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“Night at the Protest” by Ryan Voelker

Character: Police station clerk
Action: Tightening a knot
Setting: A meeting for a subversive group
Prop: Decorative songbirds made from vinyl records

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Night at the Protest

by Ryan Voelker

When my book deal fell through and my girlfriend left me, a couple of signs from the universe telling me I should either be homeless or write country songs, I finally accepted my brother Kurt’s offer for a job at the police station. I guess I should feel lucky.

I’m already on my second week being a clerk. My brother Kurt has been here for almost eight years. Although he’s an actual cop, a lieutenant to be exact, so everyone around the station calls him sir. Since I’m just a clerk everyone calls me kid.

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“The Long Haul” by Rachel Wingeier

Character: Police station clerk
Action: Tightening a knot
Setting: A meeting for a subversive group
Prop: Decorative songbirds made from vinyl records

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The Long Haul

By Rachel Wingeier

Seventy-two hours. The address on the last bill of lading read Port of Long Beach and he was in Baton Rouge. He had seventy-two hours to complete the haul and arrive at the park on time. He went over the route in his mind as he did the pre-trip inspection. About 1,800 miles. He could get there and back by Sunday, even allowing for plenty of downtime. But he didn’t care about the ride back. He cared about only one thing. Being at the park at 3:30pm on Friday.

To make this unusual pit stop happen, Lou was finally going to use some of the vacation time he’d accrued over the years. He’d never taken any before. His boss thought he was a machine, but the truth was that he worked to forget. Every minute he was on the road was one minute not spent sitting in that silent apartment being reminded that there was nothing and no one to stay home for. So he had never taken the time that was owed to him. Not until now.

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“Two in the Hand” by Melinda McCamant

Character: Police station clerk
Action: Tightening a knot
Setting: A meeting for a subversive group
Prop: Decorative songbirds made from vinyl records

***

Two in the Hand

by Melinda McCamant

The common house sparrow isn’t flashy but it is prolific and inquisitive. Like most birds they mate for life. Like people they flock to cities. I like the possibility of birds, that if I understood their song I could learn their secrets.

A couple of sparrows used to come to my open window every morning to snack on the seeds I scattered there—so small and delicate, like children. As I sipped my coffee I watched them snatch up sunflower seeds with their beaks and toss the shells into the tangle of flowers two stories below. Once I gained their trust they would come inside, hop onto my kitchen table and cock their heads in cautious greeting. They were my conscience and my companions, my Jiminy Crickets that probably ate crickets. It’s too bad I had to kill them.

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“Birdsong” by Kerrie Farris

Character: Police station clerk
Action: Tightening a knot
Setting: A meeting for a subversive group
Prop: Decorative songbirds made from vinyl records

***

Birdsong

 by Kerrie Farris

“Reilly, what are you doing?” Her mother called through the thin wall between Reilly’s bedroom and the living room.

“Homework, Mom.”

“Ok. Don’t leave the house. I’m going to lay down for awhile.” Her voice was a tired warble.

“Alright. Is there anything to eat?”

“You can microwave yourself a TV dinner. That’s what I’m going to do, later.”

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“Hooliganism” by Kait Heacock

Character: Police station clerk
Action: Tightening a knot
Setting: A meeting for a subversive group
Prop: Decorative songbirds made from vinyl records

***

Hooliganism

by Kait Heacock

In the basement of Dana’s house, she and her girlfriend Jay had converted the rec room space next to her bedroom into a practice room for their as yet untitled band. They moved the couch and recliner back towards the wall to clear space for the drum set, guitars, microphones, and amps they planned to buy. They put posters of their favorite bands on the wall for inspiration and brought Dana’s mom’s record player downstairs. Dana’s mom even loaned her old acoustic guitar, which was the only instrument they had to fill the newly emptied space.

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