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Magic Kingdom, by Margo McCall

Last night, it rained oranges: a citrus circus of fruit knocked from branches, sent spinning into orbit, landing hard on the grass. The spindly dwarf citrus planted in the park by Walt himself hurled their burden of golden globes in the four directions: Toontown, Fantasyland, Adventureland, and Tomorrowland. And as the skies wrenched and rocked above, delivering wind—real wind, not something manufactured, some transparent trick of light and sensation—Tamaya was already winding into a state of anticipation of the windfall of sweetness.

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Quitting Time, by Cassidy Lapierre

The students shuffle out of the building, grumbling over their still unfinished work as I organize my area, preparing it for the next worker just four hours later. The clock strikes three am but I wait to lock the doors. If students are still upstairs, possibly packing their things, they’ll be trapped inside until a sleep deprived student in a security guard uniform finds them.

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Yule Tidal, by Quentin Paquette

“Nicholas! Is that you? You’re home just in time.”
He steps into the dining room. Dinner is on the table, candles lit, bottle open and breathing. Chairs wait close together at the corner of a table set for two. The smell of their favorite meal inspires a deep inhale through his nose. He pauses for a moment to think about the evening that could have been. It all seems so perfect. Surrendering a deep sigh, he follows her voice into the kitchen.
“Yes, Nona, I’m here. Everything looks so good…” the pitch of his voice rises as it trails off to a whisper.
“Oh no! What is it Nicholas?”
“The reindeer, I hear they haven’t been eating anything today. I need to go check on them, tend to them. I can’t have them getting sick at this time of year.”

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That Tiny TV, by Rose Marshall

Wheel of Fortune. Every day. Every damn day that’s what she watches. It’s like she has to watch it or else she’s miserable and we can’t watch anything else. If I want to watch something else, she, like, freaks out and says that I have my own television in my room. She knows how small that TV is and she wouldn’t watch it if she was forced to either. 

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The Mountain Awake, by Hunter Conway

I signed up with a temp agency because contributor copies won’t pay the bills. At the time, I was already moonlighting as a scarecrow, but my wife was sick of shucking corn and boiling water, so I took a job throwing fireballs at the sun. The gig didn’t last long, just a few weeks and then a few more hours after those few weeks.

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Three Short Prose Pieces, by William Doreski

“First describe the eye; then show how the twinkling of a star is really in the eye and why one star should twinkle more than another, and how the rays from the stars originate in the eye.” The eye is a shelled, uncooked egg in a bowl of bone. It slops and sighs and rues its lack of development. Even in its most sanguine moments it lacks the verve of a muscle.

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