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  • Stoker

    The air in the inn was heavy with the odor of stale drink. A thick layer of smoke clung to the ceiling like brown algae. Dense yellow light from ancient gas lanterns streaked the room which was jammed with anxious customers murmuring in the murk.

  • Episode

    February 4th, 2010 Door County, WI Richard Storm’s right hand clutched at his chest just under his generous left breast – which he’d been self-conscious of his whole life.

  • Out of Tune with the Times

    I’m rarely surprised by the people I see walking into Slim’s Tavern over on Armitage. Almost all of them are regulars and their faces are familiar. Imagine my surprise, then, when Professor Gardner walked in one summer evening while I was sitting alone at the bar, quietly sipping a beer.

  • Flash Fiction

    Editor’s note:  We recently received this pair of diamonds from Nancy Rafal. For any who think that 1,200 words are too few to tell a fine story, here are two elegantly crafted ones, the first just short of 300 words, the longer one of less than 500, for 756 words all together.

  • Aunt Eunice Returns

    Everything was quiet at home – too quiet, actually – when a disturbing telegram arrived at our door. With my father in service overseas, my mother and I immediately feared something terrible might have happened to him.

  • A Vicious Cycle

    Mikhail Dodnik probably knew better than anyone else that Dalmatia was one of the most politically unstable nations in the world. It had changed governments no less than three times in 12 years.

  • A Very Special Birthday

    Once upon a time in the Kingdom of Casey, Princess Siera awoke to bright sunlight streaming in through the window of her gold and white bedchamber.

  • Shadows of the Past

    Franz Hindler owned a shoe repair shop over on Dickens Avenue just behind Steger’s grocery store. An enclosed porch to the west of the shop completed the two-story building and looked down on a small yard carefully arranged into an enchanting flower garden.

  • Two Friends

    I was in Slim’s Tavern the other day after work, drinking a beer and discussing the vagaries of life and the foibles of people with Slim. How we started having these conversations I don’t remember.

  • Siera Eden Casey Goes to School

    Editor’s note: Jean Casey wrote this and other stories to commemorate and celebrate her own grandchildren. She now offers the stories up to other grand parents to be read to their children.

  • As Idle as a Painted Ship…Until the Storm

    The wind dwindled and Whistler drifted, leaving a ripple of wake behind on the smooth water, a faint trail that marked sluggish progress. Now and then, I felt a hint of breeze wander across the deck from the rear quarter and barely fill the large white, gold and blue-trimmed, spinnaker, so that it gently ballooned out in front of the boat.

  • Just for Fun

    For freedom to express political opinions publicly, no place in Chicago was better known in the 1940s than Bug House Square (officially, Washington Square).

  • In a Brown Paper Bag

    During the late forties, the Starlight Bowling Alley over on Lincoln Avenue, across from the Biograph Theater and above the A&P, was a thriving business.

  • Lids

    But don’t leave the toilet seat up when you finish, she said. He hesitated on his way to the bathroom, following the pointed direction of her finger to a hallway.

  • Evalina, The Edgartown Pig

    This story is based on a true event.

    Evalina was a very young pig but a pig nevertheless. She lived with her mother and siblings in a pen in the Malley’s backyard on Martha’s Vineyard.

  • The Same But Different

    Union Station was congested with trains when I finally returned to Chicago for good. In many ways, the three years I had been away seemed like a lifetime.

  • Vagabond

    The smoldering butt dangled from her lips like the dripping tongue of a panting dog. From behind the smoke screen, and a beehive of blue hair, a gravelly voice uttered the words, “What’s your poison?”
    Now, I’m not expecting to be able to eat off the floor of this greasy spoon, but, hey, maybe the spoon.

  • Aunt Eunice Comes to Town

    You can’t even begin to imagine the intense anxiety my mother and I felt when a telegram arrived while we were eating supper. We’d never received a telegram before, ever.