Category Archives: Fiction

Comfort

by Bruce Petronio

Before they start the game, she asks him to get the kitchen timer. She’s sitting upright in the Barcalounger, in a flannel nightgown and a Buff head scarf, the Scrabble Deluxe board on a TV table between them. He gives her a look; they never use a timer, only the Merriam-Webster Collegiate she’s had since grad school a quarter century ago. Continue reading

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Just Another Family

by Susan Robison

Sharon is done training monkeys for the day. She just taught a nine-inch capuchin how to flip pages for a woman in her seventies with Lou Gehrig’s disease. The monkey, Delores, advanced in years herself with fingers no longer as nimble as they used to be, found it hard to turn each page and often clumped several together. Delores squealed with frustration and finally got down on all fours and looked around the table as if to find an escape route. Sharon had to figure out something not only for the old woman, but for Delores. After trying several strategies including well-timed offerings of pumpkin seeds, she lit on having Delores lick her thumb before turning a page and ta da!—success. Delores’s thrilled vocalizations were so high-pitched she was singing as she licked and flipped. Task complete, she stood and stroked Sharon’s cheek. Continue reading

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Bloom’s Women

by Francine Witte

Bloom isn’t much.  Near 60, and like a bag of saggy potatoes. On top of that he smells.  Like urine mixed with tobacco. But there are women, a number of them now, who find his odd smell sexy. Animal pheromones it says to their lonely vaginas. Continue reading

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The Drive

by Ciera Horton McElroy

They do not leave by night. It is Mother’s Day, bright and warm for the Dakotas—rolling clouds and a lollipop-yellow sun. They leave in plain sight. Rose’s knitting bundle is hidden in Andy’s briefcase, her toiletries stowed in Marta’s purse. Her thick waffle robe is stuffed with pill bottles, Bible, pearls. They help her to the car in slow, mincing steps. They say things like, “We’re taking you to the falls, Ma,” or “Isn’t it such a nice day for a drive?” Continue reading

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Schnegurochka

by Sam Grieve

I was married to my husband for twenty-three years, seven months, nine days, and fifteen hours. He died at three o’clock on a February afternoon. A Tuesday. I have always liked Tuesdays. Continue reading

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