Summer’s End

Alexis Ames The Commissioner’s face is waxy in the dying light. He sits in a pale, wintry beam of sunlight that filters in through the high windows of the courtroom. Prison has diminished his body, and the jumpsuit hangs loose on once-powerful shoulders. But his eyes, cold chips of ice, remain as haunting as ever. Matthias finds his own gaze flicking away every time the camera pans to the Commissioner’s expressionless face, fixing on a spot over the man’s shoulder so he doesn’t have to meet his eyes. He knows it’s absurd, and struggles to fight down the panic that flutters in his stomach every time the Commissioner’s face fills the screen. An alarm blares. He jumps, heart slamming against the inside of his ribcage, but it’s only his phone reminding him that Cecelia needs to be picked up from school. He frowns. How could he have lost an entire afternoon? But his coffee is beyond lukewarm when he picks

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Roger Dean   1 Steeped in post-wedding weariness, Carolyn Hutchins stared contemplatively out the window of room 826 of the Renaissance Center. A late season storm was dropping those large, heavy flakes that do not seem to fall so much as hang suspended in the fluorescent halo of the street lights below. As far as Carolyn was concerned, the winter was already old and frayed. But even she had to admit that the falling snow cascading across the landscape, created an almost magical glow to the evening. “Jesus, Detroit in the winter,” Carolyn said making no effort to turn around. She sighed heavily and breathed in the faint aroma of wet overcoats, stale cigarette smoke and spilled whisky. It was a scent common to older hotels that had seen better days. “I thought you seemed quite happy to be back on your home turf today,” said Sam from the hotel bed where he lay studying her. “You know,” he intoned

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The Princies

Carolyn Wilke “This can’t be right,” Her voice became shriller with every word.  “This is a mistake. I’m a good person. A Christian!” The man behind the desk smiled serenely, as if he was watching waves crash on the beach, and not an increasingly agitated mom-of-two shift in an uncomfortable wooden chair. The pen in his hand tapped absently at the file in front of him. “No ma’am, we’re quite sure.” Cynthia’s jaw went tight. She focused her attention on anything but the reflection off the case worker’s bald head. “I’d like to speak with your manager.” —- Her resolve plummeted as the manager stepped into the little room. Until now, she could have believed she was simply there to switch her car insurance, trying to save a few dollars for that cruise to Cancun. But the manager who strode over to her chair, confidently offering a hand to shake, was bright crimson. Two little horns curved out of his

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The Power of the People

Jack Kirk   Two armies faced one another, each eager to fight for their homeland. On one side stood the Perdel soldiers, their green and silver shone in the morning sun. On the other side Prince Ralf stood next to his father dressed in his royal armor. It was gold plated, but mostly covered by a red and white surcoat, the colors of Racarn. Each pauldron was shaped to look like the head of a lion. Ralf had always wanted to wear those one day. The Perdel general rode back and forth along the Perdel ranks shouting something to them. “It is time,” Ralf’s father drew his sword and pushed his horse out in front of the ranks. “Soldiers, it is time.” Ralf started to smile. Since his first command he looked forward to his father’s eulogy of the infantry, as his father calls it. He was even scolded for it, after he mentioned it to his father. “The Perdels

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