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Leaf in Pool by Kim Manley Ort

By the Pool

Autumn was near over - not that it mattered. In the dull heat Lady let her feet swirl in the pool, sucking her red popsicle, waiting for something to happen. Her popped-out belly button slowly browned in the sunlight. The...
From his spot at the center of the circle, Bryce unfolded a sheet of paper. Henry couldn't make out the creased image. He got up on tiptoes as the first giggles broke out

Downsizing

I take a sip of instant coffee from a paper cup, look up, and scan the clearstory, the seven rectangular windows that run the length of the great room just below the eighteen-foot ceiling. In a perfect world I’d...

The Cremains

“Oh, and one more thing, Rabbi. One of my sons wants some of the cremains.” The rabbi eyed Lillian Diamond’s two sons. Which one wanted them? No need to ask. It would be the younger one. The older ones were...

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...
Matthew was born a picky eater. His mother had blamed herself when he wouldn’t latch onto her breast, assuming the reason for his lack of appetite was due to the anesthesia she requested during a long and painful labor....

The Memorialist

The heart-shaped pink granite headstone he had picked up south of Boston made it hard for Alex to sidle his pickup truck into a parking spot near his wife’s apartment.
On his first visit from the town to the village, Matt's heart sank. The room he was supposed to teach in had no windows and barely even a door. It was nothing but a hovel, fashioned out of dried...
Where I worked was a B & B, trying to be European, but hopelessly American, surrounded by rangy sunflowers which looked like weeds that were pretty. Behind them was the small two-story lonely-white B & B, with its old...
Her mother was humming in the kitchen. On her street, boys kicked a ball to each other, their shouts mixed with the sounds of her father and her neighbor's chatter. “Ah, here she is,” William said, when he turned to...

Keepers

I know that on good nights they’ll drink a decent bottle of wine or two and sit on their kitchen counters and play Catchphrase. They’ll yell at each other with purple-teethed smiles and clap when someone has the insight...

Playing Chicken

I am a home health nurse for Williamsburg County. My present occupation has not caused me to be shot at, molested, or otherwise screwed with because I am six feet, four inches tall and weigh two hundred and sixty-five...
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