Tinnitus

by Gregory Tarsiscis Janetka

It was late afternoon when I entered the bar. The sun was still high and shone through the small square windows, hitting the rough white walls and reflecting throughout. The place was inside an old hotel dating from the 30s. Perhaps even earlier. It was unclear if its current incarnation was a rare find to casually gloat about on social media or a setting within which to sneak the other woman in order to partake in dirty filthy things amidst blindingly fresh white linens. Maybe both. It smelled of wisteria and the nouveau riche. Continue reading

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The Graduation Present

by J.G. Alderburke

When Viola opened her eyes, her husband was gone. She let her arm flop across his side of the bed and sighed. She supposed he could be in the shower or downstairs somewhere but the house sounded too quiet for that. Viola dressed and wandered into the kitchen. She filled two mugs with coffee then walked to the front window. Her husband was on the lawn digging at something Viola couldn’t see. Continue reading

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Christmas Eve Skeleton

by Mike Schoeffel

She is 28 weeks pregnant when she overdoses in the backseat of a rusty Honda Accord. Heroin, of course. It’s always heroin. Bad batch going around. Happens every couple of months. No overdose calls, no overdose calls, then BOOM: three in one shift. Continue reading

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The Third Most Valuable Spice

by Phoebe Yeoh

“Did you know,” my grandmother quipped, “that cardamom is one of the most expensive spices in the world?” We were baking in her big yellow kitchen, our annual tradition on Christmas Eve. Snow fell softly outside the big bay window, glass steamed up with the scent of her famous Pebernødder. “Saffron and vanilla are the only ones that cost more.” She kissed me on the cheek and leaned down to pop a little cookie dough ball into my mouth, just as she always had for the past twenty-three years. Continue reading

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You Are Still Here

by Ayotola Tehingbola

Tobilola, I know you in so many ways. I know what you are feeling when you start to skip a movie and what you are thinking when you raise your brows at a song. I know you need a cold bottle of Coke to ease off the tension and that sleep is your safety. I know when you need a hug or a meeting of fingertips or just a touching of shoulders. I know you eat your nails when in dire need of something smart to say. I know that you will never intentionally hurt anyone’s feelings. I know you need to talk about us when you ask for a walk to the bridge. I know that humor is your escape and design your passion. I know that you never know what you want to eat. I know you abhor plantain. I detest it too. I know you hate being woken up. I know you like it when our faces align and our noses touch. I know you like to catch my lips and release me for air. I have learned you and now, I know you in so many ways. Continue reading

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