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Winter Road
Carly Nelson

     The carefully selected terms of embracing new opportunities left a bad taste in his mouth. They could spit garbage when their jobs were safe and sound. The road was full of rock salt and he turned onto the back roads just to get away from other people. His engine gurgled sickly as he slammed on the gas. Black ice rubbed raw the tires he couldnít afford to replace. He sped up. The road would not get the satisfaction of turning him back. Snowplows found the crash. Thrown from the car on impact, his neck had broken where the road ended.

Carly Nelson is an up and coming writer, living in her hometown of Havertown, Pennsylvania.




My Valentine Sieve
Sherard Harrington

     I stay because I love you. I stay because I want to see you happy. I stay because I canít imagine the world without you. I stay because you love me too. I stay because I care. I stay because it feels right. I stay because I donít want to be alone. I stay because itís easy. I stay because I donít like change. I stay because Iím numb. I stay because I can look away. I stay because at the end of the night, when you are through with me, roll over, and fall asleep, I can be alone.

Sherard Harrington received his MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Central Florida. He loves chai tea and Mini Coopers. He currently resides in Somerville, Massachusetts, and enjoys all four seasons.




Sidekick
Janice D. Soderling

     She painted the house violet, put up a sign advertising homemade jellies, (rosehip, crabapple, blackberry), herbal teas, and home-sewn tea cozies. Feminists, as you know, have little sense of humor, so when Willie let drop that a good, uh, orgasm would benefit her considerably, she didn't change her expression, just gave him a honhap chagi, one high side kick, one low side kick, then a powerful roundhouse kick to the head, pressed him up against the drying paint and casually let him fall. Yesterday I saw him sweeping off the welcome mat. He was smiling and she looked happy too.

Janice D. Soderling is a previous contributor to Boston Literary Magazine. She has published fiction/flash at Thrice Fiction, Mason's Road, Dead Mule School, Lascaux Review, Blink|Ink, and Flash: The International Short-Short Story Magazine.





     The drunk sees his chance and sways forwards to talk, words slurred, cuts on his face from where heís fallen. But he speaks with a warmth as though we were friends, reminding me about when heíd last seen his family, laughing at his brother-in-law. ďHe said to me, why did you come down here and steal a Wexford woman? And I said to him, why did she steal a Dublin man?Ē Repeating the punch-line, wishing me luck, pausing only to ease a beer can from his pocket and sip the last drops before swinging away on his crutch with his laughter.

Nick Foster's poems have appeared in The Cimarron Review, The London Magazine, The Prose Poem - An International Journal and elsewhere.





     Broke my leg dancing down the stairs ten days ago on New Yearís Eve. Another reason not to drink alone. Eaten up everything in the larder, except venison, frozen solid. Not fond of it anyways.
     Last night the situation turned dire. Twenty eight below. Heat out. Electric out. Car and cell batteries dead.
     Going to crawl the half mile to the road.
     If I donít make it, tell Marcie that I love her and donít blame her for seeking sunshine in New Orleans, thereby avoiding cabin fever.
     Just saying her timing couldíve been better.

     Thanks for your trouble.
     Lucky Swenson

Dennis Vanvick is a retired, self-employed techie. He winters among the 7 million inhabitants of Bogota, Colombia and summers amongst the flora and fauna of northwest Wisconsin. He has published numerous articles and stories in print and the internet.







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