Stories No. 90 – Feng Gooi

telephone booth beside brown wall during nighttime

A stranger called and I picked up my phone.

“Hello, how are you doing today?” said the voice from the other end. The voice belonged to a woman, an older woman. It was deep and luxurious, a perfect balance of grace and authority. Just from that simple hello, I could hear the weight of experience, a lifetime of training in forming the perfect first impression. 

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Stories No. 89 – Jeanne Althouse

brown string instrument selective focus photography

Lena was raised on violin lessons and minimal parental supervision. Maestro Ludwig, her first violin teacher, was spiritually her only family. After early morning lessons, before she went off to school, they liked to relax together on the cool sheets of his unmade bed in his private studio in the Hyatt Regency, her violin lying between them. They smelled plumeria and coconut-scented sunscreen lotion from Kaanapali Beach through the one open window.

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Stories No. 88 – Elinol López

photo of multicolored lamp decor

They offered me a job at the clinic near my house, and I took It because I had to keep up with rent while mami visited home country to nurse her mama for three months. I did not mind that It was a graveyard shift since the place was just a few bus stops away. My task was to receive packages and log their arrival in a binder. The delivery men wore khaki overalls and never spoke. As of now, those are the facts I can recall.             

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Stories No. 87 – T. B. Grennan

orange and gray tunnel painting

And then, slow as you like, Fernando reaches back and peels his cheeks apart. Staring over one shoulder, his lips wet from kissing, his hair still perfect despite all that rolling around.
#Erotica

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Flash No. 17 – Sue Mell

interior of cozy studio with bed and couch decorated with vintage furniture and vinyl records

I am folding my mom’s fancy clothes. Bright patterned dresses and diaphanous floral blouses from Bloomingdale’s. Bespoke wool pants, now impossibly baggy, from a shop on Madison. All the finery she once wore to Broadway plays and opera at the Met, to museums and lunches at upscale Manhattan restaurants.

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Stories No. 85 – Mario Duarte

illustration of orange sedan

“Monkeys, time to go!” Papi yells in his firm but gravelly voice. I lag behind at the end of the K-Mart checkout counter, eyeing the Mars candy bars. Aleta, my younger sister, kicks my heels. I trudge forward almost bumping into a white woman pushing a cart who suddenly stops after hearing Papi. Her lips stretch into a worldwide oval, ruby red lipstick smeared on her cigarette-stained teeth. 

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