Harold Busssen, Private Eye by Zack Taft

Zack Taft tells us the following about himself, “Sitting here now, looking out the window onto the bare brick wall of the building next door. (I live in a compound of sorts- no, not a prison, smarty pants).”

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The Landscape Artist by S.T. Otlowski

The painter sighed as he surveyed his newest project through the dusty windshield of his battered truck. This job, he thought, was going to take a lot longer than his original estimate. He reminded himself to never take another commission without first walking the ground. The area was mostly rolling hills etched with dry gullies.…

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The Queen Firefly by Dave Gregory

One summer night on the family farm, in 1975, a lightning bug followed us inside. My mother switched off the overhead light so my two brothers and I could see the firefly better. Mesmerized, we crouched to watch the insect walk across the brown carpet as the tip of its body blinked a random sequence.…

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Off the Menu by Jeffrey Hantover

Tell Gerardo he makes one fine salad.  I don’t care if he gets it out of a jar, it’s the best creamy Italian in San Francisco.  You’re new, aren’t you?  I’ve been coming to Pinecrest for twenty-odd years.  Nowadays you gals come and go.  Always looking for something better.  Don’t blame you.  But it’s nice…

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Smoke and Ashes by Stephen Spotte

My father’s cigar-smoking, or rather its imminent threat, had caused our banishment to the porch. After supper, Dad had taken a cigar from his shirt pocket with the practiced deliberation of an actor. Mom, recognizing the cue as hers, stood and began clearing the dishes.             “Marcel,” she said, “you’re not going to smoke that…

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