Pills Like White Elephants

By Philip Ewing

Photo by Blaine Spesak

Photo by Blaine Spesak


The key to Tanner’s apartment was not a key. It was a small, expensive plastic toy, shaped like a miniature pacifier, which connected with a microchip inside his building’s locks. This prompted an electric motor to pull the lock, admitting her to his garden of Earthly delights. Kayla put the key in the hole and the street-level door snapped open like the bolt of a rifle.

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Abby At The Map

By Lara Levitan

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Photo by Philip Ewing


Abby stood before the map at the Metro station, wondering if the whole thing was a mistake. She hadn’t talked to E in the five years since graduation, and Abby couldn’t be sure she had the correct address. But pathetic as she knew it was, she had no one better to turn to. Things had gotten so bad between her and Rocky.

She hadn’t planned on any of it, but that morning she’d gotten up at 4 a.m. and, with a compulsion she found both terrifying and thrilling, stuffed with toiletries the red bag E had given her as a birthday gift their senior year. Before leaving, she’d stopped once to look at Rocky sleeping, as always: mouth open, incisors sharp, a drool peninsula staining the pillow. Then she took a Greyhound that took her to a shuttle that took her to the Metro station.

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Cherie from LifeSpring Blood Services

Photo by Dave Krugman


I’m a full-time telerecruiter for LifeSpring Blood Services. Going on three years this month.

Some donors oblige and patiently wait on the phone while I set up their appointments. Others, like Jack O’Connor, don’t.

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It’ll All Work Out (Part 4)

Photo by Philip Ewing


The last time they spoke was more than thirty years ago at a graduation party. She knew she was going to miss him the most.

“How’s your dad?”

“I think he’s getting better. We went for a swim the other day.”

“Good. He’ll be fine. It’ll all work out.”

They might’ve had more to say that day. After so many years had passed, it was futile to try to conjure up the moment further.

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Serenade for Strings (Part 3)

Photo by Philip Ewing

From her peripheral vision she saw him fidgeting. At times he adjusted his music stand (squeak, squeak). Eugene had a restless tendency; frequently stretching out his arms and long legs, cracking his fingers and twisting his torso.

She cornered him later as he packed away his 18th-Century cello.

Long rehearsals made everyone a little twitchy.

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Point Reyes (Part 2)

Photo by Philip Ewing


Jenna primped her face with light makeup and zipped herself up in a red dress she hadn’t touched in years.

A fiery sunrise washed over San Francisco Monday morning. Its radiance reminded Jenna of the kind, yet unusual, stranger she met at the gas station last night. A diminutive trucker with piercing gray eyes and red-flame curls.

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Adderrall & Ambien (Part 1)

Photo by Philip Ewing

Mary Ryder rolled off her twin-size bed at 7:20 this morning and commuted to work. Four hours of sleep and three hurried sips of coffee that tasted as dull as warm water.

Mary barely made it every day for the past year. Blinkered on amphetamines during the day and Ambien at night, she survived an increased workload with urgent deadlines. Rewarded with a shrinking pay rate while the interest on her UCLA school loan bloated.

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Floral Arrangements

fictionalAn agitating urge to walk to the Prost Florist shop on Irving Park Road struck Abraham one day after work. He waited in his shop until the streets and sidewalks were clear of traffic and pedestrians. By then it was 11:23 p.m. on a Tuesday.

The shop’s window glowed with its chaotic display of “Summer Love”- themed floral arrangements. Deep red roses, yellow daisies and fillers formed kaleidoscopic patterns, each delicate petal playing an essential role.

Memories of Nadia turned out most vivid during these lonely strolls.

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