The Climb – by Jacqueline Masumian

From the parking lot I see the class building with the cell towers looming ahead of me. I’m not sure it’s tall enough, but I have to try. At the crossing a red van slams on his breaks to let me walk. Why bother, I want to yell, just run me over, please. I march […]

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The Pebble – by Rebecca Harrison

Sarah found the pebble on the beach. It was the colour of shaken clouds. She put it in her pocket, took it home, settled it on her bedside table, and went to sleep. In the morning, the pebble had grown – it filled her hands. It was as cool as wind shadows. She held it […]

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The Ten-a-Penny Parable – by Matt Hollingsworth

Alright, so we’re in a city, you all with me so far? So in this city there’s this man; we’ll call him Person A and Person A has ten million dollars in a briefcase. Don’t ask why he has so much money or why he’s choosing to carry it around with him. Anyway, we’ve got […]

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Jinapher J. Hoffman – Somewhere Else, Anywhere Else

I reach up, stick my tongue out. Momma sings to Little Brother in the nursery. My toy is on the top shelf. I have to climb to get it. Dad’s downstairs. He bellows out bad words. Baseball is on. I brace myself on top of his dresser. Momma stops singing. Dad stops shouting. The house […]

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Jono Naito – Position

I suspected my music tutors were psychiatrists in disguise. It was all in code, Mrs. Osborne’s idea. They told me, “Second position.” “Elbow up.” “Slide to extended fourth.” The cello’s neck choked me; I never held it right. The Tuesday tutor would twist me like armature wire, and I would stifle discomfort. Their corrections meant […]

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What? – by Doug Hawley

Duke started hallucinating about a month before seeing a psychiatrist. At 7pm someone, perhaps himself, went flying off a cliff on a horse, but never landing. That was just the beginning. From that day on, each evening at the same time, he would experience what appeared to be a dream overlaying his reality. The next […]

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A Poet’s Five Stages of Grief – by Shari Crane

Denial: Receive an email from the “Annual Ipecac Writing Competition.” Excitedly open the email. Entertain thoughts of winning. You sent them a good piece; it was revised more often than a realtor’s face. Imagine a publishing deal. Imagine handing in your two-week notice. Feel relieved about the prospect of never again staring (while trying not […]

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The Pond Heron – by Chella Coutington

I can’t think of my cousin without seeing the Chinese Pond Heron. Its yellow bill tipped in black. During mating season gray feathers flecked with white turn red. Low-lying, he wades in brackish water, spears a glossy frog. Cracks him in half before swallowing. One leg tucked under his body, he holds position. Behind a […]

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Peach Blossoms of Shangri-La

Peach Blossom Shangri-la (Tao Hua Yuan Ji) By Tao Yuanming [1] During the Taiyuan era [2] of the Jin Dynasty [3] there was a man of Wuling [4] who made his living as a fisherman. Once while following a stream he forgot how far he had gone. He suddenly came to a grove of blossoming […]

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The Shepherd’s Boy

The Shepherd’s Boy by Aesop There was once a young Shepherd Boy who tended his sheep at the foot of a mountain near a dark forest. It was rather lonely for him all day, so he thought upon a plan by which he could get a little company and some excitement. He rushed down towards […]

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