Other Wishes by Richard Zwicker

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Be careful what you wish for.

Christmas wreaths, tinsel, and stars lined the smoky walls of the White Hart Pub. Memories of holidays, softened by distance, battled the harder edges of my current situation. The lack of possibilities in my dark flat once again sent me here, where I’d at least find a cast of characters. I pulled apart a wishbone from the remains of my chicken and chips dinner, the larger piece remaining in my left hand. 1902 had been disappointing. I wished to be a part of something positive in 1903.… Read the rest

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The Mystery of the Missing Puskat by Lavie Tidhar

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When you’re the only detective around, no case is too small.

Densley Takes On A Case

He knows America well; there are cars in Detroit, and gangsters in Chicago. New York has the Mob, and Man Jew, and Broadway, and Hollywood is called La-la land and it is magical: it is where movies come from.

Father Ben has the books, and he lets Densley read them. Thirty or so: it is a vast library of knowledge. Women are called dolls; men use their fist, or a gun. Densley too has a gun; he has carved it himself, of the burau tree.… Read the rest

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The Bulldog Ant is Not a Team Player by Dan Stout

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Whoever said that there’s honor among thieves must have worked alone.

Scientists both cruel and curious have demonstrated that a Bulldog Ant cut in two will continue to lash out at anything nearby, including itself, the heads and bodies biting and stinging their missing halves until either death or their nest mates claim them. The crew that hit Wayne Jewellers was like that—solid planning, flawless execution, but three days in a cabin and they were at each other’s throats.

Take, for example, the way Kit Rosland drowned Teddy Wilson in the toilet. Teddy had saved their lives, darting the getaway car down side streets and arranging for the second vehicle they swapped into.… Read the rest

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The Basement by MJ Gardner

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A girl needs to do what she can to stay safe.

So if I tell it to you all over again can I get out of this dress? Why do I have to tell it to you? They wrote it all down. But I suppose you’re a shrink and you just want to get inside my head. Well, come on in, if you want to. Only it ain’t pretty.

All right. I’ll try to tell you everything, so you won’t have to ask me any questions. I’m tired of all these questions. Let me start at the beginning, which was when I was born a Miller, I guess.… Read the rest

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The Chunk by Michael McGlade

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Even when you’re just passing through, sometimes you can’t help but notice when something’s wrong.

The weekend after Halloween is when they have the annual Punkin Chunkin championship in Delaware, which is where a bunch of backyard engineers compete to turn pumpkins into projectiles. Folks wear hollowed-out pumpkins as war helmets and vendors pass out pumpkins in an open competition for you to catapult as far as possible by any and all mechanical means available in a regulated and officially governed event. These folks take decorative gourd season to a whole new level.… Read the rest

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