‘The New Year’ by Pamela painter

It’s late Christmas Eve at Spinelli’s when Dominic presents us, the waitstaff, with his dumb idea of a bonus–Italian hams in casings so tight they shimmer like Gilda’s gold lame stockings.  At home, Gilda’s waiting up for me with a surprise of her own:  my stuff from the last three months is sitting on the …

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“In Search of You” by Yael Maree

Light fades as I leave the fringe of the forest behind and step under the heavy shadow of its canopy. I have lost you in this wilderness, and it closes in on me; a cloister of infinite shades of seafoam, chartreuse, lime and olive. I am reminded of your eyes, emerald, flecked with splinters of …

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“Cuba” by Bruce Meyer

The smell of Cuba is beautiful. Every place has its own smell. London, for example, has a different smell than it used to have. It was unmistakable as you stepped off an airplane and lined up in the Customs and Immigration Hall at Heathrow. London had the aroma of beer, heavy lubricating grease like the …

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“Surrogate Love” by Damhnait Monaghan

Rounding the corner, I see a motorcycle on its side, rider flung to the verge, like trash from a car window. I drop my shopping bags and run, while a man on the pavement shouts ‘accident’ and ‘ambulance’ into his cell phone. I kneel and grip the boy’s hand. My eyes skim over shredded jeans, …

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‘Keeping Time’ by Niles Reddick

My great grandmother was in her seventies when her crooked fingers with thin skin hammered chords by ear on the piano in the living room, and she patted the bench and said, “Come on. I’ll show you.” She taught me the major chords (A, C, D, E, F, and G) and the minor ones, and …

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“Three Little Birds” by Mary thompson

We never intended to hitch, but a State of Emergency has been declared in Greece, so banks, trains and even bread shops are on strike. We scribble Thessaloniki on a cardboard box and plonk ourselves down at the side of the National Road. It’s scorching hot so we roll our shorts up and expose our thighs …

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“The Fisherman’s Wife” By Sandrina Dorigo

Should this be the day that he returns, she is ready with the brightest red lipstick. The table has been set. She makes their evening meal. A week has passed since he was due, with no word. Yesterday, she saw the rails of the harbour wall washed out to sea. That evening she watched the …

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“Where a Dark Heart Burns” by Barbara Black

I move forward facing backward. Water drips from the oar tip. There are those of us for whom islands are exile. For others, they’re an oasis from humanity, where one can occupy one’s self in seclusion. “Sometimes you have to go dead to be alive again.” As she put it, sequestering on this little island …

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“Mr. Wizard” by Robert Scotellaro

I was ten when I saw Mr. Wizard shoot down past our window from the sixth floor, that red checkered vest he always wore in a blur.  I gasped and pointed.  “Mr. Wizard…” I said, barely able to get the words out.  My father was a few feet away talking to a guy in a …

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