83 lede

Ten Days Later by Gabriella Garofalo [I]

WHEN we were all real little again, there appeared what we later learned through various newspaper articles and a bag of fortune cookies was an ingrained gender neutral facet of our time; nor the demise of false idolatry that we struggle with times, in the form of sock color choices and bubble bath scent, but a return to when the establishment of roles meant something to the 233% of people surveyed.
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Death Comes with Whimsy by Elvis Bego

Kamber stood at the front door beating mud off his clogs against the crumbling step. The sun, low now, threw a blue shadow of his bent figure on that whitewashed wall. He’d cut firewood all morning, then it rained a little, softening the soil, and when his better will prevailed he staggered in the fields doing slow hard work with a rickety old sickle and now thick balls of sweat camped in his grey stubble. He grumbled to himself of an array of things. It was years since he’d had good crops, back when his wife was still alive; months since he’d quarrelled at the inn with Karl, his childhood friend who then had a fatal stroke before they had reconciled; many years since his figure had drawn a female eye, even a widow’s veiled one. A sullen widower himself, all he could do was clutch his gut and resolve anew to shed the flab.

Past Due by Kendall Defoe

There was a problem in the room and no one wanted to know about it. The usual students were causing the same problems and the others were entertained. But no one could put a definite date to this particular problem; not this time. A plan to have “special needs” students in the class was passed by the school board and everyone agreed with the plan. They were put in regular classes and began to be accepted by the other children. This worked quite well, until the students began to take classes on language and sentence construction from some of the newer teachers. The phrase “Miss Arden is a fat pig” was soon heard repeatedly in the hallways, classrooms and bathrooms on both floors of the school and became a real embarrassment for the organizers of this particular social project. The principal asked the vice-principal to find out what happened; an assembly was called so that every grade could find out what happened. They were all scolded equally in the gymnasium and the principal, vice-principal, and minders, all wanted to know who would do such a thing. The voices echoed through the rafters and the overhanging lights, and the murmur through the room was quickly stopped by other teachers. A few faces in the crowd cracked when the principal repeated the line that needed to be discussed; certain students were taken out of the gym while trying to hold on to their laughter; this talk took up most of the assembly and no one was blamed or criticized for the incident; they left for their classes.