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Latest Short stories

First Place Winner: New Samaria

First Place Winner: New Samaria

I wake to the taste of saltwater on my tongue and throbbing behind my eyes. Heat sears my back as I bob in turquoise waves. Below and around me float crates imprinted with Japanese symbols, empty life vests, an object that looks like a severed pale arm…

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Second Place Winner: Memory Knife

Second Place Winner: Memory Knife

The desert is no place for a guilty conscience. The silence eats at sinners until they’re small enough and broken enough to be swallowed whole. That’s why Erin Flores chose the Mojave as her new home. After her term in prison, disappearance felt like absolution. She paid cash for a structure that the ad loosely described as a house, the siding peeling off in white strips like dead skin, and settled in to wait for her ingestion.

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First Place Winner: Cassie’s Pearl

First Place Winner: Cassie’s Pearl

Wine in hand, I stepped into the scalding shower without checking the temperature. The sensation offered a brief reprieve from the ache in my heart. I stumbled on a leftover sliver of a soap bar, sloshing half the wine into the drain. “What a waste,” I mumbled. I chugged the rest in two gulps and plunked the glass onto the floor, where it quickly overflowed with spray.

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Yesterday’s Self

Yesterday’s Self

The phenomenon first happened when I was seven years old. Mud caked my pants and the tip of my nose as I stirred an earthy concoction with a stick. “Leaves!” I commanded, my hand outstretched. My friend Lily scurried toward the bushes. Within seconds, she returned and placed the ingredients I’d requested in my palm. Careful not to break the surface of the murky water, I spread out the green embellishments and removed my makeshift utensil. “Soup’s done.”

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Second Place Winner: Simple Dances

Second Place Winner: Simple Dances

Brown leaves battered Mr. Cotter’s beat-up truck as he pried open its door. He shook his head. How much time had withered since he last drove it? A year. He sighed, remembering the plot he puttered it to last. The once-green paint peeled in his hands like a snake shedding its skin.

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