A BOLD NEW KIND OF STORY by Michael Mungiello

Something new… Something new… I need to do something new… Something new… Something new… I need to do something new… It will be new… It will come now… Somehow… Somewhere… I know… It will start on the next page… One time I was reading important books… It was very important that I read them… They addressed concerns…of the people…of the elites…history…art…religion…politics… I was interested in those things… People I admired were interested in those things… So I read in pursuit of these people’s interest… In the hopes that one day…a book would be written…about me…by all those I admired… When…

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LIBERTY KID by Lanny Durbin

I saw the kid’s face when he got hit by the car. He was standing there on the sidewalk with a blank look and then the car jumped the curb. Just nailed him. The blank look stayed on his face when he flew through air, stared right at me. Like he meant to do it. A party trick. He was wearing a statue of liberty costume, which, for a short moment, made the visual a little funny. He stood out in front of the Liberty Tax building a few nights a week, one of those preying fast tax return spots…

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TUNA SANDWICH by Jennifer Greidus

He orders tuna salad because he always orders tuna salad. Today, he also orders bacon potato soup. It’s too hot for soup. He likes to wipe his pretty mouth with the back of a hand. He sneers at the waitresses and only pays attention to the ones with fat tits. One of them, Trina, is my favorite waitress. Her tits are fat. I want to tell her to cover them up. Her skirt is tight, too, and the material that’s supposed to hide the zipper is pulled too far to do its job. He’s not an ass man, though. My…

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ZERO PINEAPPLES by Timothy Willis Sanders

Billy asked Chris and Molly what movie they had picked and Chris held up a DVD copy of The Birds. Billy shot a look at Meg. “Hitchcock had a really fucked up obsession with Tippi Hedren. I read about it online so I decided to never watch the movie,” said Billy. “Who’s Tippi Hedren?” said Chris, sliding the DVD into the Playstation. “Exactly,” said Meg. “Well, sorry about Tippi, but I have a surprise for you both after the movie,” said Molly. Billy pictured Molly wheeling out a human-sized box with a large gold ribbon, from which Gene Wilder, dressed…

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“NO BOOK BLURB, NO CRY” EXCERPT by Brian Alan Ellis

An Inspirational/Crazy Informative Guide to Proper Book Blurbage (An excerpt from Sad Laughter, forthcoming from Civil Coping Mechanisms) “[This book] will fry up some prose eggs in your ol’ brain pan.” ⋆⋆⋆ “[This writer] is the kind of poet whose madness and how [he/she] exorcises that madness is a thing of dark brilliance one can admire from afar but if you ever let [him/her] crash at your house for a few days [he/she] would scare the living shit out of you.” ⋆⋆⋆ “[This writer] can fix your pipes and your roofing but [his/her] book of durable, brick-layered stories can also…

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YOU ALWAYS GET CAUGHT ON THE LAST ONE by Steve Anwyll

Ain’t it always the case. I’m bored as fuck. Life’s like that. So I fill my coat pockets with cans of beer. Drink as I cruise the streets. Stopping to look in windows that aren’t obstructed. And ain’t it always the case? You get caught on the last one. The whole night going good. Then blammo. Out of nowhere. It’s over. Some fucking do-gooder concerned citizen. Prodding into affairs that ain’t their own. Acting tough. And as soon as they start yelling. You know you’re sunk. Like tonight. I’m standing there in the darkness. Behind these shrubs. Tall ones. I…

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LITELIFE by Jimmy Chen

The receptionist hid the instant message regarding the logistics of an imminent gathering behind her work email, though the only thing visible to others in the waiting area was the back of her computer, which featured a ubiquitous apple with a sole bite mark in its side. Those who waited did so with the fragile purposefulness of people completely consumed by their phone, and so weren’t actually “waiting”—an anti-event generally marked by ennui and restlessness—but rather, simply tending to labyrinthine text threads and neglected emails which, therefore, imparted a sense of accomplishment they ultimately found pleasurable. Behind her, on a…

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