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Pilgrimage

Pilgrimage

by Dr. Huckleberry

Leslie put her hand on her hip, cocked her head to the side and with a high-pitched, back of the throat breath gasped, “When we get back, I have an appointment to get my hair done by my boyfriend, Thor.  He’s gay, but he sends me cute thank-you cards.” Leslie says this with a conspiratorial wink at her daughter. By this time Bob, her husband, was already ignoring her, glancing at the faces in the crowd, scanning for signs of anyone he had just seen on the Jumbo-tron. And terrorists, of course.

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Lifeline

Lifeline

by Matthew Braun

His knees always told him when the rain was coming. Before he got out of bed or turned on the news to watch the smiling idiots. Before he even opened his eyes, he knew the weather for the day.

As Carl looked at himself in the mirror he examined his wispy red hair for evidence of further loss, admired his relic of a bushy moustache, and settled into the mindless routine of the morning.

The wipers kept cadence on the 65–‐mile drive down the Gorge into work while he listened to Rush Limbaugh. The tirade was interrupted by the tone from the Bluetooth on the Ford’s stereo.

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Sharing Heroes

Sharing Heroes

by Jeremy Nelson

When people take the time to ask me who I am and how I got to be here today, I tell them about my therapist and the conversations we had about my condition and how I endured. I tell them about my childhood and the end of a dream. I was a failed superhero.

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No Rain in the Rose City

No Rain in the Rose City

by Shelley Stearns and Jody Jones

Lela wiped her hands across the bus kiosk.  The city’s public transit map lit up under her palm, revealing a web of confused colors inter-tangled like a basket of yarn.  She moved her fingers in and out to separate one from the next.  Her line—the two sixty-three—blinked in bright fuchsia.  She double-clicked, bringing it to the foreground.  The doors to the fuchsia MAX opened blasting cool air around her.  She stepped on and brushed her hands across her jeans.  The chill was always shocking, but she settled into it.  A bit of fuzz stuck in the snaggle of her left fingernail.  She let it sit for a moment, and then threw it to the ground.  She sighed and bit on the part of the nail that was sticking out.

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Thursday’s Child

Thursday’s Child

by Anne Trainor

If this were a story, it would start with: Once upon a time, there was this woman who was sleep walking.  She tried and tried to wake up.

The problem was, she had forgotten about the little people.  No, not people with dwarfism or people of lower class status, this is a fairy tale.  The little people, the meekies.  The pixies some people call them.  They were everywhere, where she had grown up.  In the stone fences that burrowed through the woods throughout the town, the bowls and bifurcations of the maple trees and the oaks, under the tufts of grass in the pine marshes.  They danced through the house at night, played around the sleeping bodies of herself and her brother like the Lilliputians and Gulliver.  Sometimes, they loved little tricks like this, they would lift the whole bed, gently floating it up into the night sky, send it spinning and reeling through the stars.  It was a blast.

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Thor’s Tarts

Thor’s Tarts

by Go Ducks!

Thor opens the oven to reveal one single tiny tart.

“Hmm, now that’s one tasty-looking tart.  I don’t know if Miss Paula Dean can beat my signature recipe.  But I guess she’ll sure try.”

The studio audience claps.

“You bet your ass I will.”  Paula says as she struts onto the set.

Thor welcomes her with a big hug.

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The Sun-flower

The Sun-flower

by The Honest Liars

It was yellow like the sun, and Charlie had never seen anything like it in his life. He got on one knee to look closer. He wondered if it was warm to the touch, or if it would burn him.

“Maybe it’s a rose,” said Charlie.

“You should get away from it. It’s dangerous,” said Louis, adjusting the glasses on his thin nose.

“There ain’t no roses in Rose City,” said Nathan as he crossed his arms.

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