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Satan's Fingers, by Jake Buckholz

The girl wore her father’s old belt, lined with his first tools. She liked the weight of it as she walked and let her hand hover over the drill at her waist, imagining herself as an old time cowboy waiting for a duel. As she passed through the arcade, the jingle of coins in the cargo shorts of the boys all around her became the sound of her own spurs as she walked down a dusty road, lined by the wood-porched storefronts of an old western town. She could smell the mud and the horeshit, see the drunkards sprawled out in alleys, hear yelling all around, even gunshots, and she wondered to herself how the hell she’d come to sheriff such a shit show.

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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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Gordon the Deer, by Jake Buckholz

Gordon stepped through the tall grass in a shower of postdawn light. He cut into a shot of bramble where the light hung dustier and the ground was a cluster of dead leaves. His antlers had lost their fuzz and protruded from his skull in their full glory of the season. Lean deer muscle rippled along his sides, covered in a fine coat of brown fur, spotted with white dots. The underside of his pointed tail and the fur around his asshole was also colored white.

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Post-Scarcity Love, by Jake Buckholz

A sunlit, red gravel road, coarse with small stones and pitted with holes, snaked across pastureland and down into the crags of a creek before coming out on the other side amongst a forest of cedar and oak. Not but three or four feet wide, it ran for countless miles, splitting and forking as it went, spawning paths smaller and smaller yet until each petered out at some destination.

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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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