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A Thank You Note
Gina Faldetta

     I would write about your eyes if I could remember them but all I’ve got is the pornographic way you sighed in frustration at every little thing. And the desire to kiss you against the wall like a stupid movie scene or something. You always did give me the desire to do all that ridiculous romance-novel shit. I can still feel you biting my lip from that time I imagined it as you fell off your chair. I like how you never bruised easily. It didn’t really help anything but the situation certainly looked better on your end, so thanks.

Gina Faldetta is currently a freshman at Amherst College. Born in Boston and raised in Austin, Texas, she enjoys Oscar Wilde, Scott Fitzgerald, and glitter nail polish.

Sandra Crook

     Louella’s father fenced their farm with barbed wire—probably to keep out riff-raff like us.
     But we were wild, we could get anywhere we wanted to, and we got onto their land. When Louella found us we thought she’d be mad, but she seemed pleased, and was real nice to my brother.
     He met her often after that, sneaking under the wire, doing God knows what in the dark of the night.
     And when his body was found, flesh hanging in strips, blood flushing the stream pink, we realised how wrong we’d been.
     The fence was to keep Louella in.

Sandra Crook writes fiction, non-fiction and poetry as she cruises the French waterways with her husband. Links to her work and cruising reports can be found at www.castelsarrain.wordpress.com .

His Life in the Papers
Josh Karaczewski

     As a baby he enjoyed any section he could get his unwieldy hands upon—how his fingers created new sounds. As a child he loved the Comics; the shapes first, then the humor. As a young man he needed the Classifieds. He only ever skimmed through the News, skipping international. As an adult he needed the Business section, and liked Sports, and Arts & Entertainment. He never read the Travel section until his wife made him. As an elderly man he liked the Obituaries, until he hated them. And finally, as an exceptionally old man, he only read the Comics.

Josh Karaczewski is living in the San Francisco Bay Area until he can retire somewhere warmer. His books include the novel Alexander Murphy’s Home for Wayward Celebrities, the collection My Governor’s House and other stories, and the publishing guide The Writing Submission Schedule Guide. Any day now the riches will pour in from these so that he can write full time; until then, he will continue forcing high school students to read, write, and think. Visit his blog (oralrandomly.blogspot.com) for more information about him than you’d care to know.

     I saw Elvis Presley this morning. He’s moving in! No stupid jumpsuit or guitar of course, but it was him.
     I guess he’s old enough now for a place like this. Isn’t this great news? We could use some decent entertainment.
     Aren’t you listening, Norman?
     I said things are looking up. Important people are starting to move in! Yesterday I saw Albert Einstein having tea with Maude.
     And you, I know who you are—Norman Shankovitch, the famous Viennese conductor.
     No, I’m not.
     Yes, you are! I know what I see. I recognised Elvis, didn’t I?

Mary J. Breen’s fiction and nonfiction have appeared in literary magazines, national newspapers, essay collections, and travel magazines. She lives in Peterborough Canada where, among other things, she teaches memoir writing with seniors.

Relinquishing Custody
Michelle Morouse

     Today, in the shower, I watched rivulets roll down my unshaven legs, and I let myself imagine that you could still be alive: tail wagging, ancient head rising in recognition of my scent, or voice. I saw your unblinking brown gaze, your fear of household appliances, your affinity for the wounded, your penchant for pilfering baked goods. But I can add and subtract as well as anyone, and I know you must be long departed. Yet you were never as gone to me as you were that night: panting, leash straining, leading him to the car, anticipating a ride to somewhere.

Michelle Morouse is a Detroit area pediatrician. Her work has appeared in Oxford magazine, Shark Reef, The Rose and Thorn Journal, and Dogzplot.

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