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  • The Journey of John Winstead

    Before John had time to comprehend that he was being kissed, the soft lock Beth had created between her lips and his was rent asunder. Their mouths came apart but their foreheads came together as Russ, the muscly bartender, slapped the back of Beth’s head.

  • “Baker”

    I’ve been here, on the island, forever. My grandparents. Their grandparents. Sometime back then, somebody came from Iceland. That woulda been the 1870s, I guess. Somethin’ like that. Somebody else, a Yankee, from Gloucester. That’s true for most of us here, some variation of it, and one way or another, most are related. Some say […]

  • Behind the Barn with Carol Ann

    Back in 1957, kissing Carol Ann behind the barn in the middle of a windswept field of Goldenrod with a sudden deer watching was something special, let me tell you.

  • Cherry Land Chapters

    “This is like stoner 101 from 1973,” smiles Dustin, setting the needle on Pink Floyd’s album, The Dark Side of the Moon. He pulls his gray hoodie over his black hair, casts a glance to the window.

  • “Through Violet’s Eyes”

    We went to the beach at Coronado Island last summer – my mom, grandma and me. My name is Violet. The first day we got there Mimi and I took a walk by ourselves beside the ocean. Mimi is my grandma and she knows lots of cool stuff – like how starfish are really animals […]

  • Johnny Dangerously

    A crash downstairs woke him. The sound of someone stepping gingerly among broken crockery tinkled up the stairs. Someone moving carefully. He grabbed his Remington 870 pump home-protection shotgun from the shelf above the bed.

  • Canceled Sharp

    Darren slowly opened the door to his music room. As he had expected, the floor had disappeared. Staff paper, photographs, web pages, texts, loose sheets with scribblings covered the carpet.

  • Paint

    I am sitting cross-legged on the floor in the middle of a large room enclosed by tall wood walls and a wood ceiling. There is a tiny window high up letting in a dim light above a small dark closet with a little door tucked in one corner where I keep my painting supplies.

  • Cherry Land Chapters

    Dustin glides his fingertips over the guitar strings. The heat and damp of sweat spreads over his shoulders as he softly lets out lyrics penned days ago.

  • Lunch Walk

    It had been raining for what seemed like weeks. Whole deltas, river towns, and swaths of civilization were getting wiped off the map on the 6:00 o’clock news almost every night over dinner on the TV.

  • Cherry Land Chapters

    Katie sips tea at the counter showcasing new evergreen and Santa-red yarns. Amber sways with a chubby-cheeked, five-month-old baby on her hip, gazing out the knitting shop window.

  • Cherry Land Chapters

    “Oh, Humphrey Bogart,” Amber’s mother sighs on the other end of the line. “Still, I don’t get it – he’s not as good looking as the other guy,” Amber studies the cover of Casablanca, the film she turned off minutes earlier.

  • “Shooting Star”

    Would the boy be full of excitement, grinning from ear to ear? Or nervous about leaving his mother and his comfortable home for their four-day journey? Ronnie was a funny kid.

  • Cherry Land Chapters

    Amber takes a swig from a bottle of Miller Light. She perches herself on a black barstool at the AC Tap while Martin feeds dollar bills into the jukebox. Kyle, his toothy smile gleaming in the dim light of the bar, stands besides Martin who laughs and runs his fingers through his black hair.

  • Yogurt

    Nancy pushes her retro John Lennon granny glasses to the top of her curly head and reaches for the wide brimmed tortoise shell readers to inspect up-close the expiration dates stamped near the bottom of the yogurt tubs. “August 3rd,” she says methodically, putting another one down on the counter. Though this expiration date inspection […]

  • A Letter to My Daughter

    I remember pulling weeds in the garden for the first time, my mother standing over me making sure I didn’t accidentally pull out a tulip or one of the pansies, as if I couldn’t tell the difference between the jagged, dark green weeds – some of them with those prickers that stick in your skin […]

  • Window Man

    A winter gale swept a cutting chill off Lake Michigan down Howard Street. Around the corner by the el station, a line had formed waiting patiently, huddled together against the boarded-up businesses.

  • The Beatles to be Replaced by Big Brother and the Holding Company

    Nearly two years ago, highly trained musical analysts from Berkeley technical school in Southern Indiana put into effect “Operation Big Brother.” I know what you’re thinking.

  • Honest Men, Unprotected

    I wasn’t sure why the boots bothered me. They weren’t even mine. Basic brown steel toes. Nothing much to speak of, but there they were – laid out in the middle of the rig. I had to take them off of him around the same time my partner was putting the shock pads away. The […]

  • The Worm Atlas

    Leo Keller pushed his shovel back under the ground. About nine more shovelfuls and he could empty his bucket. The hole was a good six feet deep but the area had a nice water table.