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New Fiction: Field Trip Chicken

Mary Keen has to get a therapy chicken back to Harmony Farms, but the simple task spirals out of control…

The compost demonstration showed all the amazing ways that poultry could break down waste while building soil. She had no idea a flock of chickens could be so industrious. Mrs. Applewood was convinced that chickens had an important role to play in the efforts to recycle matter and change it from something wasteful to something useful. Regenerative farming practices had the potential to change the world. But, still, there was something about that Miss Frizzle….

New Fiction: Looking for Karen

Susan closed the door of her father’s Toyota, looking through the window one last time to make sure there were no crumbs from her scone on the seat. “No eating in the car,” was one of those rules set by her father that was openly ignored by all of his children. She laughed.

She had parked at the bottom of the long stairway leading up to the Mullen Home for the Aged, and started the climb to the entrance.

Snowdrops and crocuses were coming up and the grass next to the receding snow was a bright green. The gardener had planted pansies in a bed beneath the Sacred Heart statue. Susan thought about her father saying you could use the statue for a sundial, Jesus’ extended arm as the perfect gnomon.

New Fiction: Ringside at the Circus of the Fallen

An Honorable Mention from The Heroes Half of The Contest

Robert was waiting at Zinnia Hotel, well up in the rather barren hills north of Burbank, that evening in early spring 1937. He was to meet a friend at the Grill, the hotel’s bar and curving dining room, when a foursome had arrived to take a booth. The two men and two women –– a somewhat Rubeneseque matron and a wide-eyed olive-skinned young girl who could scarcely have been sixteen, both of them overdressed for the room –– slid into the bench seats, the women on the inside while the men bookended them on either side.  They seemed an odd group for this nightclub.

New Fiction: What Hath God Wrought?

The Runner-Up of The Villains Half of The Contest

“Gentlemen, please, if I might have your attention.  Is everyone present?  There ought to be ample room for all of your colleagues, if you could please muster here, in the main hall.  Yes, if would organize yourselves into serried ranks, the spacing will be more efficient, as when a grocer packs oranges.  This is the first principle of an army, even an army of dedicated newspapermen and radio journalists such as yourselves.  Please refrain from jockeying for a better position.  The acoustics of the room have been designed so that I shall be perfectly audible to all of you from this dais.  Indeed, Ignacy Paderewski entertained us here at the Tesla factory once, and from the back of the room, you could discern the faintest pianissimo.  The mazurkas danced through the air and the polonaises crashed like thunder.  Evanescent strains of beauty illuminated the room like tendrils of energy from one of my oscillators.  It was a memorable evening that transported all of us, for a brief few hours, to an idealized world, almost as though it had been synthesized in a laboratory.”

 

New Fiction: The Gift

The Winner of The Heroes Half of The Contest

Read this story and the winner of the Villains contest and then cast your vote here for which story should triumph.

New Fiction: To Live Afresh

An undergraduate’s passion for literature… and the new Teaching Assistant…

As Declan Rosetti started his senior year at Francis Lewis University, named for New York’s forgettable delegate that signed the Declaration of Independence, as an English Literature and Creative Writing major, he was filled with thoughts of what to do after graduation. The detractors of the school called it F’ing Lame University or just FLU like the malady that struck so many during the long Upstate winters. He wondered if he had the guts to head down to New York City and live the life of a poor writer. He fantasized about getting an apartment in Greenwich Village and writing for Saturday Night Live. Or should he go to graduate school, which was the more practical decision? Those were questions for later; for now it was the start of the school year that always felt full of promise.

New Fiction: The November Guest

Homer Wheaton, widower, lived alone in a stone cottage at the end of a long gravel driveway that was lined with majestic sugar maples. The cottage, as meticulously groomed and refined as any English country house, was situated on forty-four acres outside the small college town of Cazenovia, New York.

It had been over twenty years since his wife, Faith, died in a car accident. She had been driven off the road by a tractor trailer belonging to one of the big box stores. The driver had fallen asleep after working three straight twelve hour shifts; the after Thanksgiving sales had pushed the chain to stretch the limits of sleep and sanity…

New Fiction: The Decent

When a Trump Supporter And a Progressive Go On Their First Date…

Gary showed up right at 5:25, coatless and tieless, trying his best to match Gina’s more casual khakis and polo shirt. They did start out in the coffee shop, Gina ordering them two decaffeinated lattes. (Wanda eyed her wryly, shaking her head.) After about an hour, he invited her to dinner at a local seafood bar that was appropriately causal. She agreed. And as it was a warm late Spring evening they walked the three blocks together.

New Science Fiction: Revival

“I – We’ve analyzed the data. It was a spate of second births that parents had already wanted to have or the earlier birth of first borns. No one is having third children that are necessary for population growth. The incentives are not even stabilizing growth by encouraging parents to have second children above the one designer child they typically have. Children are seen as a burden; money doesn’t change mindsets.” Daniel wondered how so many experts in propaganda and public affairs could not see beyond the carrot and stick approach. The birth dearth was caused by a lack of desire for children as much as a lack of children themselves. “A single financial bonus does not counteract years of propaganda of how hard it is to raise more than one child.”

New Fiction: Return To Prague

What would make your “Must Do” list if you were diagnosed with a terminal disease?

“Christmas in Prague?” he asked, reaching out to hold her hand.

“Perfect,” she said, pulling him in close for a kiss…