On the day of his mother’s wedding, Brian’s father took him to see Star Wars. With his feet sticking to the ground, they snaked their way into the back row of the theater and Brian’s father handed his son the tub of popcorn, the butter leaking down the side and onto Brian’s fingers. There, as the daunting back story scrolled up the screen, Brian heard his dad sniffle. As the little rebel ship flew through space, pursued by the awesomely huge intergalactic star destroyer, Brian saw his father cover his eyes and lower his head.
By: Brad Windhauser – Posted: May 13, 2013
By: Joan Wilking – Posted: May 6, 2013
He said he thought it would be easy. He’d been dying for such a long time. Twelve years to be exact. He remembered the day the doctor told him: a Wednesday.
By: Pete Pazmino – Posted: April 29, 2013
The dusty yard feels cool, though the day has been unseasonably warm. On the far side of the rusted chain-link fence trots a dirty white dog, some mangy stray. Its shadow is long in the setting sun’s light. Its shaggy head sways from side to side as its nose travels the ground. Odessa watches it paw at a clump of wilting weeds and take something in its mouth. Chicken bones, probably. Uncle Daddy always tosses wings over the fence. It makes Mama angry when he does it, but he still does.
By: Tom Sheehan – Posted: April 22, 2013
Mount Carmel Road was a quiet dead end in the north section of town. And in the middle of the night when the war in the Far East was over and the radios blared out the news, all the lights went on in all the houses on that blind street, except where the card game was being played.
By: Maui Holcomb – Posted: January 22, 2013
“You know,” I said to Gwen between the snores of some guy I didn’t know, “I wasn’t always a literary celebrity.”
She sat next to me on the balcony painting her nails for the fourth time that night. Well, morning now—we’d been awake all night again. Staccato, destructive sounds echoed from a game console inside, and the unknown guy shifted on the faded beach chaise the other side of Gwen, rubbing his nose.
“I nearly went into finance.”
By: Tony Press – Posted: December 10, 2012
It was the pounding of it, more than its liquidity, that demanded my attention, but the rain was sufficiently wet to soak me from head to toe in less than a minute. It wasn’t unusual to get “lightning-raid” storms at this time of year, usually around eight in the evening, but this one struck with a power unlike any I’d experienced in my three months in Oaxaca. My jeans and t-shirt were no match for it. Moments ago, I’d been admiring the almost-full moon against the dark sky. Now, I was looking for refuge.
By: Joe Schuster – Posted: July 16, 2012
Joseph M. Schuster. In 2004, Literary Awards Program judge Richard Currey saw a remarkable talent and, with two others, placed Schuster’s entry, A Saint in the Family, solidly in the winner’s circle. Now, this year, Schuster has released his first book — The Might Have Been — through Random House. Check out the first chapter [...]
By: Daniel Davis – Posted: July 15, 2011
It was cool for that time of year, tolerable. The night was hidden by a hazy mist that clung to the van’s windshield. Larry almost didn’t see the kid until he was upon him—a ghost on the side of the road, neither coming nor going. Larry passed him—no hitchhikers, ever. Too dangerous these days. Maybe once, when he himself was a kid, but not now, not after Nixon, after Oklahoma City and Osama bin Laden. He’d spent over a decade on the road, one of the last hardy traveling salesmen, a dying breed he called himself, and he’d survived as long as he had because he didn’t pick up hitchhikers. Common sense kept you alive.
But a habitual glance in the rearview mirror caused him to pull over. Something about the slump of the figure’s shoulders suggested youth.
By: Tom Sheehan – Posted: April 4, 2011
Coming off the ice at the lonely end of the Rapid Tucker’s Pond, his feet starting to numb in earnest, the new snow like razor blades on his face, Bannock “Brace” Bannon was compelled to look behind him, across the pond closing down fast in white fury. Earlier he had seen the girl in the comely figure swing around the edge of the pond, admiring her ease, her grace on the blades, her hair at times flying out as straight as a windy pennant.
One impulse hit him that she was a stranger, not because he hadn’t seen her before, but because she was perilously close to the channel between the two islands of Rapid Tucker’s Pond. In the ten years he had been here at the far end of the pond, a loner in an old cabin that took an endless amount of maintenance, the channel had been frozen only once, and that back in his first year, the worst year of all. Was all that decision time and tempest here again, coming down on top of him anew?
By: Tony Press – Posted: March 28, 2011
“We lived under this same roof but your mom was raised by wolves. We always knew that door from opposite sides.” Aunt Rosie performed a dual role regarding my mom, as both chief celebrant and royal accuser. Thanksgivings came more frequently every year, so it seemed, and it was with particular relish that my aunt served the prom night story. It was a tradition she made new each November, her eyes flashing, her voice rising and falling along a musical scale only she knew. Even her hands and arms played their parts, their instincts honed by well-orchestrated stage directions.
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