a taste of ‘June’

… halfway … things are getting awkward …

scroll down for tastes …


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“They like being associated with me because of who I am, not because of me.” Platitudes line up, ready to deploy, but then she says, “Know what I mean?”

Guilie Castillo Oriard, When the Sunset


“Who General Winter? We no have a General Winter.” “The weather, you big doofus. The cold and snow killed the Nazis, not the Soviets.” “Not what I taught. Brave Soviet troops sacrifice for motherland.” “Whatever,” Gloria shrugs.

Townsend Walker, La Ronde / Gloria and Serge


He’s kissing her chocolate mustache. Eddie put whipped cream in the cocoa. It’s strange to think it’s already been three months. They got pregnant that very first night back in March.

Derek Osborne, Sinking


Meanwhile Serena is taking total advantage of my helpless situation at work, tracking all my errors and omissions, reporting them to Stan who then calls me into his office to lecture me for half-an-hour …

Gloria Garfunkel, Depression


“I never came over because I pitied you!” he shouted. “I came because — we had a project together. We trusted each other.”

John Wentworth Chapin, Ebony


And wine is supposed to be healthy too, right? So I’m being healthy. I’m being healthy at 11 AM.

Lynn Beighley, Infamy


“I won’t have the damn Russians, or some rich sheik or Ayatollah figure it out before we do. Let’s pay a visit to our little friend Adam. Let’s see if he’ll listen to gentle persuasion.

Andrew Stancek, Kamikaze


“Blake does not seem like the kind of guy you need to be with. That’s it! That’s all I’m saying,” she says, shooting me a defensive look. “He seems really high maintenance.”

Rachel Ambrose, Don’t Wait Up


Conversation is limited, and whenever it looks like Mum or Auntie Michelle or Jay want to talk, I mean properly talk, I sniff and pull a tube of lozenges from my pocket (kept there for this very reason) and feign a cough while exuding menthol vapours.

Gill Hoffs, Too Late


“I’ve heard about you,” he says, his tone pointed. “You’re the one with the drunk mom who killed someone … your grandmother?”

Jessica McHugh, First Class


“You’re acting stranger than usual … s’pose I could stay for a bit.” As she plonks herself down on the sofa she spots the crate on the floor. And points. “What’s in there?”

Shane Simmons, A Mark on the Armour


“What about college? Aren’t your parents expecting you to go get some higher education?” Manny says it with great emphasis. Higher Education. Like he doesn’t quite believe there’s more to learn after the torture of high school Algebra and French.

Michelle Elvy, Daffodils


The old man thinks it over, then leads us to a restroom in back. Every Playboy centerfold Pamela Anderson’s ever been in is tacked to the walls, in addition to a spread from Playgirl featuring Burt Reynolds.

Len Kuntz, Algorithms


I have a spasm of shame, remembering my moralizing about Tex and whatever that was he injected into himself that gray day in Kansas City. “Oh,” he says, tossing the ball down the dark hall that leads to the clubhouse, towards an open bag. “Whatever it takes, right?”

Michael Webb, Sixth Inning


“A terrible thing to be growing old,” his father often told him. Now, with the wrinkles on his own face resembling a contour map of the local mountains, he knows exactly what his father was talking about.

James Claffey, Man’s Best Friend


“One of our members has reached the club goal,” Aaron says. Her eyes scan the group. “Which of you?” “In absentia,” Aaron adds.

Gwendolyn Joyce Mintz, It’s About Time Somebody Died


She belly-danced for me once when we were dating. It made me hard. I kind of wish she would do that now, only I know it wouldn’t matter. Sex is the last thing I want tonight.

Stephen V. Ramey, Balls


He’s yearned more for Jamie than anyone before, delaying the endgame longer, embracing the task of waiting. He’s kept her on the edge of his mind, his pleasure in the denial of his urges, that tension created by his unfulfilled physical need.

Gay Degani, The Stranger


There are some amazing fonts out there! My God, so many! It just makes my head spin to think of the design opportunities we are missing out on by not using as many beautiful fonts as we can.

Sally-Anne Macomber, In the Dark


I pat my head, though I’m not sure what that can tell me. “Not for your hair, Nadia. For an emergency. It’ll work like capsicum spray if you get him in the eyes.”

Mandy Nicol, Cobwebs


Ned squints his eyes at the teenager. “I’m looking for a dog.” He has been dreaming about one for months.

Margaret Bingel, To the Dogs


I guess that’s what I’m doing here, right? Beginning, or trying to begin. You guys are making a Frankenstein monster out of me!

Darryl Price, A Frankenstein Storm


It’s a quiet night and the host has a table for two by the window. Rachel orders a drink aware of her singularity, wondering if she’ll always be a one: Table for one, single occupant, travelling alone.

Teresa Burns Gunther, Flying Solo


Ludmilla emailed me the links. She said it would be a nice gesture of international goodwill if I made it for the dinner party tonight, especially because I’m not Russian. “And I know you are not Russian,” she said, “because no Russians are having orange hair.”

Matt Potter, Morgana Malone and the Miracle of Christmas


The author had no credits. Straight from the slush, wrapped in a plain brown envelope, the story was about two lonely and alienated teenaged kids who are surprised one morning to find each other.

Gary Percesepe, Nichole


“This will only hurt for a moment.” The metal object attaches to Samford’s right eye lid and tears it open. Light floods his eye …

Nathaniel Tower, Samford Awakens from a Month-Long Coma


Tensions were rising; he was getting antsy to move on, to Heaven, maybe? In hindsight I’m not so sure that’s where he’s going when he moves on from this afterworld.

Kimberlee Smith, Jacaranda Storm


“Harelip?” “I know,” I say. “I didn’t even know people still got those. Aren’t they all fixed at birth? At least in first-world countries?”

Vanessa Weibler Paris, What’s Wrong with Her?


Just a dab of this perfume he likes. And these high-heeled sandals are cute. I look acceptable … oh hell, I look good. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt this way.

Joanne Jagoda, The BBQ


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