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Legacy
Bryan Shawn Wang

     She stopped by to tell him that their neighbor had died in an accident, leaving that pretty wife behind.
     “Well.” He lowered his hammer.
     “Tragic,” she said. “She’s due in October.”
     He shook his head. He couldn’t begin to imagine. It really made a person stop and think.
     She nodded. “Never put off living.”
     He didn’t answer, but they stood together for a while.
     Finally, he picked up his hammer again. He needed to get cracking on his fence.
     She got back in her car and decided to drive to the mall. She wanted a new rug for her sunroom.

Bryan Shawn Wang's very short fiction has recently appeared in places like decomP, Prime Number, The Medulla Review, LITnIMAGE, Flash Fiction Chronicles, and Vestal Review.




"The Talk"
Joey Borgwardt

     I’m home from college, watching baseball with Dad. He takes a long sip of his beer, sets down the bottle, and moves closer to me on the couch. Our knees touch. “Can I ask you a question?” he says. He won’t wait for me to answer so I don’t. “Do you think women prefer larger prostates? I hear of men my age with these giant prostates.” He holds up his hands to approximate their size. “But I pee just fine and haven’t a bit of inflammation.” He puts his arm around me. “I just want to make your mother happy.”

Joey Borgwardt currently attends the University of Wisconsin, where he studies English and Chinese. He could use a hair cut.




The Preacher's Son
Mark Roberts

     He didn’t even touch me the first couple of times. When he finally did get around to it, the tv had to be on. But not just any channel—he needed religious programs, red-faced men shouting about eternal damnation, to get hard.
     Thing is, though, he was gentle. He was the only one who actually looked at me like I was a person and not some thing he’d just rented.
     Some nights when it’s real cold and the cops are hassling me and business is slow, I walk by the church and wonder what happened to the preacher’s son.

Mark Roberts holds a bachelors degree in Creative Writing from the University of Southern California. He lives in a small town north of Minneapolis with his beautiful wife Corissa and their shelter-rescued pets. The Preacher's Son is his first published piece of fiction.




The Possiblities
Bob Lucky

     I shoo the turtledoves off the napkin, lift it, and grab a cucumber sandwich. “How’s your wife, Sir?” the waiter asks as he pours my tea. “Better, thank you,” I mumble. It’s been three days. Three days is a long time to be gone snorkeling. The possibilities are endless. All these damn resorts look alike. She might be knocking on room 124 in a parallel universe. I can see her playing Robin Crusoe on a deserted beach, going topless and grilling fish over an open fire. I hope the flames are licking her tits right now. The plane leaves tomorrow.

Bob Lucky lives in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where he teaches, writes, and makes noise on ukuleles. He is co-author of the chapbook my favorite thing. His work has appeared in Modern Haiku, Rattle, The Prose-Poem Project, Boston Literary Magazine, Shot Glass Journal, Emerald Bolts and other journals.




Fallout
Henry Tonn

     The best thing about the small beach community he and his wife lived in during the ‘80’s was that everyone got along well. Furthermore, every Saturday night the group visited a local seafood restaurant where they laughed and told jokes and shared food with each other.
     Following his divorce, however, he paid them a surprise visit on a Saturday night just as they were preparing to leave for the restaurant. They were polite but distant, and did not invite him to join. He stood alone in the middle of the road watching as they drove off together in their vans.

Henry F. Tonn is a semi-retired psychologist whose fiction and nonfiction has appeared in such print and online journals as the Gettysburg Review, Connecticut Review, Summerset Review, and Eclectica. He is the editor of the war veterans anthology Remembrances of Wars Past, and author of the murder mystery e-novelette The Tuxedoed Corpse, which can be accessed through an iPad or Kindle. Please feel free to visit his website at henrytonn.com.




Water, Youth
Jade Wu

     Remember the leathery skinned nudists we spied across the river, who laughed and shook their dreadlocks? Remember the smell of wet dogs and the sting of thistles? We buried a time capsule under that maple tree, but we didn't think to fill it with the cold creek that licked our hot ankles. I heard it’s all dried up now. We wrote our older selves letters, but forgot to talk about youth. Wasn't that the year our parents don't talk about? I think it was. It was the summer we spent watching tadpoles grow legs, the summer Richie pulled the trigger.


     Paradise falls when he does. It descends in a swoop when he, with laughter still dancing at the corners of his eyes, succumbs suddenly to a sweet stillness and a gentle snore. Look, the innocence in his rapid eye movement tells of lilacs and kisses in the rain.
     My narcoleptic lover, my sweet man! Tell me if everything we live is but a dream, and that on the other side of the too-permeable veil there is a truer I who loves you even more. If so, please go to her, and kindly ask that bitch to stop waking you up.

Jade Wu is an emerging writer and a Psychology doctoral student at Boston University. She loves to paint, cook, camp, study the brain, and remind people that she is an immigrant when she performs poorly at bar trivia. Vladimir Nabokov is her hero.




Space Invaders
Ben Boyarko

     People were not as excited about the Martians as the Martians themselves hoped they would be. When the saucers landed, they crashed into a dilapidated barn, which everyone in town thought ought to be torn down anyways. So the Martians went on their mission of killing all humans, a little disappointed, but nonetheless. The positron cannons sort of jammed. Apparently, pure iron rusts pretty quickly in Appalachia. Under orders from their commander, the invading Martian unit got jobs at fast food restaurants. Now they fight their war more quietly, by helping to cause heart disease. All in a days work.

Ben Boyarko is a stay-at-home dad in southern Vermont. He is the author of The Alter: A Collection of Short Stories, for adults, and The Narwhal and Too Much Wasabi, for kids.




Bottled
Matt Hutchinson

     'Drink, sir?'
I don’t drink on aeroplanes. ‘Spillages,’ I explain.
But he’s already moved on. Miniature bottles chatter and clink, like tiny glass laughter.

     The plane lurches and dips; drinks slide on trays. I gasp and reach for her hand, then remember. The plane steadies itself. Once something’s spilled that’s it, you can’t put it back in the bottle.
     Clouds pile cottony soft below but they’re just vapour; water droplets suspended in air, waiting to fall. The miniatures laugh again.
     My hand goes up. ‘Excuse me?’
     He sighs, reverses the trolley. ‘Sir?’
     ‘Gin,’ I hear myself say. ‘I’ll have gin.’

Matt Hutchinson is 41 and lives in London (UK). He's had two stories published by thebohemyth.com, one of which was shortlisted for the Doire International Fiction Competition. Chris Cleave, author of Little Bee, described his story Ogre Beans as "Beautifully observed and haunting—it creeps up and surprises. Brilliant." He is currently working on a novel, set in the 1960s, and a collection of short stories.







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