Everything Around Me Keeps Turning into Rocks

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by Jordan Moffatt
Image: Raquel Hladky Calanda

My friend Shelagh told me to meet her at this new coffee place downtown so I went there, but I was a little early and Shelagh hadn’t arrived yet so I figured I’d get myself an espresso allonge and save a table and wait for her but when I got my espresso allonge it wasn’t an espresso allonge at all, it was just a handful of rocks, and so I went to complain to the barista but the barista was just a pile of rocks and the table I’d saved was also a pile of rocks and that’s when I realized I wasn’t at the cafe at all — I was at the beach, the rocky one not the sandy one, and instead of being early at the cafe I was actually late because I’d spent so much time confusing rocks for things and I was still a five minute bicycle ride from the cafe (six minutes if you include the time it takes for me to unlock and then lock my bicycle). Continue Reading

The Last Waltz

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by Norman Belanger
Image: Brian Morrow

The Danube is not blue. Tonight, anyway, it is green and deeply murky. Something fetid rises up in the mists of it, a miasma stink that will always remind me of this sad city, a scent of rotting vegetation and dank, dead things that float to the surface of its turbid waters. When the white bulbs flicker along the Chain bridge, their reflection is almost beautiful, but it’s a trick of the light, the winking eye of a stranger that is there, and fleeting, gone. Continue Reading

LIVE OUT THE GHOST LIFE

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by Clarissa Lempp
Image: Mario Büger
Translation: Ambika Thompson

I used to live in a haunted apartment, and what can I say, it didn’t go well. The apartment was an evil place, which I figured out pretty quickly. Cold corners, slamming doors, walls that bled and whining children’s voices in the night. Sleep wasn’t an option and even the milk in the fridge turned sour. The living biomass in the dead-soul-zone provided plenty of suspense. There was negative energy everywhere, and as an illegal lodger I couldn’t even try and fight for a rent reduction. Continue Reading

Troll/Librarian

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by Julie Hersh
Image: Ambika Thompson

It was morning and there was a solid gloomy cloud coating the books and the sighing people at the long tables. The library was a big room. And not the kind that covers around you but the kind you’re always looking across nervously. The librarian behind the counter wanted to go home. She was damp from rain, dripping onto floors and books and curving wooden shelves. She thought: Libraries are like stacks of money in a wallet, wrinkled and soft and useful for something until they’re torn in two, when they spill their books over the side of the world into a hole and each half goes in its separate directions, fiction to the left or to the ground, nonfiction to the right or toward the sky, to rain back down later. Continue Reading

Pigeons

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by Kristy Lin Billuni
Image: Flannery Bateman

Ava watched a city bus accelerate toward three clucking pigeons in the middle of the road. Their nonchalant pecking at the asphalt right up to the last nanosecond before total obliteration thrilled her. She gasped, and all three took flight, scattering to the right and left of the massive bus fenders, two landing in the gutter beside her. She rested the side of her face on the hot concrete, and a sharp pebble dug at her cheekbone. Continue Reading

Swaha

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by Liz Kay
Image: Lita

I’d had my wish and I’d blown it out all over the cake.

But I still had the blue bucket. By the door next to the coats and shoes. It was bought by the seaside in the days when we used to play.

Last year Kevin rescued it from the garden, emptied it of frogs and filled it with dreams on sorry bits of paper wrapped up tight. Gel penned goals: see the northern lights and learn the ukulele. Write a novel and compile a facebook page of rainbows. I’d done the last one, had 1267 followers and counted 336 likes on my best picture so far. Continue Reading

Buffalo Manifesto

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by Greg Burkholder
Image: Tom Moore

I remember laying in bed surrounded by buffalo. They licked my face, their tongues like wet sandpaper. The buffalo would impatiently nudge my hand until I flung my blanket off and trampled through my room with them. The carpet swayed like prairie grass and the walls stretched for miles. Time to infinity. I led the stampede through the endless plains of my room, as fleas danced jigs on the buffaloes backs and I laughed at them for being so dirty and they’d retaliate by kicking carpet dust into my eyes. I’d rub it off with the hem of my sleeve but it never all went away.
Continue Reading

Elixir, Rush and Blackberry

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by Emily Boswell
Image: Isabell Rock

Melinda could already taste the delicious red cherry slushy on her tongue – already feel the cool crushed ice running down her throat. She had been craving it all day. The sun beat down, hot on her face. Literally beating me, she thought. Looking up at the fiery mass, Melinda imagined golden fists coming down and bashing her in the face, burning her cheeks. Her maroon tights stuck to her sweaty thighs, her flowery yellow dress clung to her stomach and chest. The shade of the trees that lined the narrow road offered no comfort. Continue Reading