“Where’s Mommy?”

Josie stood at the cell’s window waiting for Daniel to spring her until her feet got too tired from closing the restaurant that night before. She had faith her husband would show.  She’d gone for a few drinks with co-workers. It sucked working Christmas Eve. Two beers led to more, and she hadn’t made it […]

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Kilroy was here …

Living there had been poisonous since Dad’s previous springtime affair. The man proclaimed, “You’re on your own now, buddy. Don’t want ya here no more.” Sam was kicked out precisely one day after high school graduation.  The escape planned before taking the old wagon with his name down the side in pilfered spray paint, Sam drove […]

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Guilt

“Owww, dammit!” Glenda howled, hopping on one foot and landing to limp on the other. “I’m gonna feel that later.” Kicking that cedar stump was one way to take out frustration felt for Don. “It ain’t hurtin’ him none, though,” she told it. Controlling his behavior came as easily as conquering invasive plant infestation. Chopping […]

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Working out the demons

“The most bitter irony of my situation,” Kelly told the intake counselor at the homeless teen shelter, “is that Roderick broke up with me. Now I’ll have to live on what strangers give me.” The social worker’s face seemed genuinely compassionate, as far as she could tell, doubting her instincts now. Her father supposedly loved […]

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Not a creature was stirring

Something collided with the cell bars above him and reverberated against the crown of his head. Paulie scurried away from the sound and covered his now aching skull with crossed arms to protect it from further damage. “Get your lazy ass on your feet if you want anything to eat,” the blurry man in uniform yelled […]

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Snug as Two Bugs in a Rug

If not for being hidden out in the middle of nowhere, the farmhouse’s slanted red roof would’ve seemed a beacon meant to draw people’s attention. The residents within sure didn’t want anyone to notice their whereabouts, not with what went on elsewhere on the property. Leastways, not with what got buried behind their small outbuilding. […]

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The Youngest One in Curls

Joleen woke with one eye fixed on faux wood-grain paneled wall of a tiny 4×4 room in her mother’s house trailer. Her tongue seemed velcroed to the roof of her mouth, and she had to think for a minute where she was. The room became another temporary stay-over after getting fired from her Sunoco cashier job […]

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