The Bully of Columbus

by Tom Barbash

“You’re gonna get your ass kicked,” the greasy haired bully said. He said it every time I saw him, which was once or twice a week when I was coming back from therapy, or on my way back from school. I was 16 then. “Ass kicked,” he called out once I’d passed him on Columbus Avenue,

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Shelter

by Kate Folk

In the basement of the house in Iowa that Reese and Mark were renting for summer, there was a concrete vault, eight-by-five-feet, presumably built as a storm shelter. Reese stored the house’s Shop-Vac there, along with a box of Carr’s rosemary crackers and a crate of wine shipped from their friends’ vineyard in Sonoma. Beyond

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Boxing

by John Freeman

In the waning days of those years in London I took up boxing. I didn’t want to unload on some unsuspecting soul so I found a sparring partner. She turned up, neck tatted, face pierced, dred- locked and strong as hell. A Turkish woman with East London stenciled on her left forearm. Before boxing she

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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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