Doctor’s Report: Patient A

a fiction short by Kimberly Townsend Palmer
([email]KimberlyTP [at] aol [dot] com[/email])

Patient A is a living museum of femininity, and serves as transitory evidence of extensive neo-geo-psycho-socio-eco-political movement. Designed and built in the second half of the twentieth century, she first gained philanthropic prominence with a cynical, witty, overeducated man eight years her senior, Charles F. She stayed faithful to Charles F. for six months, but the intriguing tales of his former sexual partners, then numbering in the several hundreds, irretrievably seized her imagination. She left, and never looked back. She shops for new men the way other women shop for new shoes.

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Vengeance On The Danube

a short story by Alan C. Baird

The modern city formed by the ancient towns of Buda, Obuda and Pest basks in a riot of color – many leaves are flaunting their autumn tints in the warm afternoon sunshine. The majestic Danube flows through the midst of this glittering metropolis, with its historic bridges linking together millions of souls into a sophisticated city known as “The Paris Of The East.”

A sleek cigarette boat drifts offshore, through the sparsely-inhabited outlying precincts of Budapest. It’s a lovely day to be on the river… for some people.

Resting on a narrow ledge at the end of this streamlined craft lies an anchor, partly hanging over the water. A four-meter chain attaches the anchor to a human ankle, encased in a bright orange hazmat isolation suit. From behind the suit’s protective Plexiglas mask, a terrified face peers out, eyes desperately straining to look downward.

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The House on Bretton Heights

a short story by Tom Sheehan
([email]tomsheehan [at] attbi [dot] com[/email])

For nearly a month, from a cliff shoulder on Pressburn Hill, August rain and sun taking turns at him, birds accepting him, Brisque Validarn watched the house on Bretton Heights, watched every movement, change of light, visit and departure. From his post the house, on the very summit of Bretton Heights, was about half a mile distant, sitting there the crown jewel of targets, its parapets breaching the skyline. One precious stone, slipped with dark ease from that crown, would last him for a year; Nice, Bordeaux in the old country, any beach without reservation in the New World. He watched, he clocked, he measured, he posted entries in a burgeoning logbook. When a light went on or off, he bent over his logbook and marked the time, the quadrant of the big house, calculated routines. When a FedEx truck crawled up the long driveway, Brisque swore he could hear the gears at work, both coming and going, as the drive back down the hill could prove challenging.

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The Seer

a fiction short by Claire Dandridge Selleck
[email]claires [at] burningword [dot] com[/email]

There was nothing extraordinary about the way the day began. The alarm clock rang at the usual hour and, however reluctantly, I rolled at once from my bed vaguely aware that a dream had been interrupted. Scraping the hair back from my forehead, I stumbled to the kitchen and eyed the sink full of dishes still submerged in soapy water from last night’s false start. As I paused to watch the mist rising from the river that flowed some one hundred feet from my kitchen window, I was reminded why waking to dirty dishes no longer bothered me. At night I had only the four window panes to reflect on as I washed up; unless the moon is full, the darkness here is impenetrable. In the morning I had this dancing river to entertain me, the swirls of steam flowing upward like a lavishly choreographed ballet. I could linger as long as I pleased, the dishes a guilt-effacing alibi.

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Surface Tension

To skim across
the aortic arch
on surface tension,
no more than vibration,
a referred tremor,
a memory of a dream
glimmering across the milieu,
a half-sensed

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Thousand Deaths Plus One

a flash fiction piece by Zinta Aistars
[email]zaistars [at] kzoo [dot] edu[/email]

“Don’t shut me out,” she whispers to the back of his head. “Would die a thousand deaths for you, know I would, know I would, you know it,” she whispers with her lips right up against the rough short growth of his hair. Her hands reach around to touch his face, turned away from her, his body turned away from her, his eyes turned away from her. Light fuzz, bit of rough, cool cheeks, she smoothes her palms over his face and contours her fingers to the shape she has created. From one micro-magical cell deep in her body, eighteen years ago, she created this face.

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