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I Am Santo

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Stucco and Stone

Wood and tile. It was all she knew. Wood and tile, stucco and stone. The night had pulsed long past late dusk, revelers waving their limbs about in heightened, feigned ecstasies they hoped might escalate and consume them, like dry brush waiting for fire. So many nights like this one over the years, evenings where […]

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Out Riding

His name was Carlos, or so he’d said. Min-jung honestly didn’t care. He was young, strong and beautiful and he believed her when she said her name was Areum, so all things being equal, he had every right to be Carlos, Juan, Victor or Pablo. She didn’t mind as long as he held her again […]

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One Way

Gail had lost the bet with herself, an irony not lost on her. Lev’s decision didn’t surprise, but it irritated her the way a stain did when soup was ordered instead of a burger to avoid dripping grease on a new blouse. Still a drop blemished. Had she known how quickly Lev was going to […]

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Anger Keep Out

Gasik stepped down the drop-off toward the water and breathed shallow, the sulfur of the pond stinging even against his effort. The place was a swollen lesion on the ass of the town; a chained-up, fenced-in, sign-posted swath of embarrassment that was the subject of children’s dares and adult’s dark grumbling. Gasik’s own child has […]

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What Creezus Knew

She’d listened to Gary long enough, but couldn’t let go. Even before coming here, Marla knew they were nearly done, her nights in bed by his snoring side becoming an interminable endurance test. They made love infrequently, life painting them into separate corners with its financial redecoration of who they’d been when they met four […]

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True Grace

Photo by @moniblanco McKenna remembered the day well, although she hadn’t thought of it in many years. The way the wet sand held together beneath her feet, seawater seeping up from the edges of each step as she sloppily pirouetted to the melody of her freedom; it still resonated within her. Sometimes she’d lie still […]

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Grave: Part 3

Abel Petty listened for a moment, then mumbled an inaudible agreement and snapped the phone closed. He then stood for a long moment and stared at the wisps of clouds burning off in the heat of the late day. There was probably an hour left of full daylight, then the shadows were going to grow […]

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Grave: Part 2

“Good! Fine!” Petty conceded and Benson could feel the fight drain from the pinned man’s body. He was tempted to give another twist to the foot, but then remembered they were supposed to be working together, something that Petty had quickly forgotten. “Right,” Benson said, and in a quick motion he stood, scooping the spade […]

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Grave: Part 1

“This isn’t a holiday, Kramer,” Petty said, his green eyes stinging as much as his words, a snarl on his face that curled his lip into a ghastly visage that seemed impossible for a man almost universally declared as handsome. Strong jaw, peppered with sandy stubble, he stared long at Benson with anger in his […]

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Thin Skin

The venom wasn’t fatal. Breath would be drawn after the countless strikes at a fragile ego, but whatever course had been originally settled upon shifted suddenly and irrevocably. Nothing fit afterward, as if the world was composed of incongruous shapes that bore no relation to each other and floated in unfixed points throughout each day […]

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