

Rachel Ambrose, Christmas Fettucine


“Jennifer … yes, I know who you mean. Would you like me to arrange another meeting with her? Do you have a particular date in mind?”

Gill Hoffs, Realationships and rules


“You don’t have to call me that anymore. I’m just plain old Edward now.” He flips his blonde wig and bats his eyelashes. “With a touch of flair, of course.”

Jessica McHugh, All the Little Labels


“That waste of space was more upset about his Xbox smashing to pieces when I threw it out of the window than when I was threatening to jump.”

Shane Simmons, High and Bye


But when Sylvie pulls on his sleeve and gently tugs him down to her level, when he drops his backpack from his shoulder and kneels to look her in the eye, something breaks inside.

Michelle Elvy, Dust


The landscape is a shroud of darkness. I’m going to run out of gas and die in the desert, be eaten alive by lizards.

Len Kuntz, Cracked


As I sit on the bed, with the bathroom door open a crack, I can still catch flashes of her bare skin as she moves around. I spy on her openly, still as thrilled as a 12-year-old who finds the hole in the fence where the neighbor’s wife is sunbathing.

Michael Webb, Twelfth Inning


Those nuns, he ponders. “Don’t tread on me,” he whispers. Yes, he’ll show those crones who the boss is when push comes to shove.

James Claffey, Alive and Kicking


Another time, her heart would have been tugged by the deep green wreaths and garland decorating the walls and doors. The mistletoe placed strategically above the hostess podium might have made her smile.

Gwendolyn Joyce Mintz, What It Feels Like To Have Your Friends Dying Around You


Anne watches intently as if she’s afraid I’ll fall off my chair, or maybe forget my promise to fight this thing. It irks me that she would doubt me after what we went through with the cat, but it’s a passing irk.

Stephen V. Ramey, Flow 


She doesn’t understand it. Not really. Why Gus and Mars don’t get along. When she’d first met Mars, he’d made her nervous with his beseeching eyes, and Gus seemed almost proud of him.

Gay Degani, Families


Some other news: my husband is in the local psychiatric hospital for tax evasion, back in the Tyrol. He’s getting the best care the low Austrian schilling can give him.

Sally-Anne Macomber, Feliz Navidad


So maybe I’m worried about something else. What if I don’t like Sydney? What if I don’t like bobbing around on the ocean?

Mandy Nicol, Cruisin’ on a Sunday Afternoon


He hopes Dr. Stanley likes the gift certificate to Nora’s favorite restaurant he put in a blank card for him: that way his mother is guaranteed a good time.

Margaret Bingel, The End


If you were here, Doc, I’d want nothing more than to shake your hand a good long time, but I can’t.

Darryl Price, Beautiful Day


She tells me she’s bringing her co-star. “The sleazy doctor?” I tsked. She has terrible taste in men, except for Steve, but he was gay and it didn’t last.

Teresa Burns Gunther, Noel


She’s still yabbering on. “Stop! Why you be the bitch who stole Christmas?!”

Matt Potter, Morgana Malone and the Promise of 1000 Tomorrows


Frankie laughs at something. She begins to whip the egg yokes. She has a Cameron Diaz laugh, filled with mischief and surprise. I stare at her ass in the black jeans.

Gary Percesepe, In Telluride


He glances at the woman and smiles to himself. Gently, he removes her arm from his chest and scoots himself off the bed, trying not to wake her. Clothes and used condoms are scattered all over the floor.

Nathaniel Tower, De-Cloned


Mum’s been in a catatonic state ever since she encountered Brother Tom’s new family, helping deliver his wife Alice’s newborn son and bury its stillborn twin, Jacaranda, my new baby.

Kimberlee Smith, Gifts


“Your father and I saved ourselves,” your mother whispers as you wish you were anywhere else but here hearing anything else but this, “we saved ourselves for marriage, for our wedding night, so special it was so special because we waited.”

Vanessa Weibler Paris, Lots of Ways to Die


You might be surprised that I’m working in a pub, minding my own business. For the first time in a long time I’m staying in one place.

Joanne Jagoda, Endings and Beginnings


Oh, and we spent hours putting together little waterproof votive candles, because Anne wanted to float them in the pool. Even though no one would be using the pool. It was December, for god’s sake.

h.l.nelson, A Road Through the Desert


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