New Stories for 3/2/2015


Practice Makes Perfect? by Chelsea Vitone

hot dogI peeked around the corner and saw him staring into the microwave, tapping his index finger on the counter as the seconds counted down. I heard that was bad for you, but with that pretty face, he should be fine with a few micro-radiated brain cells. I ran through my lines in my head, Hi I’m Sarah from advertising, I couldn’t help but notice you around the office. Chad, is it? I love your tie.

I smoothed my skirt, ran my fingers through my hair and stepped into the break room. He looked up at the sound of my heels clacking against the tile and gave me a nod of acknowledgment.

“Hey Chad, I like plaid,” I said, pointing at him. “I mean, your tie…bold choice.” I mentally slapped myself on the forehead and tried hard to keep the cringe I felt coming hidden from my face.

“Uh, thanks,” he said, turning back to the microwave. Good God, he’d rather watch Cup O’ Noodles boil than talk to me. I couldn’t let it end like that.

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Like Butterflies By Lorna McGinnis

Butterflies“I want to forget.” She looked upwards, into its eyes, trying to sound firm.

“Don’t you all.” It raised an eyebrow. It was amazing how human it looked. If she didn’t know better she would have mistaken it for a woman. It wore a tailored suit and a string of pearls. Its hair was blond, going gray at in places, and done up into a neat bun. It was classy without being ostentatious.

“Can you do that? Make me forget?” She smoothed a hand over her blouse and shifted back a little.

“It depends.” It quirked its mouth into something that was almost a smile. Now that she considered, it was the little things that gave it away. There was something in the voice that was just a little too…fluid. The eyes were wrong too. She gave a discreet shudder. She’d never met anyone with eyes like that before. The light in them was too intense, almost burning, like they could see right through a person and out the other side.

“Is there something wrong?” The thing’s mouth widened.

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Traffic Jam by Zachary Scott Hamilton

ZachI would call her Taylor, because black hairs draw toward the curve of her lips and edge into the miles between us – But instead I curtail a whimsy, freak out the neighbors by dressing my cat in an armor of arrows, go outside, into the suburbs, dressed in my fag dreams, and search for purple, learning the arithmetic of streets my art teachers taught me – and curving down the avenue of Toasters, big loaves of bread slide up from inside, all around us –

Meeshka wants some of the toast and jumps up and down, clanging the arrows stop motion. Odd for a cat –

“No Jumping!” Med.z Tony says.

I pull open my switchblade and dust off my shoulder.

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Oh Holy Night or The True Story of Christmas Eve Dinner 2014 by J.R. Henry

My grandmother’s house is quiet, spacious, and ostentatiously expensive. It’s dressed up like Hollywood money from the 1930’s, back before she married into wealth. White columns frame every floor length window, the light from beyond filtering through the slits in the heavy draped curtains. There’s a sleek grand piano in one corner of the room, a glass encased cabinet of silver odd and ends in the other. The plush white carpet is spotted with iridescent sequins of colored light bouncing off the tinkling chandeliers. Dean Martin pipes in softly from the house-wide speaker system.

I’m in the sitting room, perched upon one of several silk upholstered chairs around the massive glass dining table. I try, fruitlessly, to adjust my tights for the half-dozenth time while simultaneously taking in a mouthful of ruby red Chateau St. Michelle. My grandmother’s cat materializes out of nowhere, weaves between my crossed legs, nudging my heels, and ultimately causing me to slide sideways on the slippery silk of my seat. I lurch to one side and manage to set down the crystal glass onto the glass table with an unsettling clang. Some of the wine dribbles down my chin and drops dark crimson onto my lap – no matter. I wore a burgundy dress for this very reason. There is, perhaps, not enough wine in the entire cellar to get me through this evening. I fear the grave outcome of miscalculating my intake and sobering up too soon into the night. I heard estranged cousin Ryan might arrive for dinner.

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