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Brandon Blackburn

     Geena stood on her bed, one foot on the nightstand, ear pressed against the wall at that spot where the acoustic vicissitudes of adjoining apartments made it easiest to eavesdrop. The Apartment 2B couple were yelling again and soon their front door slammed; George left. The woman—Geena hadn’t yet overheard her name—began to weep.

     Again, Geena pondered walking next door, introducing herself, sitting beside this woman on her bed, arms entwined, instant friends, heads pressed together, both crying. Again, Geena shook her head, moved to stand on her armoire to listen in on the conversation in Apartment 2D.

Brandon Blackburn lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with his fiancée and a Yorkshire terrier named after John Cusack. By day, he edits documents for pharmaceutical companies. His short stories have previously appeared in, among other places, Artifice, Skive, Rose & Thorn Journal, and Haunted, an anthology from Pill Hill Press. He holds an MA in English from the University at Albany, SUNY. His Master’s thesis on Thoreau was published this year by Lambert Academic Press.

     A quarter of five and the neighbor’s goats are at it again: butting heads on the lawn. It’s the same every morning. They hop the fence and hotwire their owner’s pickup so they can drive to the Waffle House for breakfast. The goats heard, years ago from transient dogs, that the Waffle House serves the best pancakes in the entire Southwest, and sharing a fairly sophisticated sense of irony—for cloven-hoofed ungulates—they resolved to find out for themselves. Their scheme has gone nowhere, though, because every morning they get into an argument about whose turn it is to drive.

Don Hucks was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2009. He currently resides on the fringes of Nashville, Tennessee.

A Wife's Revenge
Chris Hugh

     She washed the grease off her feet and walked back into the woods. It had been excruciatingly difficult to get under the hunter's hood and rip out his pickup truck's horn, but she managed. It was no more difficult than it had been to track down the man who murdered her husband. And murder him. A good hunter uses all parts of the animal and lets nothing go to waste. But hers was revenge, not hunting. She took the horn to decorate her den. And left the dead man hanging over her husband's antlers on the wall of his den.

Chris Hugh is a lawyer and aspiring novelist. Her photography appeared in the New York Times bestseller How to Take Over Teh Wurld: A LOLcat Guide 2 Winning, a humorous book featuring funny pictures of cats with captions ("LOLcats"). Her short story "The Bride of Frankenstein Dances with Celebrity" will be in the upcoming anthology Vampires, Zombies and Ghosts, Oh My! (and Other Creatures of the Night). Chris lives in Silicon Valley with her husband and two cats. Her blog is chrishugh.blogspot.com.

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