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Short Stories

Six Steps
Clovis Jaillet

Every few rotations of the bicycle’s pedals, the front gear clicks and the chain jumps a link. Slow drums fill your head as you roll down the asphalt hill. Soon you’re rapping along. I just wanna race the Lambo’. Let’s roll the dice and gamble. Concentrate on the scarred concrete in front of you, be sure to dodge the cracks and potholes; to fall into one, you’ve decided, is to tumble into and beneath the earth’s crust, through the mantle, and melt into the core.

Fair Play
Kathryn Ramsperger

She feels as though she has been at this camp for a year instead of a month. Each day owns its unswerving, inevitable routine, like the sandy desert tides. She’s certain now that her schooling is a diversion, that less than a kilometer away, these boys are being prepared to shoot rifles, perhaps even missiles. Maybe she can save one or two lives.

Mr. False Alarm Man
Evan McMurry

This was different from his initial story to the cops. He told them he had heard someone shout “gun!” He’d turned to the woman behind him, who only a moment ago had asked where in the mall the women’s shoe store was, as if that were something a guy like him would know. “Gun,” he hissed to her, afraid his voice would alert the shooter. Then panic: “Gun!”

But in the later tellings of what he alone called the Galleria Mall Shooting he definitely heard the shot as he was shopping for new headphones. A blast that’d make you taste foil.

Phasing Out
AnnElise Hatjakes

Sarah, who was the nicest of the group, turned her body to permit Jolie’s entrance into the circle. The women made her feel impossibly short, but she didn’t mind since the top of her head being level with their shoulders also made her feel like their kid sister despite the fact that she was at least ten years older than most of them.