The Fish Doesn't Have To Be Real

Reflection of an earlier time, in fiction form.


…Whitworth had not failed in life. He’d retired from the U.S. Marine Corps as a brigadier general (although he’d only been given the rank as a retirement sendoff gift, and never really served holding the rank at all). Retirement pay was not that significant when it came to supporting his wife, repaying educational loans for his children and dealing with the real costs of owning a home on Wing Point. Whitworth needed a job. He’d found a job as part of a local crew fishing the Sound, but the skipper…

By James Strauss

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The Train from Tucumcari

…had been to Clayton, New Mexico many times by car and stayed at the Eklund hotel often. This time, perhaps his last, he came on the train from Tucumcari.

They met because they had been the sole occupants of the passenger car on the train other than two women conversing in German in the front seats. The old man and young girl were now the only customers for breakfast in the dining room of the Eklund Hotel in Clayton, New Mexico. According to the frost-encrusted thermometer just outside the window, it was fourteen degrees and howling wind pushed swirls of…

By John Green

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Rain Song

Dreams and ghosts. Memories and midnight. Was I lonely or alone?


…cheap night.

It was always the same thing. A dirty street, across from a muddy park, down from a polluted river.

She would sit on the bench at the transit stop with her brown bag poison. Sometimes she would hold it up to the sky, as an offering; sometimes she would just drink it.

After a few choked back slugs she would begin to sing. A throat warble, really, but she tried.

Songs about heaven and songs about horses.

One night as I was watching her party for one…

By Shauna Woodbury

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Idolatria (Prologue and Chapter 1)

How do we percieve the unknown when it walks before us? And how far do we reach out to it? (The introduction to a work in progress)


…didn't know him.

I think that's what stuck out to me the most, more than the mane of dark hair that fell around his shoulders, more than the tall boots, or the careworn jacket of black leather, or the chains that criss-crossed its lapel. These things certainly stood out to most people who passed him, surely, so prominent against the muted background of the church pew. But the fact that I had no…

By Matteo Polk

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A Manic Meditation on the Bipolar Blues

As a manic-depressive, my manias would have the curious ability to bend, twist and warp my perception of reality and self to usually pathological and detrimental extremes that have easily landed me in a mental hospital more than once when I was a youth. Today, older and much wiser, I am medication-compliant and therefore stable where I can function and spend my time reading; ennobling and edifying my mind; and composing poetry (for my own enjoyment and self-therapy).


…with unbounded energy tonight,

I eschew my med's until I can hear

the frightful voices trumpet in my ear,

now haunting me into…

By Ngoc Nguyen

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The Dark Lovers

This is the poem I earned the moniker “Dark Dr. Seuss”


…stood upon a hill two trees that closely intertwined and passersby that glanced upon felt darkness undefined. For on some nights laughing heard come down from that black hill and on some night it traveled here upon my window sill. It was then my mind tripped upon a vision the laughing told, of two dark lovers, their joy and pain, began itself unfold. 

Dark boy, dark girl, the story began, a love that time can't touch and in their story, their dark love grew, perhaps some much too…

By RayFed

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Picking Up Katie

…much?” Angie asked her reflection in the rearview.  

She wiped the black mascara smudges from her cheeks, then grabbed a hair-tie and smoothed her tangled locks into a ponytail. She opened her car door, stroking her oversized shirt. Crumbs rained onto the concrete.  

At the daycare entrance, she tapped the code to enter, but the door remained locked. She tapped it again. Nothing. 

The girl at the desk walked to the door and opened it. 

“Thanks.” Angie stepped into the lobby. “You guys change your code?” 

The girl shrugged. “I’m new. It’s 2231.” 

“They must’ve changed it.” Angie leaned against…

By L.L. Asher

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…everyone else actually happy to be here with the fluorescent poison sliding down their hair follicles, pounding away at keyboards and dying a little more in each cubicle, each day? Look at Hammer; his fat face all squinched up as he lets loose with more of his stupid jokes. And oh sweet Christ on a biscuit! I’m going to start including every um and uh and belch from each junior associate and up.

Davis transcribes tapes. Currently he’s working at a somewhat sketchy law firm and is booting up to transcribe this morning’s sessions but first he just has to…

By Remington Write

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Not As She Dreamed

Planning a honeymoon and life threw a curveball.


…and Mrs. William Batts were finally taking their long delayed honeymoon trip. They were recipients of a Caribbean cruise as prize for opening a combined checking and savings account with Patriot’s National Bank.

Lisa planned on completing the novel she was writing...actually “thinking about” for two years. Bill just wanted to put his feet up, drink beer, and smoke his cigar. They joked it was time to consummate their marriage now that their four children were grown and not likely to interrupt.

The laptop and notebooks were stowed in the computer…

By Robert L. Scarry

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The Do Over

…last mortal act was murder. 

Now, prowling the dark places, she wonders about karma and redemption. And what a really good pastrami sandwich would taste like. 

She was standing where she always stood on the platform, well away from the crowded spots by the stairs and turnstiles, reading. Let the rest of the cattle shove themselves into the middle cars. Even when she didn’t get a seat, she at least had some breathing room by coming down here to the end of the platform. 

Sometimes she gazed idly at the steps that led down into the tunnel and wondered about…

By Remington Write

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