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Showing posts from August, 2023

(Excerpt) Run the Bead - Dustin Cole

Cameras pointed archly at the Entrance, at the Exit, aimed inside, outside. Glass doors spread apart, closed, spread apart, into music cut off by a public health announcement. Directly left was Produce, where someone felt tomatoes, something olive-hued on their head. It looked military-issue. It had two glass eyeholes and a snout.      The custodian walked down Canned Food behind an autoscrubber, throttle on, hands full, around clearance merchandise, around nocturnal shoppers, met the other custodian operating the other autoscrubber with a two finger salute, earbuds banging raggaeton, broken mask hanging off one ear.        Single mote of dust aloft, the unforshadowed sneeze. Aerosolized droplets bloomed, less than a micron in size, not seen or felt by the human eye, as an elderly man sidestepped the autoscrubber, turned the corner and walked right through it. His daughter had helped him with the shopping all year, but he got weird cravings at odd times: sardines at breakfast, low-suga

The Pear Tree -

we drove through my hometown late one afternoon, a mid-July breeze kisses my cheeks and whispers over my shoulders through the open window (I always have the windows open)  and the golden light of a yawning sun bounces off the sweaty hoods of a small town summer rush hour. and as we idled there, held by the precious sonance of contentment my love told me a story from his childhood: “when I was a boy back in the UK I had a paper route. along my route, on one of the corners, there was a pear tree ripe with perfectly firm green fruit rouging, softening, by the day. I knew, if I kept myself disciplined, this one tree held just enough fruit for me to have one pear each time I did my route for the season. I was so proud, it was my very own little secret slice of heaven. “on the way home from school one day I took my friends to show them my pear tree. I wanted them to witness the magic of the tree I had spoken so highly of, to share with them a bit of its wonder. we approached the tree, the b

One False Step (Review) - Heather Humann -

In   Mark   SaFranko's newly  released novel "One False Step" (Soyos Books, 2023), he crafts an enthralling and emotionally charged narrative that delves deep into the complexities of marital problems. Through his vivid and descriptive storytelling, SaFranko spins a captivating and relatable tale about the complexities of relationships.  Since protagonist Clay Bowers' accident, he and his wife Alicia's marital problems which (as the reader learns as the narrative unfolds) already existed, amplify. Between the weight of marital discord, and Clay's own attempts to come to terms with an injury that left him in a wheel chair, readers are drawn into the intricate web of his struggles. SaFranko's descriptive prose skillfully paints a vivid picture of Clay's emotional journey, making it easy to empathize with his pain, even though Clay is not entirely a victim (given the fact that he committed adultery and is partially to blame for his marital problems). In t