1
PAPER CUTTER

PAPER CUTTER

The blade on the paper cutter is sharp and sinister.

2
MITIGATION

MITIGATION

She spooned a pea into her mouth and swallowed without chewing.

3
EVERYONE LOVES MEAT LOAF

EVERYONE LOVES MEAT LOAF

“You quit your job to start a band?”

4
LIKE SHOOTING SKEET

LIKE SHOOTING SKEET

"Just like shooting skeet, and I’ll miss when it counts."

5
OUT OF THE DOGHOUSE

OUT OF THE DOGHOUSE

Well, life had definitely taken a turn for the better.

6
DOES A PARADOX BEAT THREE CONUNDRUMS?

DOES A PARADOX BEAT THREE CONUNDRUMS?

“How’s stuffing Lucky Marantz into a freezer an opportunity?”

7
BEAN BOY

BEAN BOY

Bean Boy was afraid but did as he was told.

8
IF THE MOON LANDING HAD FAILED

IF THE MOON LANDING HAD FAILED

Overhead, the warning lights in the lunar module blink to amber.

9
MICHAEL

MICHAEL

Hello Michael.

0

PAPER CUTTER

by Megan Fahey

The blade on the paper cutter is sharp and sinister. It is precise, but still, your edges are never right. Your sides are cockeyed and tilted. Black ink births tiny white fringe with each slice. The machine is imperfect, and it is flawed, but it’s better than you could ever be with scissors or clippers or knives. Cutting paper is a young person’s game.

0

MITIGATION

by Becky Marietta

When recounting the story, she liked to tell people that it was all Harold’s fault. Didn’t most criminals blame other people for their crimes, especially their crimes of passion?

0

EVERYONE LOVES MEAT LOAF

by Timothy O’Leary

Peggy gave her big brother that look, the skeptic face normally reserved for her four-year-old son when he announced he could fly or had mysteriously become a black belt in karate.

0

LIKE SHOOTING SKEET

by Gareth Frank

Lincoln Rush drove out Willow Grove Street in his black 1964 Nova SS, thinking thoughts the color of his fender.

0

OUT OF THE DOGHOUSE

by Gary Beck

I don’t know if fate owed me an upswing, but life hadn’t been easy for the last two years. I came to New York to escape the constraints of my Boston upbringing. I was the second son in a long family line that had a rigid tradition: the first son became a doctor, the second son became a lawyer. The allure of law was nonexistent to me…

0

DOES A PARADOX BEAT THREE CONUNDRUMS?

by Ulysses Q

“It ain’t gonna fit.”

“You, my friend, are a pessimist.”

“Why am I a pessimist?”

“Situation wanders along, you see it as a problem. I, on the other hand, being an eternal optimist, view things as opportunity.”

1

BEAN BOY

by Daniel Coble

This is the story of Bean Boy, and of how his parents, wishing him dead, came to try to squash him like a bug using an iron teakettle.

0

IF THE MOON LANDING HAD FAILED

by Jason Peck

Overhead, the warning lights in the lunar module blink to amber. Their remaining oxygen is measured in minutes.

Buzz Aldrin scans Neil Armstrong’s face for panic, finds nothing. No wonder they picked him to step out first, Buzz thinks. I’ve got sixty-six combat missions, a doctorate in astronautics, and they end up picking Neil because they want a Lindberg type.

2

MICHAEL

by C. N. Perry

Hello Michael.

His eyes open from a sleep that hadn’t gifted any rest, the words still crawling at the bottom his brain like that thread of information one sees crawling at the bottom of a news broadcast.

He doesn’t move.

A fly crawls across the ceiling; he tracks it with his eyes until the alarm sounds from the nightstand.

He slaps it silent without looking.

He’d been watching the fly for over an hour.


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