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(to read any of the stories below, click the story's title.)

By Vrinda Baliga

The Hidden Motif

“ Ria wanted to pick him up and hug him, to soothe the terror out of him, as always. No, not today, she told herself, you have to fight this thing. ”

By Russell Bittner

Fright Night

“ Halloween used to be a night when pretty much anyone could have fun. Problem is, Halloween isn't much fun anymore. Halloween now calls out the primitive—and primes for punishment. ”

By Elaine Chiew


“ Just before Mateja's father died, his eyes opened, his gaze milky and opaque, as if drifting into an invisible archway just beyond her shoulder, and his last words were . . .  ”

By Margaret A. Frey

Michael in the Sky

“ But Michael needed to be my big brother and so I let him tell me how dying was a mere transition, how our souls are not in our bodies but our bodies in our souls . . . ”

By Kyle Hemmings

Water Woman

~Editor's Prize Winner~

“ Jump, he says, and I do. From a plane that almost skims the surface of water, I tumble into a hoodoo sea . . . ”

By Mitzi McMahon


~Editor's Prize Winner~

“ . . . it all bubbled up, the frustration over her physical body's limitations—legs that buckled, clumsy fingers, mouth that garbled every word . . .  ”

By Nick Padron

The Numbers Vendor

“ You must be the kind of person it likes, if you know what I mean. Then and only then will this number bring in the goods. The thirteen has to choose you. ”

By James Papoutsis


“ I wasn't sure what to believe. All I remember was peeling back that sticker, discovering nothing, and realizing that I had to find the truth. ”

By Maggie Shearon


“ In the white sky of a lightening flash she saw him. His arms were covered in snakes and roses; his face was tilted to the sky. ”

By Janice D. Soderling

A House of Many Rooms

“ This is a strange place, where it is difficult to distinguish between the real and the non-real, between a journey and a map . . . ”

By Christopher Woods

The Visits

“ She enters the small grove of trees, the holy place. She senses that he is there already. He has been waiting. ”

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