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All Grown Up
T.L. Sherwood

     Twenty-two rings, but she might have miscounted. It was easy to get distracted while waiting, waiting again, placing the call and hoping this time he picks up. Last week was even worse. It was a noxious busy signal that insulted her ear when she dialed. When did “Hello. How’s it going?” become so hard to convey? It was madness defined. Calling every day at different times expecting an answer. Where was he? What did he think this was? A game she didn’t want to play, but surely he knew his mother just wanted to say, “Hey sweetheart. I love you.”

T.L. Sherwood's work has appeared in several publications, including Vestal Review, The Rambler and Thema. She conducts a writer's group affiliated with the Springville Center for the Arts, a not-for-profit group she has been active in for many years, from board member to actress—and most jobs in between. Online, she participates in Zoetrope's Virtual Studio. Her blog can be found at tlsherwood.wordpress.com.




Jackpot
Scott W. Younkin

     Crack-smacked and loaded with X he stands in the ER waiting room and offers a potent manifesto: “I’m so sick of being homeless I could kill myself.” A word uttered triggers a switch; gears grind and white coats bring food, drugs and TV, the Wise Men of the sidewalks. Docs fill out forms; a seedy dude asks about his childhood. No scissors or shoelaces on the suicide watch. Last night lying on the concrete thing at the bus stop across the street he wasn’t worth squat, now they act like his shit is the Golden Fleece. “Beats all," he coughs.

Scott W Younkin has written pieces accepted by Short Fast and Deadly and Lowestoft Chronicle. He is a small cog at a big hospital.







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