Blog Archives

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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Stars & Stripes by Jed Power

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Sometimes with a shakedown you get more bang for your buck than expected.

I’d been lucky for a change; I’d opened my little fireworks shop just at the right time—about three weeks after New Hampshire legalized the things. I was right in on the ground floor. Perfect location too—within spitting distance of the beach and right smack dab on Route 1A. All the crazy Massachusetts kids and the vacationers (who couldn’t even buy a sparkler in their own state) had to pass right by my place to get to party city—Hampton Beach.

And man, was it a sweet operation at first.… Read the rest

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Um Piexe Grande by Patti Abbott

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“Lie thou there; for here comes the trout that must be caught with tickling.” — William Shakespeare

Though his eyes were squeezed tight, Gas could hear Loretta standing in their bedroom doorway, his lunch bag crinkling in her hand. He also knew from a variety of signs and smells what the day outside was like: cloudy, damp, cold. He had no desire to do what his wife had in mind, though he’d been a fisherman all his life like his father and grandfather before him. But the money earned from throwing a line in the water no longer put much food on the table, and Loretta was after him to get a job at one of the tilapia farms if he was determined to stay in the fish business.… Read the rest

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Sirens by Gary Cahill

Listen to this story on the podcast.

True love is hard to find.

The stroll from sidewalk to shoreline was longer than ever, formidable on a given day, crossing the rare beach in Jersey getting wider every year, erosion from the north dumping more white powder to the south and pushing water’s edge further into the Atlantic. But his trek was languorous, lilting, a relief after what he’d left by the street, in the motel shadows.

He’d been sprayed back on the pavement–must have been the beer, right?, nothing more–warm, salty, like the water here in dead summer, but tinged with a whiff of metal, like chewing a penny, got the nose twitching.… Read the rest

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Inured By Stephen D. Rogers

Human beings have the remarkable ability to adapt to just about anything.

The ferry to Martha’s Vineyard was mostly empty up here on the rooftop level, the sky gray and the wind sharp, the smell of the open water different than that found on the beaches of Cape Cod.

Almost all of the other passengers were seated comfortably inside, many taking advantage of the snack bar or the free wireless. On my way up I’d passed both families too excited to sit still and business people more than happy to sit back and let someone else do the driving for a while.… Read the rest

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