Three Fingers

Marika cut her eyes low, away from the damnable blank canvas. The blasted thing had preyed on her mind for two weeks now. She’d vowed to get a least one spot of paint on it before she removed her butt from the stool. She shifted to stare at the inert jars of paint that could…

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The Arch

Bored with the beach already, Randy threw another beat-up shell into the surf. Movement to the side caught his eye. “Hey, you look just like me!” “Nuh-uh, you look like me.” Randy very quickly decided this could be fun, so he magnanimously allowed, “We look like each other.” He held out the super-sized bag of…

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Dreaming of Better Days

Tamika Lamar keyed in and trudged to the same desk she’d written the factory’s procedures from for four years. What a dead end job. The place seemed to attract pale faced automatons like a robot magnet; the image of an electromagnet on a crane at a junkyard flashed in her mind. Opening her satchel wide,…

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Betsy, Stanley and Herb

“I’ve had all I can stand from that old bastard; I’ll fix his wagon, I surely will.” She poked around the crowded kitchen counter for her wild herb book, a quarter at the Salvation Army store in town. “Of course not,” she mumbled, “don’t matter anyway. I read holes in the pages and ought to…

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Huntin’ Frogs

1955. “Mama! I done struck oil! Black gold! Millionaires!” Valerie stretched her kneaded dough balls into the bread pans, covered them with a tea towels and rubbed her hands on her apron. “A millionaire, is it? What have you been up to, Punkin?” “Mama, Californy is the place we oughta be! Look!” Vicky thrust black,…

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A Single Wild Blossom

Greta sweltered at the keyboard, trying to get one more article done. Just one more! Think! She worked full time plus at the factory at salary, meaning they didn’t pay overtime. She sold books from her mother’s outrageously huge library online and did copywriting for six businesses. She also had to care for her increasingly…

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Being Awake Is a Reason To Drink Coffee

Being awake is a reason to drink coffee. Get up before the sun rises, make coffee, work. Weekdays, work consists of being around other people, so throw a wash-up in there. And Sunday I take Mother to church, so that’s a wash-up too. Oooh, I love Saturdays: Up, work, logic circuits afire, fueled by coffee.…

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Caleb and the Viet Cong

“Caleb, get your ass back over here and hold this ladder!” “Uncle Johann, there’s something in the woods making noise!” “There are a million things in the woods and most of them make noise. Hold the ladder!” Johann had a hod in one hand and a trowel in the other that also grasped the ladder…

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At the Oasis Hotel

“All I can say is this hotel will drop a star for lack of train access.” “Dear, you knew that when you booked these rooms. I think the staff had been exceptionally polite and had a marvelous selection of fruits.” “Fruits schmoots, they didn’t have fresh figs.” “You never eat them at home, even when…

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An Unfortunate Phobia and Chess

“Shawn, did you dump Chess somewhere? “’Course not. Shut up.” He kept his eyes on his phone, his thumbs in a frenzy. “You dump off every dog I get. Emery gave me that one, said she’d be quiet and not dig anywhere. So why’d you dump her?” “Shut up. You think I dumped you stupid…

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