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My mother and your mother were out hanging clothes. My mother asked your mother why were both of their husbands such louses. Your mother suggested to my mother that they should be each others spouses. My mother confessed to your mother that she had once kissed a girl when she was an undergraduate. Your mother told my mother that she was an out-and-out LUG when she was an undergraduate. My mother whispered something into your mother's ear. Your mother giggled at whatever it was that my mother whispered. Your mother kissed my mother right on the mouth. Mothers.

In addition to a short story forthcoming in New York Tyrant, Bill Walsh's fiction has appeared in Lit, Press, Rosebud, Quarterly West, Crescent Review, Onionhead, Sulphur River Review, and other journals. Some of his short stories have been published online at McSweeney's, Tatlin's Tower, and Sweet Fancy Moses. Additionally, two in a series of derived texts he developed from the writings of Calvin Trillin will be appearing soon in Opium and Turnpike Gates. He taught writing and literature at Stonehill College, Newbury College, Fisher College, and the Brown University Learning Community, and currently serves as Director of Advancement Communications at Brown University.

Big Question
Peter Anderson

Until now she had never asked herself the question. But suddenly…

Why was she here?

To raise two daughters, one cooperative but the other who fought for every inch, somehow keeping them clothed and fed? To waitress eighty hours a week, scrounging for tips and fending off the manager politely enough to not get fired? To clean, juggle bills and pay the landlord for another month?

The question devastated her, but the answer…

She slumped onto the worn fabric of the couch, staying through the rest of the evening until early morning, when tears finally gave way to blessed sleep.

Peter Anderson is an emerging fiction writer whose first stories have been published this year in Storyglossia, Zisk, Skive Magazine, The Angler and Gapers Block. A financial analyst by trade, he writes fiction to ease the relentless montony of corporate life. He lives in Joliet, Illinois with his wife Julie, daughter Madeleine, and two well-rested cats.

Four times the sailboat tacked back towards the blaze of moonlight illuminating the water like a runway. The midnight air snapped our faces and you skimmed your hand across the waves. You dreamt of your fingertips touching the sandy floor. We worked in unison silently; our mysterious synchronicity had meaning. Suddenly a gale from the east sent us both into the moonlit steel, gray water. We struggled for air and grasped for objects to stay afloat. I found the lifejacket but you slipped into your dream, away from my dream of forever. I never knew where you learned to sail.

Cynthia Burke is an historian by training and computer geek by living based in Madison, Wisconsin.

Welcome Home
Diana Bocco

He would get home long after midnight again, eyes slightly bloodshot, hat in hand. He would try to sneak in through the back door and surprise her with the usual corny white rose. He'd be overdressed, as if trying to prove something. As if she didn't know too well already.

He would walk into the kitchen, tiptoe around the dingy counters, and get somewhat upset she hadn't cooked dinner for the third night in a row. Then he would charge upstairs and ram into the bedroom, ready for love.

And she would be waiting for him with the gun loaded.

Diana Bocco is a writer, artist, published author, writing coach, and consultant with over 10 years experience in the publishing field. She teaches writing classes at CoffeeHouseforWriters.com, is a prize-winning poet, essayist, and short story writer, and her work has appeared in a variety of print and online journals, including Woman's Day, Marie Claire, Adirondack Life, Writer's Journal , Writer's Digest, and Self. Diana is the author of "How to Quit Your Day Job: Making It as a Freelance Writer" (Fuseo Network Company, 2006), and a contributor to "Vegetarian New York: The Essential Dining, Shopping, and Lodging Guide," edited by Suzanne Gerber and with a foreword by Paul McCartney. You can learn more about her by visiting her website at DianaBocco.net.