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Call to Action
Robert Laughlin

      The nine nuclear powers declared that negotiations had reached an impasse. The other major item of the news cycle came from the University of Chicago: the Doomsday Clock had been set forward to midnight.
      All relevant data was given to the Greek, an AI that had correctly forecast the run up to war as well as the outcomes of the recent election and the last two Super Bowls. Their input complete, data operators entered the command “Recommend Action” and set the Greek to work.

Robert Laughlin lives in Chico, California. He is the creator of the Micro Award, an annual competition for previously published flash fiction. Two of his short stories are MWA Notable Stories, and his first novel, Vow of Silence, is available from Trytium.

Duct Tape
Robert Scotellaro

      My father thought duct tape could fix anything. He used it to pat us down for lint, to block the tub's overflow, so the bath water reached our chins—on lawn furniture and frayed wires, baring their orange teeth; keeping us safe. And finally, those last years, a kind of duct tape he tried on his marriage—dust and booze undoing its sticking power. The deafening sound of it pulled from the role, again and again. Each new piece cut with his teeth; never holding. Better served for those broken taillights and garden hose leaks, where its magic never failed.

Robert Scotellaro's flash fiction and poetry have appeared in: Fast Forward (A Collection of Flash Fiction, Volume 2), Boston Literary Magazine, Dogzplot, Willows Wept Review, mud luscious, Ghoti, 971 Menu, The Laurel Review, Storyscape, Battered Suitcase, Six Sentences, Macmillan collections and others. He is the author of several literary chapbooks, two books of poetry, and the recipient of Zone 3’s Rainmaker Award in Poetry. Born and raised in Manhattan, he currently lives in California with his wife.

Walking on Eggshells
Carrie Kei Heim Binas

     She talks to me in whispers, feeding me sunflower seeds while he plays video games in the next room. He's been out of work for so long. She doesn't think he's even looking anymore. She doesn't know how they can afford to keep going on like this, but she can't talk to him about it: he gets too defensive. You know how men are.
     I preen the back of my neck, pinching each new feather at the bottom to break, then strip off, the flaking sheath. Anyone who talks about eggshells like they're fragile has obviously never been inside one.

Carrie Kei Heim Binas has a B.A. in French from Vassar College, a second B.A. in English from Hunter College, and a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. She lives in the Boston area with her more-than-equally-credentialed husband, and daughter, and blogs about writing at www.heimbinasfiction.blogspot.com. This is her first publication.

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