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REVIEW: The Roommates by Stephanie Wu

the roommates

Olivia hadn’t told us that she was moving out of her room or that she’d shown it and had chosen someone.

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QUICKIE: The Butcher by Jennifer Hillier

The Butcher

Taking one final look around, Edward’s gaze once again lingered on the antique piano. His eyes misted as memories of Marisol came rushing back. God, how he missed his wife. The house hadn’t been the same without her these past few months. Reaching out, he once again touched the dent on the side of the Mathushek, left there from when he’d smashed her head into it four months ago.

At least he’d managed to get all the blood out of the carved roses before calling 9-1-1, despite his arthritic hands. One must always be careful cleaning up after a kill.

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REVIEW: Mona Lisa: A Life Discovered by Dianne Hales

mona lisa

Perhaps the question shouldn’t be the nature of Leonardo’s sexual orientation but whether it made any difference in his works. When I ask the opinion of a gay art historian in the San Francisco Bay area, he pauses before answering.

“It may have mattered with a painting like Mona Lisa,” he says slowly. “In Leonardo’s eyes, she wasn’t someone to be desired. He looked at her in a different way than other men. This may be one reason why he could see—and paint—Lisa Gherardini, not as an object or an ideal, but as a fully realized human being.”

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QUICKIE: The Pilgrims by Will Elliott

the pilgrims

He reached out and flicked the wood with his fingernail, just to make sure his eyes had got it right. They had. It was…well, it was a door. It had a keyhole, and a small handle—more a copper groove for the fingers to fit under, to pull. An odd decoration for the wall, but surely nothing more; nothing on the other side but the old bricks of the train bridge, cool to the touch.

Surely nothing more…

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QUICKIE: The Roommates by Stephanie Wu

the roommates

After graduation, Dave spent a year teaching in Japan before returning to the States, and that’s when we decided to become roommates once again. I did most of the apartment hunting, and we settled on Jersey City because the commute was easy and rent was reasonable. We lived together for a year, until my then girlfriend (now wife) graduated and we wanted to move in together. Dave graciously stepped aside and moved into another apartment six blocks away. When I got married a year later, he was my best man….When my wife gave birth to our son earlier this year, Dave was the first person allowed in the hospital to meet him. To some extent, you could call it a lifelong friendship—all because of nerd camp.

—C, 33 (M)

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REVIEW: More Curious by Sean Wilsey

more curious

Skateboarders are not role models.

Skateboarding is observing things minutely. It is tuning the world out: cutting your hand and not noticing till hours later. Looking at the world like a skater means looking down. It means rarely raising your eyes above curb level, constantly monitoring the smoothness of concrete and being alert to the presence of pebbles or grit, experiencing an instant elevation in your mood when you roll through a spot where you’ve successfully pulled a trick, and depression and superstition in a place where you’ve slammed—no matter the grime or beauty of the location in conventional terms. Skateboarding is bringing emotion to emotionless terrain—unloved parking lots, vacant corporate downtowns long after the office workers are home. I remember skating in such places and feeling I was somehow redeeming them from their daily functions, giving them a secret life.

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REVIEW: The Bone Seeker by M. J. McGrath


“Avasirngulik,” elder, using the polite form. She explained the situation. The old man’s face was covered with tiny reticulations, as though it had been colonized by a red rock lichen. There was something wrong with him beside grief, she thought. A kind of sickness.

When she was finished, Salliaq reached out a bony hand. “We want justice. Not southern justice. Inuit justice. Do you understand?” For a moment he locked eyes with her.

“Yes,” she said. “Yes I do.”

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