(That’s) What Friends Are For by Joshua Swainston

Joshua Swainston has worked as a mechanic, merchant sailor, courier, loan shark, club promoter, Ryder truck rental agent, MC Donald's grill cook, taxi driver, valet, coffee roaster, wine distributor, psychologist assistant, UPS man, Disney Story stock boy, and played Santa Clause. His short stories and flash fiction are printed in A Twist of Noir, The Frist Line, Fuck Fiction as well as others. While writing editorials for the Weekly Volcano, he won a Washington Press award for his piece about Ivan the Gorilla, “The Silverback of South Tacoma.” His self-published novel, The Tacoma Pill Junkies, was released in February of 2013 and can be found at tacomapilljunkies.com.It wasn’t until he scratched his nose and said, “I’m getting outa here,” that Reggie knew Lou was holding out. The nose thing was a tell, a learned behavior from years of dedicated opiate use. Red faded lines scored across his nostrils, inflamed with each rake of nail on skin.

The living room curtains had been drawn days ago, in an attempt to curse the sun, as well as entire straight world that thrived in its rays. The only remaining notion of time blinked from the DVD/VCR combination, but even in sobriety the neon numbers were held suspect. OxyContin metered the days at irregular intervals that suffered mania, desperation and beautiful, beautiful nothing.

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Way Home by William Norris Turbyfill

cclogoWhile he was still a long way off, the young man collapsed as if dead. His legs burned and his stomach ached. He was parched, hungry and tired and his body was failing him. His eyes could just make out the walls ofhis father’s property but now, it seemed farther away than it ever had before. He had hoped that the sight of his family home would be enough to pull him forward, that last bit of motivation he needed to keep moving. But now, the weight of his shame and regret began to crush him and his body was too weak to fight back.

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