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    High Caliber Concealer Excerpt by Bethany Maines

    Kaniksu Falls • Tuesday Nikki paused at the four-way stop, considering her options. The problem with taking a road trip to find oneself was that she wasn’t really lost and now she had arrived in Kaniksu Falls and was heartily sick of the company, but still no closer to any decisions. It was 7:30 p.m. on a Tuesday, which meant that her grandmother would be firmly ensconced at the bingo hall for at least another hour. A flash of headlights behind her indicated that she’d taken too much time even by polite Washington standards. She took a left and headed for the tavern sign she could see cycling through a…

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    Captive! by L. Lisa Lawrence

    Early morning mist rising from the ground enveloped the shoddy encampment beneath the gray November sky.   It would rain soon, he could feel it in his bones and smell it on the air.  The ground still hadn’t dried out from the last storm and he was tired of having wet, muddy feet.  At least it hadn’t snowed yet; that was true misery in these conditions. Tomas stretched, joyful for the brief moments of fresh air as he wandered around the exercise yard, turning his face toward where he believed the sun to be hiding behind the clouds.  He stopped to gaze longingly through the well fortified fence at the…

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    A Mother’s Legacy by Alissa Nance

    A pot of chicken noodle soup bubbled quietly on the stove. The scents of thyme and parsley drifted towards her as she dipped a wooden spoon into the broth. Opening her lips to take a sip, the lines framing her mouth fell into well-worn creases. “Maybe a bit more garlic . . .” she muttered. Turning away from the stove, she shifted her gaze to the window. She could see her three children playing outside. A chorus of “Tag! You’re it!” echoed into the kitchen, prompting a smile to spread across her face. Her two boys, Riley and Noah, raced across the lawn, a blur of red and blue cotton.…

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    Bury Me in Point Defiance by Morf Morford

    When my bones finally shed the weight of life And schedules burden me no more Put what’s left of me in a shroud And bury me among the tall wild trees That know the ache and joy of centuries. . Plant me among the roots Of trees that reach the sky And know the sweep of eagles And the snags that hold their young. .

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    Mud Puddle Day by Delaine Gately

    It was our summer time A thunderstorm had just passed Bringing warm clear blue skies Laura and I walked in our youth Happiness held in our carefree hearts As we walked and we sang a surprise we did spy Crossing the road ahead we could see The greatest mud puddle lay still and untouched The muddy silt was smooth like a pudding There were no lumps or rocks not even bumps The smooth golden red mud laid waiting for us Laughter ensued and the mud did fly We romped and played in the deep muddy flow Delight was found as we covered every inch The golden red clay’s allure was…