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The Cowboy Channel

The men focus on their poker hands and their glasses of whiskey, preoccupied, as if the saloon is their shared workspace. No one looks up when the new gunslinger swings open the doors and ambles toward the bar like...

Simple Math

The bruised red pickup from the last three weeks meanders up alongside the pumps where I’m stacking oil cans and dodging the night’s slow-moving moths. There’s a chill in the air and soon I’m going to look for my...
1. Mariah gets a temporary job that pays her $1 on Day One. On the second day, her pay is doubled to 2 dollars. Her daily wage doubles every day thereafter, for 30 days. How much money does she...

Seeing Red

How long has that bicycle been out there he asks his wife. She’s still seated at the breakfast table, slapping around the morning paper. He’s peering through the bay window at the ten-speed bike chained to a skinny pole...
... And, in the spring— as soon as possible, when the ground was just warming, the snow melting down all the sewers and into the ponds and the reservoir, everything clean and wet and beginning to green— we went...
The night of the first expulsion, I asked the robot in my closet what to do. Usually when I asked him a question about the meaning of life, the universe and everything, he’d respond with something funny like “reply...
I unfolded the fading black and red dhurrie on the floor and placed my sitar on it. My grandmother shuffled to the sofa, sat and picked up one foot and folded it under the other thigh. I brought her...

Nathaniel

It was the year you turned fourteen and we found out Molly was allergic to olives. The year the snowmobile slid down the bank on its own accord, gliding across the frozen lake and falling through thin ice; the...

Moose

It’s Emilie who spots it first, a baby turtle, motionless at the end of the cul-de-sac. She almost misses it entirely, dusted as it is with the dry dirt of the pavement. The size of a quarter, the hatchling...
His grandma is angry. His grandma is angry because he’s hungry. She bluntly expresses her wish to cut him into two in a single stroke of a khurpa. Her hands scrabble on the semi-dark kitchen floor, around her feet...

The Joy of Agony

I am paid every month to be a 72-year-old woman. Though the payment is only on paper, so is her mode of expression. She is, in British parlance, an “agony aunt.” Dear Granny Gaijin, My name is Nathan and I am...

The Paint

Sitting on a basketball at half-court, Jim is telling the boys the fundamentals of the game. Mason and Jimmy listen intently. Well, as intently as can be expected from a five and seven-year-old. Everything is just so interesting on...
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