The Murmuring Killed Me

by Peter Orner

Every few years or so I go to visit my dead at Beth El Cemetery in Fall River, Massachusetts. It’s across the street from a Cumberland Farms. My grandfather always said that being dead didn’t seem so bad if he could run over and grab a pack of cigarettes and the Fall River Herald. On

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Part of a Deer

by Lucy Corin

Here it was suddenly ninety degrees, and across the country it was suddenly frozen. I’d been texting about it with Basil all morning, getting my stuff together for running errands. In the car, I swapped into my sunglasses, setting everything up to follow the driving instructions I’d texted to myself by trying to balance the

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INTEROFFICE MEMORANDUM 1/3

by Christine Sneed

Date:   January 3rd To:      All Quest Industries Employees From: President Bryan Stokerly, Esq.  Subj:   Welcome Back/In-Office Birthday Celebrations   It’s good to see everyone back in the office again, but it’s obvious very few of us got any better looking in the months we were working from home. Be that as it may, let us hope the year ahead will be an improvement on the last one, which was probably the worst year of my life, but I won’t go into that right now. Today seems an optimal moment to share with you a few preferences regarding in-office […]

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In the Black, With Jessica

by Christian Kiefer

The sound of a car gearing up the ashen road. Chuck thought at first that it had to be someone from Cal Fire or another crew but then the radio crackled and Bob told him it was a civilian. “Copy,” he said, and then, after releasing the button: “Fuck.” No part of him that was

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Three Windows Onto Rome

by Kirstin Valdez Quade

Santi Quattro Coronoti On the right wall of the basilica is a fragment of a fresco of San Bartolomeo. He’s a bearded old man, mouth obscured by damage, his eyes suspicious. His own wrinkled pelt is thrown over his shoulder like a traveling cloak. No longer the cheerful dandy, dressed in white with swinging purple

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A Curse on Chavez Ravine

by Lou Mathews

I’m reading in the newspaper today and I see that Peter O’Malley wants to build a new football stadium, next to Dodger Stadium. Some of the neighbors are upset. ¡Que surprise! Some of them have been upset since the first O’Malley built the first stadium. That one was Walter. A big, smart, mean Irishman from

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Ini Y Fati

by Carribean Fragoza

You would think that such an event, a bolt of lightning shooting out of the sky to strike a little girl in a vacant lot, would call immediate attention from the neighbors. But it did not. Only the dogs pointed their snouts to the sky and howled. Birds were startled into flight from their power

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Shelter in Place Schedule

by Christine Sneed

7 AM Rise from bed in a sunny mood 7:15 Drink coffee from home-roasted beans, painstakingly ground by hand with Japanese-engineered grinder while listening to northern mockingbird sing from the top of a nearby lemon tree. 7:20 Feel upsurge in mood after caffeine hit and read a New Yorker profile of a hearing impaired beekeeper 7:40 Feel good mood wane as neighbor starts blasting Meatloaf CD through the wall 7:43 Pound on wall 7:48 Pound on wall again 7:52 Pound on wall a third time while screaming 7:55 Go outside for exercise with face mask and gloves 8:02 Accidentally step […]

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Interoffice Memorandum 6/25

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Date: June 25th, 2018 To: All Quest Industries Employees From: President Bryan Stokerly, Esq. Subj: Staying the Course Please ignore any and all rumors you might be hearing in these hallways about the financial health of Quest Industries. Everything is fine, ladies and gentlemen. It really is. Take my word for it. One other matter before I conclude: Whoever has been sticking wads of chewing gum on the underside of my office doorknob, here is a warning, just for you: Stop this evil, puerile business immediately or I will be forced to hire an unscrupulous acquaintance of mine who will beat […]

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Interoffice Memorandum 4/20

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Date: April 20th To: All Quest Industries Employees From: President Bryan Stokerly, Esq. Subj: Important Discoveries I am very pleased to share with you a few recent discoveries I’ve made that I think you too will benefit from: 1. Some of us think we are allergic to nuts, but we are not. 2. Parking in a tow zone for 1-3 minutes is usually okay. 3. It is very difficult to know, objectively speaking, if you are good-looking. 4. Late-night eating is never a good idea, unless you have had nothing to eat in at least 12+ hours. 5. It’s okay […]

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Interoffice Memorandum 3/27

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Date: March 27th To: All Quest Industries Employees From: Ken Crickshaw Jr., Office Manager Subj: Dispelling Rumor re: UFO Sighting With my generalist title of “Office Manager,” I am aware that many here at Quest Industries can’t help but consider me a jack of all trades, even if the current description for this position does not include dispelling rumors related to supernatural phenomena such as ghost or UFO sightings. Be that as it may, I am happy to provide this service despite its absence from my detailed list of job duties. Fred Sagen, CFO, who is near retirement and admits […]

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Interoffice Memorandum 2/15

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Date: 15 February To: All Quest Industries Employees From: Judy Kemper, Vice President of Marketing Subj: Lost cardigan—please help! I seem to have misplaced a very important sweater and I’m almost certain I left it here in the office this past Friday. If you have seen my lime green Laura Ashley cardigan, size M, with pearl buttons, a small-to-medium gravy stain on one sleeve (left), and one frayed cuff (right), please tell me where you spotted it, and if this information leads to its recovery, I promise to give you a reward of your choosing, up to $10 in value. […]

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