a taste of ‘July’

… lives are changing …

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Who knew a mosquito could transmit such misery? He supposes he should be thankful it’s not malaria. But dengue comes in varieties.

Guilie Castillo Oriard, Hot Water


Ten minutes go by; Jimmie listens, his cheeks become cavernous, his hand shakes. “Sal, look I’ll have it for you next week. I promise. Yes, I understand what happens if I don’t … Yeah, Thursday, I promise Sal.”

Townsend Walker, Serge and Jimmie


“We have to talk!” she yells, vaulting over the table and down the companionway stair. There’s a jumble, Max can’t see but clearly something is wrong. They all hear the sickening thud as she lands.

Derek Osborne, Family


I hang a flag on my porch to honor our veterans who all have it worse than me and shuffle back to bed and suddenly start crying about their families and fall asleep.

Gloria Garfunkel, Still Miserable


He has to keep from staring at the two guys. It’s a heavily gay beach, so a little staring is okay, but creepy is creepy, no matter the flavor of the beach.

John Wentworth Chapin, Maize


She glances at me and mouths “bitch.” She’s not trying to be sneaky. It’s exaggerated, so the viewers at home will know that she, like them, hate me.

Lynn Beighley, Sincerely


It’s thrilling to hear Mom humming, her mind on something other than Adam, Adam, madamimadam. She must be so tired of me, my gift a curse.

Andrew Stancek, Storm Brewing


“You just don’t have any ambition, Claire. You’re colorless. That’s why I have never wanted to paint your portrait, because nothing could be more boring than a beige model in a white background.”

Rachel Ambrose, A Woman with a Cat


I’m uncomfortable and unable to change position but murmur “Oh baby!” like it’s just wonderfully erotic nonetheless. He will not be a repeat customer of mine.

Gill Hoffs, Dildon’t


His eyes roll upward as the tube nears his lips. “Tell me it’s wrong,” he whispers. “Give me a sign. Strike me down if you must.”

Jessica McHugh, Risk and Reward


“No,” he shouts back, “IT, the department everyone forgets about. What do you do?” If I could bore him enough perhaps he’d move on to someone else.

Shane Simmons, Accidents and Emerging Seas


He thinks he should ride back home, shower, and come back later, like she said – possibly walking. He doesn’t even know what to say to her now that he’s standing at her door.

Michelle Elvy, Plastic


When she says, “It’s now or never, Pappa,” my stomach clutches, and I don’t know if it’s because of what she’s inferring, or what she’s called me.

Len Kuntz, Rave


“Juan’s a teammate,” I say, hating how lame it feels even as I hear the words coming out. “We support each other. We’re brothers.”

Michael Webb, Seventh Inning


The Bird scratches behind his ear. He’s unsure at what he’s been told. “Do you mean I can live there, but the nuns will own it when I die?”

James Claffey, From Under His Nose


It’s just the three of them tonight. Mora had to work but Aaron had confessed (when he called the other two to invite them to his place) that he had been prepared to ask her not to come anyway.

Gwendolyn Joyce Mintz, The Best Time to Die


Most of the homeless are solitary by day. We disperse, scavenge, nap on benches by the library. When we do pass, it’s like jungle cats.

Stephen V. Ramey, Birthday Boy


“She does this sometimes, disappears. She’s been coming here, and I don’t want to call the cops if she’s sitting inside in some corner, crying.”

Gay Degani, The Trencher Mansion


Yeah, who would have thought, over-communicator-of-the-century Trudy Polaris actually keeping something secret?

Sally-Anne Macomber, Playing with the Big Boys


She pauses for breath. She’s yanked me off cloud nine and I turn to escape but I’m too late, she starts up again.

Mandy Nicol, Discipline


If Nadia could have human thoughts, with words instead of pictures, she’d tell him that he left the fridge door open again.

Margaret Bingel, Heat Rises


I’ve got a little money saved up, a little money left, so I should be able to buy some groceries and pay the electric bill. Do you think I’ll ever be happy, Doc?

Darryl Price, All That Trouble


Susie adopts different personas but when you get to the heart of her there’s just a little girl incapable of organizing herself into a woman’s life.

Teresa Burns Gunther, Quelle Surprise


But I can’t help it, it comes from nowhere. “I’m probably as old as your mother.”

Matt Potter, Morgana Malone and the Mystery of the Manna from Heaven


If Savannah is having an affair with Halverson or Halverton then she has surrendered to him the moral high ground.

Gary Percesepe, Hazard


Samford listens as the person he presumes to be a man unzips his pants. A gentle waterfall trickle of urine pings against the porcelain of the urinal, like the man has some kind of kidney or prostate problem.

Nathaniel Tower, In the Bathroom at Arby’s


She is heading out on a road trip to find her ex-husband, who also happens to be my daddy, who also happens to go by the name of Brother Tom Bend. He is a preacher. But not just any preacher.

Kimberlee Smith, Roadies

“Emotions should be kept private,” says Iris. Sitting at the kitchen island, she’s licking blackstrap molasses off the serrated blade of a steak knife.

Vanessa Weibler Paris, Family Values


Nobody on the street, just that utility truck again. I feel like I’m being watched. I’m usually the “watcher.”

Joanne Jagoda, The Getaway


“Look, Joan, I don’t care what kind of weird stuff you’re writing or whatever, we just haven’t talked much for a while and I thought I’d see if you wanted to spend some time together. I guess not.”

h. l. nelson, Hijinks Ensue