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     Charlie walked the extra mile like the book said successful people did. He got to his office at the normal time but then, using his new pedometer, walked the extra mile and had to walk the extra mile back which made him late and earned him a final job-costing warning.

     "I want to believe in the afterlife, the goodness of man, that Tea Party people have feelings too, God, my ability to control emotions, and mostly my wife, when she comes home at two a.m. and showers immediately after her twice weekly book club meeting; but I'm much too cynical."

Paul Beckman used to be a Realtor, Air Traffic Controller, Saloon Keeper, Pin Setter, Numbers Runner & many other things. These days he's a Zeyde who writes, travels and takes pictures both above and beneath the water. Some publishing credits: Metazen, Connotation Press, Existere, Boston Literary Magazine, Molotov Cocktail, Pure Slush, The Brooklyner, 5 Trope, Blink-Ink, Litro, Soundzine, Opium, Playboy, The Connecticut Review, Ascent Aspirations and other fine publications on line, in print & via audio. He can be reached at beckman.paul@gmail.com & visited at his published story website paulbeckmanstories.com.

The Rope
Keava McMillan

     The dancer scanned the audience below, searching for her unfaithful husband. Fixing her eyes on his, she stepped hesitantly out onto the tightrope. She perched, stoically anticipating the fracturing of the taut rope. They would soon find the sewing scissors and rayon strands she placed carefully in his overcoat earlier.

The Birthday Party
Keava McMillan

     In the excitement of arranging balloons, baking cakes and selecting friends, she had forgotten that his birthday party always ended in tears. The friends shuffled embarrassedly as his countenance crumpled, preparing to become inconsolable. It was clearly past her husband's bedtime. She remembered this age, turning thirty was never easy.

Keava McMillan lives in the north of Scotland and works in the local dance studio. She spends most of her time avoiding writing her thesis by turning her doctoral research on cabaret into a novel set in Weimar Berlin. The fall issue of the Boston Literary Magazine features her first published stories.

Accidental Art
Charles Coe

     Got caught in an umbrella-eating thunderstorm in Boston and ducked under an eave to wait it out. Checked my phone for any new offers from widows of Nigerian finance ministers to make me rich.
     In the gloom, tiny particles of mist that settled on the bright-white screen sparkled like multi-colored confetti.

Charles Coe is author of two books of poetry: “All Sins Forgiven: Poems for my Parents” and “Picnic on the Moon,” both published by Leapfrog Press. He also writes feature articles, book and music reviews, and personal and humor essays. His poetry has appeared in a number of literary reviews and anthologies, including Poesis, The Mom Egg, Solstice Literary Review, and Urban Nature. He is the winner of a fellowship in poetry from the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Charles’s poems have been set by a number of composers, including Beth Denisch, Julia Carey and Robert Moran. His prose has appeared in a wide variety of newspapers and magazines. In addition, Charles is co-chair of the Boston Chapter of the National Writers Union, a labor union for freelance writers. Charles has been selected by the Associates of the Boston Public Library as a “Boston Literary Light for 2014.”

Too Much in Common
Jenna Klein

     I spent summer perched atop the monkey bars at random times, hoping to intercept your trek to the skate park. I dragged Clara for casual’s sake. She, instead of dreaming, did her homework. “My dog died too,” she said. You made out beneath the slide.
     I toilet papered her yard.

Jenna Klein hates sneaky potholes, digs airport people watching, and idolizes her husband's passion for lacrosse coaching. Her flash fiction piece, "A Debt to be Paid," has been published in Minotaur Lit. She is a teacher, an assistant editor for Belle Reve Literary Journal, and a blogger for Fans of Fiction.

A Bit Stiff
Anita Roberts Soupir

     Ava couldn’t believe her luck; she had finally found the perfect man, despite what her friends thought. He was always well-dressed, classically chiseled features, and never a hair out of place. She was extremely chatty and he respected that; letting her lead conversations. However, she was now banned from Macy’s.

Blame it on the Blonde
Anita Roberts Soupir

     The keys to a crimson corvette. A bewitching blonde, in a barely there black dress, smiles and asks for a ride. Eight hours later, true love found, as the strobe lights flash in the rearview mirror. And, that’s how I got fired as a valet parker on my first day.

Anita Roberts Soupir was born in Missouri, but had a wandering soul. She has lived in Connecticut and South Florida, but now calls rural North Dakota her home. She is a married, mother of two who enjoys freelance writing and is currently polishing her first manuscript. It is Book 1, in a series of 6 called The Dessert Club, with the title being ‘Don’t Trifle With Me.’ Her work can be seen in: Literary Juice, Thick Jam, Espresso Stories, and Boston Literary Magazine. She also has a short story that has been accepted for upcoming publication in the online literary magazine: Crack the Spine.

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