WE THE PEOPLE by Nicholas Grider

    WE THE PEOPLE Hi there! Thank you for your patience as you adjust to our way of life. We are the people. We’re just like you, except our clothing is less wrinkled and our databases are better organized. We’re grateful you allowed us to ask you to welcome us in, and then kindly gave your consent to our decision to stay. LET’S JOIN HANDS IN THANKFULNESS We like it here. The reason we like it here is because this is where we are, which makes things a lot more convenient for everyone, especially us. That’s what we mean…

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ROUTINE by T.J. Larkey

My girlfriend works late hours, without any real breaks to eat, so it’s my duty to feed us when she gets home. I take this duty seriously. Not serious enough to learn how to cook, but serious enough. I sit in bed fully dressed, waiting. Then she calls me as soon as she’s off and tells me about her day while I drive to the nearest fast food place. It’s our routine. I like routine. It keeps me in line.  “You’re a boy that needs to be kept in line,” she tells me. “Yes,” I say. “I like routine.” I…

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PURSUED BY FURIES: THE LURE OF THE UNCANNY IN FICTION AND FILM by Kevin P. Keating

Madeline and Sophie Ryan are identical twins. They are eight years old. They exude a rugged masculinity and are built like their merchant marine father — thick, solid, broad shouldered, with eyes so dark and glassy they seem to be made from perfectly polished pieces of obsidian. Mass murderers of spiders, flies, moths, and the exceptionally brilliant brush-footed butterflies that sail above the surface of the family swimming pool, the girls constantly hunt for easy prey. They’re also accomplished mimics who delight in doing impersonations of adults, aping their vocabulary with unnerving precision in a single singsong voice and then…

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AL WAITS FOR RAIN by Jonah Howell

1 I haven’t worn glasses since I was sixteen, so I heard him before I could make out his features. “So you’re not coming?” Pacing back and forth at the corner of Ninth Street, he shoved the phone in his pocket without hanging up. Let the other guy do it. He walked into a pizza shop, a narrow hallway between Ninth and whatever street runs behind Ninth. I followed. Pizza seemed wise: Forecasts showed a storm, but I was still scheduled for a long landscaping shift. He stood in the doorway, a tall man, probably six-four but hunched to six-flat,…

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CHAMP by Anthony Sabourin

Most days I would sit in a big jacket in my stall in the dark of the parking garage and I would open the gate for people when they drove up in their cars. When they were gone and it was quiet again, my brain would be full of this image of a spaceship screaming towards Earth, burning up as it entered the atmosphere. I wanted to shed all of the pieces I no longer needed. To burn away until I was almost nothing. I don’t know, other times I’d just watch pornography but not jerk off. I appreciated everything. …

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SEVEN DROPS OF SALT WATER by Ariel Kusby

First, she thought he was a man. Then, she thought he was a seal. But if you’ve ever seen the way a sea mammal disappears, becomes dark water, you’ll understand why she never thought he was a warm body but a bit of ocean contained for a while. When a slick being emerges fully formed from a void you want to grab hold of it. You want to ask it what it’s seen. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you’re any different, that the deep is darker than your own blood. The body is full of stories. Your blood will…

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THE BALLAD OF BOBBLEHEAD LERN by Anthony Sabourin

I Lern Dobronski woke up to find that his head had grown gigantic overnight. He could feel the weight of it. As he touched it with his hands, surprised fingers prodding the growth, he panicked. He had to almost fully extend his arms in order to feel the hair on top of his head. It was like one of those cheap rubber toys that soaked in water and doubled or tripled in size, except it wasn’t a toy, it was Lern’s head. He scrambled towards his bathroom to get to a mirror, hyperventilating with big-headed panic. He used to look…

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THE PITS by Christopher X. Ryan

It was all over the news. Skull fragments got discovered on Jimmy Wallace’s land during a septic dig. Just a few chips turned up, no bigger than the tokens Jimmy dishes out at the carousel he runs, but rumors cantered across town faster than you could say ex-wife. The cops quashed the rumors though, saying it was probably a native skull, an archaeological or anthropological thing. They cordoned off Jimmy’s property with yellow tape and erected floodlights and stood with their thumbs hooked in their belts and their feet splayed like sentries at the portal to some savage place in…

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SARCASTIC MIND JAIL GOES TO A PARTY (W/ TRIPARTITE DENOUMENT) by Sebastian Castillo

“If anyone sees that he can live better on the gallows than at his own table, he would be very foolish not to go and hang himself.” —Baruch Spinoza for Kit Schluter   Another party, and the people who go to them. My former boss, whom I distrust on a fundamental level, invited me to his retirement party held at his vacation home on the coast. He hadn’t used it since the summer. At first, when invited, I said no. I had to wash my hair that night. But later, as so often is the case, I said yes. I…

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LEPIDOPTERA by Shelby Colburn

She told me she caught a moth in her throat. We sat in a roadhouse munching on fried pickles as snow fell past the window. She reached into her mouth with a finger and pulled her right cheek to the side like a hooked fish. I leaned closer to her face and peered down her mouth. There it was, a grey moth lodged in the opening of her throat. Its small wings fluttered behind her uvula and tonsils. She popped her finger away, closing the opening to the moth’s new home. “It chose me,” Priv said as she attempted to…

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