Calm Folk, Come Forth! – Adan Berkowitz

The bear stood on its hind legs and roared. Its fur was matted and tangled, brown with hints of orange, and one of its ears was mostly gone. Gray eyes and long sharp teeth. Rancid breath wafted over me, and I pinched my nose. I was pretty sure it was a grizzly. Dad said grizzlies were big, and mean. He said if you got between a grizzly sow and her cubs, you’d better watch out.…

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Koehl’s Quality Impressions – Tim McDaniel

Early Wednesday morning, not much past 10:30, I wheezed my way through downtown in my old ‘31 Ford. Down to White Center, where the city sprawl collided with the suburban rents, resulting in rows of dingy cheap apartment buildings, absentee landlords and the retreats of the old or underemployed. I found the place easily. A building of wooden clapboard, still advertising ‘covered parking’ even though those parking spaces were filled with rusting Chevys, discarded washing…

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The Cypress and the Rose – Sandi Leibowitz

On her sixteenth birthday, a girl approached her mother, a priestess gifted in prophecy, to learn her name and her fate. The trees of that island country spoke with the people, the priestesses most of all, and taught them things that we, to whom the trees are mostly silent, cannot guess. “Your true name is Cypress,” the mother told her. “The tree of mourning?” “The tree of resilience. It is long-lived. And where there is…

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Cathedra – M.C. Tuggle

We glided out of the base’s garage onto smooth tarmac, but once we hit the icy terrain, things got bumpy. The rover shimmied up a rise pocked with shallow fissures and slowed to a crawl as we neared the crest. I gazed up. Saturn and its massive rings dominated the sky, glowing in the dim bronze light of early morning on Enceladus. We stopped. Rafferty tapped my shoulder from the rear seat. I was so…

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Bye Bye Skinny Cow – Hamilton Perez

“Excuse me,” Cash tried again, “you’re not a doctor, are you?” Another bemused look and shake of the head. “Oh, okay, thanks anyway,” he said to their backs. The warm bundle in his arms groaned uncomfortably. It was the first Cash had heard from him all day. He took it as a good sign—beggars not choosers and all. One after the other, people came and went from the office, filtering in and out fluidly by…

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The Three Sisters – K. D. Azariah-Kribbs

Once upon a time there were three brothers who lived with their parents in the midst of a vast forest. If there were any other people in the forest, they knew nothing of them, for they found no trails other than those they themselves had blazed, and they found no pits for iron in the bogs other than those they themselves had dug, and they discovered no hewn trees other than those they themselves had…

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