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    Love & Monsters by Christina Butcher

    Hunter watched her pour hot water into the French Press. She pored it clockwise, slowly covering the coffee grounds while letting the steam rise up into her face. She wanted slow coffee, she had told him. Slow love. Everything slow, slow, slow. But he couldn’t stand it anymore. He wanted, and needed, more from her. She never let him kiss her lips, or hold her while they lied in bed. They seldom made love. Hunter stood behind Aurora. He drew his hand across her back, feeling the soft cotton of her t shirt as he let his hand tangle up in her long hair. He leaned in to kiss her…

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    The Vultures of The Westridge Apartments by Joshua Swainston

    On Thursday morning, Mr. Mitrovic’s body was found hanging in the stairwell. He secured one end of the blue half-inch polypropylene rope to an eighth floor banister post, and the other end around his neck. I’m not going to tell you he was a good man, because I don’t know if that was true. And I am not going to tell you I am sorry that he’s gone either. I never really liked him when he was alive, so why should I feel any different now. We lived across the hall from each other for six years, I in apartment 8A, and Mr. Mitrovic in apartment 8B. He made the…

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    Mother Night by Elizabeth Beck and Brandon Fritts

    Diana was completely out of ideas and Halloween Night was only hours away. She hated the mass-produced junk at the pop-up stores that took over empty buildings in her town. They were a reminder of all the small shops that had shuttered in the drawn-out death of economic downturn. She preferred to spend time finding all the perfect components for the perfect costume, even though usually nobody but she knew the attention to detail. This year had been a failure. Time and money had been stretched and her creative well was a couple drops from dry. With a sigh, she resigned herself to plastic and one-piece getups two feet too…

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    Confessions of a Killer by Jo-Ann Allan-Forbes

      Today, I was an accomplice to murder. I took not just one life, but three, all in a matter of minutes.  It started out like any other early January morning—black and cold with a cranky, relentless siren screaming at me from the nightstand.  I fumbled with the snooze button, but in the end, settled for knocking the meddling clock off the nightstand and falling out of bed onto a pile of dirty clothes.  I dodged stray toys on the way to the bathroom and barely made it there alive.  That was nothing.  The real trouble began just as I was getting out of the shower.  There I stood, shivering…

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    Cat Tails by Ellen Miffitt

    From early childhood on, Edith was clueless even with her eyes wide open; she habitually walked into senseless brick walls of her own construction. Her parents did their best with her particular behavior set which none of the other siblings exhibited. Between Edith’s screeching, lying, crying and smashing things, they were at a loss of how to give her substantial guidance. As Edith reached her teen years the proclivity for tantrums decreased but she’d still complain to the skies above that it wasn’t her fault. It was always someone else’s fault. The perpetual blame game never included the fact that she made a series of interesting decisions that lead to…

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    The Green Scene by Christina Butcher

    “Louis, you still have food all over your mouth.” Cassie stared at him, coldly, from behind her glasses. “What do you mean, I didn’t eat that vegan food you brought me, I just threw it away.” “Well, whatever you ate, it’s hanging on corner of your mouth. Did you go foraging for food while I was in the restroom or something?” Louis eyed her incredulously, wondering how she could talk to him like that. She’d been cold towards him ever since she went home for a few weeks in over the summer. Sitting here, one month later, he wasn’t sure if she even liked him anymore. Louis got up, walked…

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    The Age of Aquarius, Aquarius by Leah Mueller

    All of my life, I’ve had mixed feelings about being an Aquarius.  As a child in the early 70s, I sought out and devoured every astrological description I could find.  I was enthralled by the little Dell paperbacks by the grocery checkout stands that, for the price of a quarter, promised answers to life’s greatest conundrums: “What Does Your Handwriting Say About YOU?” “Interpret the Symbols of Your Dreams!” and “Learn to Read Your Own Face.” There were racks of little books devoted to each astrological sign, and I peeked through the descriptions of all of them, as I waited in line to buy cigarettes for my parents.  In one…

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    Tyr’s Wrath by Martin Chase

    Crimson soil, soaked in blood Of mine kin, of gods slaughtered By most fiendish blade. Their bodies strewn, entrails spilled; Father, mother, and brethren.   Odin, on his own Spear his head is impaled; Thor By poison bolts pierced, Frey, his flesh razed to ash; All else, maimed, ravaged, and torn.   Were I mortal man, With remaining fist, the gods I would damn for this.  

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    Keep Tacoma Feared by Elizabeth Beck

    Weird Tacoma Issue 15 August 22nd, 2015 Welcome, citizens, to another edition of Weird Tacoma. In this issue, we’ll be exploring the curious phenomenon of the Point Defiance Hellhole. Point Defiance is a park to be proud of, with its storied history, commitment to preservation, and sheer acreage. Like any beautiful thing, the surface need only be scratched to glimpse the dark secrets beneath. Not far from the zoo, along the scenic Five-Mile Drive is Fort Nisqually, a place where you can still visit the 1800s, where daily life and historic events are reenacted for the modern-day time traveler. One of the scenes that will never see the light of day…

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    The Plight of Bounty by Chelsea Vitone

    She sat at the long table, twirling her fork across her plate. Her mother’s forced laughter came from the head of the table and Aadhiya rolled her eyes. Her parents were throwing yet another dinner party and the swarm of the elite was almost nauseating. How could they act like everything was normal, everything was ok? Just before sunrise, her service girl Adeline, her best friend, had shook her awake, tears streaming down her face. Her brother was sick. Aadhiya watched Mrs. Hanson in her padded pant suit to make her look more ample than her hollowed cheeks belied. Dr. Nguyen wore the silk suit that he always swore was…