The Crystal Palace

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Now the Millers’ living room was white with smoke. A dark plume gathered quickly at the ceiling. My lungs burned, my eyes stung. Before that, though, I dreamed: the fire in the fireplace cracked and snapped happily. I was still watching TV, the show about the Crystal Palace. Caleb hadn’t left yet. He sat thereMore

Holy Thoughts

Holy Thoughts

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Catholic, Jewish, Mormon, or Muslim–boys will be boys.More

Could Haves

Could Haves

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Savannah had watched the man come up the walk minutes before, noting his crisp strides, the way each foot landed on the instep instead of the heel-toe, heel-toe approach of most men. He had oddly put out his palm to press the doorbell, and Savannah knew she had to answer. The man now sat acrossMore

Three Fishermen

Three Fishermen

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He was jealous of them, of the immigrants, of their boldness, their adventures, but he wouldn’t admit it, and he looked at them and they looked at him, and the space in-between was trapped in guilt, his and theirs.More

Comets

Comets

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Del, a struggling cabinetmaker, lucks into seven garbage bags of wild growing pot and sees it as a way to start his own shop.More

Remote Controls and Menus (XVII)

Remote Controls and Menus (XVII)

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Things that go hand and hand – like professional wrestling and pornography.More

The Bass

The Bass

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I know I can get better if I want to. Everybody can get better if they want to.   At the Duck Thru the black ladies are talking ‘bout the Bradley man that used to be sheriff in Halifax County. He killed himself yesterday. Melissa’s rescue squad was called out to it. They say heMore

Cigarettes and Whiskey and No Sex for You

Cigarettes and Whiskey and No Sex for You

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So, I started trying to figure out how she might be right, because I love her, and I trust her, and sometimes I think she might save me when I’m in the mood to think I need saving…More

Patriotism Is Not the Province of the Selfish

Patriotism Is Not the Province of the Selfish

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They’re the kind of people who got theirs and, well, screw everyone else. They’re the kind of people who don’t ladle stew in soup kitchens, pick up litter on beaches, plant flowers for neighborhood beautification projects, or raise wooden frames for Habitat for Humanity.More

The Butcher

The Butcher

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The street lights shined on the metal siding of Harrison Brothers warehouse. During the day fifty men hauled bags of grain and loaded them onto trucks headed west. Danny knew a few people who worked there. He sometimes drank with them at The Rocks. But it was near midnight and the people gathered inside wereMore

American Cheese

American Cheese

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When your brother moves out, his room will be your room, as a sort of hand-me-down, like a pair of Jnco Jeans or a chain wallet.More

Biopsy

Biopsy

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He’d never been to a strip club, but he imagined they were full of Shelby’s.More

Launch and Recovery

Launch and Recovery

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My apology seemed odd and inadequate, considering the reality of American racism, about which I felt basically helpless.More

The Gallows Fifty Cubits High

The Gallows Fifty Cubits High

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All I can do is search the room for someone who can help me. But Marie went home a half hour ago, Saul’s sitting with his head buried in an ice chest, and all the cousins are dancing, bunched up in front of the DJ, wasted. I’ve seen worse—it’s Purim—but it might be time to panic.More

Friends In Low Places

Friends In Low Places

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The principal made Mike an ex-middle school English teacher earlier in the afternoon.More

dwindle, peak, and pine

dwindle, peak, and pine

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—with thanks to the Columbus Zoo   We find Hay-Zeus on what we think is a Sunday. He is in Cruciform. He is missing below the chest, his neck gnawed away. His fists clench fur. Shame, another says. He is our cook and we have not eaten since what we think was Friday. Not fishMore

“The car had been through a reconstructed transmission, a busted carburetor, and was an absolute lush for Valvoline.” – Jordan Farmer, “Brothers”