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Angie Smibert

     You finally saw it. That child of yours pushed you too far, and you saw it. It blinded you. It drowned out all your good intentions. It clothed itself in love and told you it was for her own good.
     You saw red.
     You see it still, lingering on her cheek like the flush of fever.
     A love tap. That's what your father would've called it. He tapped you until red ran from your ears. You vowed never to pass it on.
     It moved your hand anyway, spreading itself from your flesh to hers.
     Now, someday she'll see red, too.

Angie's story, "Body Armor," appeared in the Spring 2007 issue of Boston Literary Magazine. Her work has also appeared in numerous publications, including Pedestal, Flashquake, Flash Me, the Hiss Quarterly, and Behind the Wainscott.


The Fugitive
William de Rham

     As sunlight dimmed behind the Great Smoky Mountains, stage lights brightened, an audience buzzed, and Arvis Arbunkle's All-Avian Amateur Hour began.
     Clara—a hen who danced the Funky Chicken to the stylings of Burt Backquack, the drum-thumping, guitar-picking, one-duck band—was the warm-up; scarlet macaws Red Ryder and Pistol Pete the stars. Red uni-cycled the high-wire while a roller-skating Pete shot baskets below.
     Trainer Tom set Red on the wire. Flash bulbs popped, startling the intrepid bird. Flapping clipped wings, Red found them not so clipped. Up, up he rose. The crowd breathed "AAAAH." Red raced for the mountains. Tom calculated unemployment.

Born and raised in New York City, William de Rham is a graduate of Georgetown University and the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. His stories have appeared or are forthcoming in RiverSedge, Puckerbrush Review, Broken Bridge Review, Ascent Aspirations, and Late Night River Lights, an anthology soon to be published by EditRED, as well as other publications. He lives in Maine where he is at work on more stories.



Twisted
Joseph D. Platko

Patrick opens his mouth wide, wrinkles up his face and presses his lips upward to touch his nose before he barks a shrill yip and snaps his head backward so violently that pain radiates from the base of his skull. He's sitting with his legs outstretched in front of him, trying to find some measure of control, when his feet kick upward until his toes reach the height of his eyes. His Tourette's is giving him hell, but he doesn't need a nurse or a doctor—in fact, he's getting ready to celebrate. Just this afternoon, Jill said, "Yes."

Joseph D. Platko writes fiction and poetry from his home in New England where he lives with his extended family and three cats. He is currently working on his first novel.




Pilferage
Doug Mathewson

     My Grandma was tiny and wrinkled, with long white coiled braids. She had perfected her "shopping routine" over generations, starting who knows when. She would hide things on the youngest child, offering an apology and and a stern reprimand if they were caught. The grocery store owner gave me a sweet, and told me I was a fine young man to help my Grandma so. He had no idea that I had a can of tuna fish in each of my jackets pockets. Laughing at the secret meaning in his words, I yanked Grandma's hand. A present for Mommy next!

Doug Mathewson lives on the Connecticut shoreline and writes very short fiction. He has been, or will shortly be published in Boston Literary Magazine, Creative Soup, eMuse-zine, Pen Pricks Micro Fiction, Tuesday Shorts, and Six Sentences. His current project, True Stories From Imaginary Lives, can be found at www.little2sav.org