Category: Fiction

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Requiem for a Fallout Shelter

It was a ludicrous assignment. Claire Peyton, the entertainment columnist for the Mountain Valley Daily News, knew it. After their morning meeting, editor-in-chief Warren Harris pulled her aside. He mentioned a ghost story that had persisted in Mountain Valley, population 150,000, since after World War II. Then he let slip…

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Paralyzed

"Honey, there's something I have to tell you," Gavin Matthews said gravely. Catherine - his wife of fifteen years was at the stove, her back to him. She paused, her hand gripping the wooden spoon stirring their tomato soup dinner on the stove in front of her. "What's wrong?" she…

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The Seduction of Francesca Miller

I won third place at the 2002 Modesto Junior College “Celebration of the Humanities” contest with this story.

I think love is real and true when all those cheesy love songs on adult contemporary radio begin to make sense. My name is Francesca Miller. I am the product of an American fighting man and an attractive Italian-American. I’m twenty-four years old. I want to tell you a story about the One.

I first remembered Giovanni Paretti when his little brother Joey and my little brother Anthony met in choir class. The drama teacher at school had decided to do the musical, Picnic. That’s where their friendship grew and I got to know of Joey. Then I put two and two together. I realized that he was related to Giovanni and that Giovanni had been a teacher’s assistant in my sophomore English class. He was a senior at the time.

I did that whole turbulent “I’m stupid, fat, and ugly” teenage crisis during my freshman year. It didn’t take me too long to get over myself and grow up. During my second year in high school, I felt remotely self-assured and confident enough to stand on my own two feet, doing whatever puts a smile on my pretty face. Lucky (as people at school nicknamed him) never really stood out to me; he blended in with the woodwork. I mean that in the nicest way possible, of course. He was attractive, but not something I’d typically pursue. He was one of those clean-cut, friendly, easygoing, helpers of old ladies to cross crowded streets, and feed the homeless type of guy. I’m usually infatuated with a more streetwise kind of guy if you know what I mean.

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Build God, Then We’ll Talk

She looked at him pointedly. Then, amidst the fervor of the green room of the Empire Ballroom, he got the hint. Only a few people knew of their love affair – and if the rest of them knew, they played dumb. They left in their respective tour buses for the…

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Boys in the Band

I didn't even like the band, but my friends were dragging me along. Who am I to turn down a free show? The band's name was Love Split Mystery. They were part of the post-punk revival; you might even call them emo with their shitty lyrics and bass lines that…

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40 Steps

"When does the new tour start again?" Nicola Allen asked randomly. "In a month. After this last bit of appearances, we're coming home for a bit. Why?" her best friend Christopher Donaghy asked. "'Member, how you're always asking me to come to visit?""Well, yeah." He and Nicola had been best…

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The (After) Life of the Party

"We need to talk," she said, the most feared phrase in the English language invaded his ears. She took him by the hand into a quiet corner of the arena's backstage area and waited for her to speak. She seemed resolute in her words, but her hands told him the…

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It Was Like ‘Static’

“So, are we going to storage today, Ma?” Mary said, gulping down her orange juice. “Yeah. There are a few things your Grandma Lucy’s been after me to let her have that used to belong to Daddy,” Marcy added. “I might get rid of the whole unit.” “What are you…

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nathalie emmanuel as artemis hansen

Undisclosed Desires

She instinctively reached out for him, her ranger. Behind her closed eyes, she realized he was not there. The room was dark, but she could see the lights from the street below filling the room. The clock on the wall stated that it was 5:43 AM. Max - senior-aged at…

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hayley atwell as matilda archer

Miracle & Magician

"I didn't realize the weather would be quite this oppressive, darling," the well-dressed lady said to the man beside her in the carriage. She waved a gloved hand in front of her face, trying to excite the dull air into breathable oxygen. "I think I left my fan in my…

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