HomePosts Tagged "fiction" (Page 19)

by Chris Antenen "Got change for the machine?" Mel Cooper pulled a crumpled bill from his pocket. Sven jerked his head toward the door. Mel got his change inside the store, pulled a Dr. Pepper from the dispenser, and stood at the edge of the porch, drink in hand, looking over an array of life-size wooden birds. He chose one of them with his free hand.

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Gardenia sat in the hollowed out old cypress tree and rolled her tiny white paws together in her lap. Her hind foot patted the cool soil with anxiety as her crystalline blue eyes blinked out at the dawn's pink light. “Oh, if only today could be the day. It's not like I don't deserve it,” she whispered to the rising sun. “I'll bet my britches that today will be the day, alright. Today's a good day. Good things are bound to happen for me today.”

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West Texas cacti and starved poles of yucca riddle the landscape. Only the charred road disturbs their prickly presence. Before him stretches a snakeskin of pavement. When asked, he says there were options he didn’t take, things he would do differently. Thank God there were no kids. Few possessions to speak of. According to the last marker, he is 98 miles from nowhere, but surely the road will end.

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by Kelsey Savage Hays Christine started the shoplifting. Until Saturday night they’d stuck with make-up: fancy lip gloss in flavors like blueberry cheesecake and mint chocolate chip embedded with fine pieces of glitter that left their lips sparkling like a disco ball. They swiped sample blushes from the Clinique counter, tossed perfume test bottles into their purses, snatched grape purple eye shadow from the bins at Claire’s.

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by Jamie Poole My boy Ethan was learning about penguins at school. I hated to admit that I didn’t know much about the birds. In fact, I wasn’t even sure if they were birds since they didn’t fly. As soon as he piled in the car with his Spiderman backpack in one hand and a sweaty fistful of construction paper in the other, he started up with the questions again. “Mama, Mrs. Carson said penguins live in Antarctica but not in the Arctic. Why can’t they live in both places?” “Hmmm … I don’t know, baby. Maybe we can read about that in one of our encyclopedias at home.” In 1982 my mama got roped into buying a set of World Books from my fifth grade teacher. They’d cost her a thousand dollars and that was back fifteen years ago. Now they propped up my box spring and mattress. I was already feeling stressed by the time he got in the car. Car-line always made me feel that way. Sitting still didn’t come easy to me. Made me feel real nervous just sitting there, arm dangling out of the car window because the air conditioner was broken and it was already ninety degrees in

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