Riding Horses

by Virginia Watts

You are either born afraid of horses or you aren’t. I tried to pretend I wasn’t afraid of them the summer I was fourteen. Blame the recent television coverage of the equestrian events on the Olympic games in living color. Female riders like string beans. Absolutely no hips. Just slinky. Gorgeous, oiled leather boots molded to their calves. How did they get those boots on and off? Continue reading

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Demolition

by Andy McQuestin

I walk him there along the thin streets. The small houses pressed up to the curbs, potted herbs balancing on window frames painted in primary colors.

He carries a walking stick. He wears slacks and a button up shirt: the comfortable shoes that await all of us who live long enough. Men of his generation never dress down.

“Just the other side of this block,” I say. He nods. Continue reading

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The Vigil

by Derek Andersen

7:14 p.m.
Already, Joan is running late. But she still hasn’t found the right outfit—the ensemble bold enough to signal a triumphant return from her fifty-four-day leave of absence, but not so bold as to upstage the victims.

She, after all, was on the periphery of The Tragedy that struck Twin Lakes High. Though, perhaps “periphery” was too generous a term. She was on the margins, the outermost fringes. One could argue whether she’d been grazed by its farthest-reaching ripples. Continue reading

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Afloat

by Cooper Young

Today, the stars are hidden
behind a veil of blue.
The waves turn themselves
inside out, and my parents
bob in the water, beyond the break. Continue reading

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Black Olive

by Julie McClement

“Is it bad if I’m not into racism?” Phoebe asked.

Her brother, Max, was snapping photos of loons as they glided across the lake. This activity, which he referred to as his métier, was one he claimed required monk-like contemplation and he therefore had an annoying tendency to ignore Phoebe while engaging in it. At this, though, he lowered the camera. Continue reading

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