The First Week

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By Mary Shay McGuire (for Lane)

dulled, muted, I sit in the room
at the open window, the lace
breathes in and out

it has been a whole week
a Sunday to Sunday since his death

I remember his garden on the edge
of the stone path filled with
basils, chives and one begonia

tulips he planted in a blurt
of color under the tree
the wildflowers beyond, the rose wandering

and on the kitchen table
the glass bowl filled with peonies
so pale, so perfect they ached

             
“I write because it seems the way to express to something that I cannot say any other way,” – the author

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Voyeur

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By John Malone

You spend too much time watching TV, she says, and please get your feet off the pouf.
Sure, he says. Docos, current affairs, the six o’clock news.

Whatever, she snaps. And you’ve always got your head buried in a book.

Non-fiction, he replies. Bios. Travel. True crime. Politics. I’m interested in what goes on in the world.

If only you spent more time in it, she says.

            
John is an Aussie writer of poetry, short stories and flash fiction. He aims for a frisson in every piece but doesn’t always achieve it.

What My Father Left Behind

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By Dianne Moritz

A Spanish language textbook, his signature penciled on the flyleaf.

A self-indulgent sonnet scrawled on a slip of scrap paper.

That one photograph.

A lifelong sense of loss and longing in his two young daughters.

           
Dianne Moritz enjoys capturing brief moments in time, celebrating trials, tribulations, and beauty of life. She dreams of publishing a book of all her drabble.

The Right Reaction

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By Fiona M Jones

How do you react to Maddelynne’s FIFTEENTH photoshopped selfie this WEEK? This one’s got bunny-ears and a cutesy nose. Ew.

Everyone else is doing Heart, the dastardly fakes. And their comments: “Grate look,” “Wish i cud look like that,” “Your so toned.” It’s not even true.

Angry Face? No; don’t give her the satisfaction. Ignore? No; that’ll show you’re out of the loop. Wow or Tears? Nah. Laughter? Nope; looks too petty. Thumbs up? Too subtle; not enough irony.

Which leaves Heart. OK then. She’ll know you don’t mean it, and it’ll eat her up.

Click.

Ahh … that was fun.

              
Fiona Jones is a part-time teacher, a parent and a spare-time writer living in Scotland. She writes because it is more fun than housework and lasts longer.

Darkness

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By G. Allen Wilbanks

“Why are you afraid of the dark? Darkness is the natural state of everything. It’s the light that’s unnatural. When God said, ‘Let there be light,’ he was imposing an artificial reality on a universe that had previously only know known total darkness and emptiness, and every force in nature is currently trying to drive us back to that original point of neutrality. Everything around us is temporary, and at some point in the future we will all return to that initial state of nothingness. It’s inevitable.”

“Maybe,” his wife admitted. “But, I still want you to replace the lightbulb.”

           
G. Allen Wilbanks is a member of the Horror Writers Association (HWA) and has published over 60 short stories in Deep Magic, Daily Science Fiction, The Talisman, and other venues. He has published two story collections, and the novel, When Darkness Comes.

Half-Hammered at The Bohemian

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By Laurence Foshee

is seated hunting for an isn’t: half-lit yule questions of negatives, WASPyish contrapuntal visages, clutched Pirandellini pale ale, or something, anything, any something – isn’t.

It’s … probably definitely the beer at The Bohemian talking through me, but I keep concurrently not discerning why and doting on how exactly damn much.

I love her, in all its (understood as) unreturned shimmering, past that autoclave first decade mark, and reverberating into wonder on which span of time it’s gonna tuck me away within a life of being alone.

But it’s alright; human life isn’t all that long in the first place, I’d guess.

           
Laurence Foshee is a Tulsa, Oklahoma native with poetry and flash fiction in eMerge Magazine and Dragon Poet Review. He is avid reader and experimenter with the form and subject of courtly love or love-loss.

Listen

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By Dr. Shmuel Shoham

She had respiratory failure and I thought my words were calming.
She felt that I was ignoring her distress.
I learned to ask what it was that scared my patients. To listen.
I think I am getting better at it.

           
Shmuel Shoham is an infectious disease doctor at Johns Hopkins Medical Center. He believes a doctor’s role is to create the best environment from which patients can heal.