A Letter From Ben

a short story by Joan Horrigan
([email]joanhorrigan [at] msn [dot] com[/email])

Now that I got your attention and you got the privilege of my generosity, I’m gonna make you a deal. This ain’t no car dealer’s deal. This here’s a genuwine way to make some dough.

Just to show my honest regards to you, I’ll let you in on what happened and why this here’s gonna work. Now, I ain’t no good at writing, so you gotta bear with me in this letter cause I talk out loud as I write.

What started the whole thing was Charlie got sick. Now Charlie is the only friend I got in here at Statesville. So I couldn’t let him down when he asked a favor of me.

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Foster Care

a short story by Felicia Sullivan
([email]felsull [at] hotmail [dot] com[/email])

One Tuesday morning, Claire Foster’s mother died. There had been rumors. Sam Johnson, who delivered the early edition of the Daily News, would see her stumble in heels too high, white vinyl skirt creeping up her thighs, edges ripped, snagging on fishnets — coming off the Eastbound 5:51AM train from Manhattan. Kate Taylor, during her morning jog, would spurt past Diana Foster and pause, “Are you okay?” Kate squeaked, out of breath in her pink parachute-jogging suit, matching fanny pack and stereo headphones. Scratching her arms, skin gathering under jagged fingernails, Diana would mutter a drunken “Uh-huh” and then trip and fall onto her lawn. “There were definitely needle marks,” Kate speculated to cashiers at the local supermarket. People in my town loved a good story. “I didn’t want to help her up,” Kate had whispered to Betty Samson while they were nestled under a scalding hot dryer, hair tightly rolled in sky-blue plastic curlers. “You just never know!” My mother delivered these stories to my father every evening like the late edition of the news.

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Sleepless Night

a short story by Carolyn Morris
([email]amethyzt213 [at] yahoo [dot] com[/email])

The rain beat softly on the pavement outside. It carried the scent of the ocean and the flowers in the bluffs it had crossed to get to the girl’s window. But she did not notice it. Her senses, once attuned to the sights and sounds of the world around her, had grown dulled. Perhaps it was age that had done it, closing her eyes to the brilliance she used to see in everything. More likely it was the man lying sprawled out beside her in bed, as usual taking up as much room as possible, as if even in sleep he wanted to consume and stifle her. She had grown dead to the pain, the aching, the horrible nothingness. Feeling nothing was worse than feeling something. She had found this out over the course of the years, slowly, gradually, and without realizing that her life and soul were being diminished.

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Again

What if we daisy-cut
Bin Laden to bloody mush
And stuff his corpse

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There is No One Such as I

There is no one such as I…
God’s own juices flow here.
The plain upon which I falter is my hell…

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