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Two shots rang out, pierced the air, cracking and splitting my senses.

TWO SHOTS RANG OUT BY INDIGO MAGAÑA 34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 106

Assassination can be no more guarded against than death by lightning.

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It was safer to stay quiet.

YESTERDAY BY NANCY GILBERT 34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 106

My father turned off the tape recorder and my mother said, “Play that part again.”

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Your father never gave you swings.

PLAYGROUND BY LINDSAY SMITH 34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 106

You’re like your father. You’ll get more and more like him as you grow older.

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34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 106

A NIGHT ON THE COPY DESK BY STEVEN McBREARTY, YESTERDAY BY NANCY GILBERT, SAD PR BY DENNIS MYERS, TWO SHOTS RANG OUT BY INDIGO MAGAÑA, PLAYGROUND BY LINDSAY SMITH.

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You’ve failed. You don’t deserve university. Girls don’t need it anyway.

CARTWHEEL BY YUKO IIDA FROST 34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 105

He had once promised me that I could do anything I wished and he wouldn’t stand in my way as his own father had done.

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The rain makes me think of a dying god’s tears.

RAINY DAY IN NEW YORK CITY BY DC COPELAND 34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 105

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There is no return. 

SOAR BY KRISTEN HENDERSON 34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 104

Swing, swing. Fly, fly.  That’s all she knows, so she flies. Her tie-dyed fedora floats into the rainbowed sky. There is no return. 

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I feel more at home here than anywhere else on earth.

THE TRAGEDY OF THE ROSEMARKIE SEAL BY EMILY NEVES 34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 103

I turn my back to the cave wall and look out. The slope of the hill and a little green bramble with a spray of yellow flowers partially obscures one side of the opening and on the other side I see the green-gray sea reaching to the horizon. I think, I could live here if I had to. 

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There’s something up with this. It only does fifties.

SWEET NOTHING BY LINDSAY SMITH 34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 103

“Fifties is good,” Harry says. He takes out a hundred, two fifties. He smiles goodbye to the woman, stuffing the fifties in his pocket. Harry crosses the road swinging his re-usable plastic shopping bag. An old man lying on a bench raises his hand, “Can you spare fifty?”  Harry drifts through a supermarket. They’re out of Vegemite. At the checkout the blonde asks, “Did you watch the football at the weekend? That’s 14.85.” Harry hands over a fifty. The checkout chick asks him, “You got anything smaller?” 

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Being the perfect mother isn’t all that hard.

THE PERFECT MOTHER BY KATHERINE BROWN 34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 102


Books for new mothers will tell you that you need a ton of stuff. You can agonize over what brand diapers, cloth versus disposable, or whether to wear your newborn in a sling or let her cry it out in the crib, but none of that matters because you will be judged for whatever choices you make anyway. All you really need is a good bottle of wine. 

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Grandma makes egg mcmuffins 

and lets us watch R-rated movies.

SINGLE MOMS HAVE COZY APARTMENTS BY SE DIAMOND 34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 99


Since Jennifer’s mom is a biker and goes out a lot, Jennifer usually stays at her grandmother’s house where she can have a more stable childhood. Her grandpa stays in his downstairs bedroom with the door locked. I’ve never seen him.  Everyone smokes, so the couches smell musty and cigarettey. Both bathtubs are stained brown around the drain. But I still love sleeping there because her grandma makes egg mcmuffins and lets us watch R-rated movies. I stay in my pajamas and watch TV for eight or nine hours at a time. 

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He’s a beautiful, lovely boy. He’s welcome any time.


“That’s a beautiful cat,” she said. “He’s got a lot of personality. He comes and visits me up on my deck.” “Yeah, he’s a great guy. I rescued him from an alley when we were living in San Francisco.” “Maybe you can help me haul some boxes from the basement into my car. Jeffrey said he’d do it, but—” She tipped her head. “Sure, any time.” “How about now?”

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CHRISTOPHER FINDS HOME BY KEVIN LAVEY 34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 99

Run, I beg the girl in the frame. 

RUN BY TESS LIEGEOIS 34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 98


Run, I beg the girl in the frame. She’s black and white and squared in silver. The danger is coming—It will be there soon, at your door.

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Pick the ending you want.

DEAD CAT BY MELVIN STERNE 34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 96


What’s the most likely ending? What’s the worst-case scenario? What’s the best ending? There’s a billion potential endings. Pick one. 

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I made it through. 

On my own.

MACHINE GIRL BY REBECCA EGAN 34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 96


I want a signal that screams I made it through. On my own. I found a way out. 

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She was never the kind of sister their father thought she was.

A GOOD SISTER BY WENDY TATLONGHARI BURG 34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 95


“Has she talked to you at all?” Her father often assumed his children were conspiring against him, or protecting each other in some way, which to Nina was absurd. “Why would Pia talk to me about any of it?” she asked, tone dry, expression bored.  “You’re her sister,” he said.

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Some days Cole could go for hours forgetting Collette.

NO SMOEKING BY S LEE BENNETT 34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 95


She did not exist in his head any more. Nor had she for years. The name did not anger him as it once did, but it still saddened him. And more than anything confused him. Collette was no longer a person he recognized himself to be. 

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The only person who’s got your back is you.

 

Salem Rose, you can’t trust any motherfucker. You can talk with people, and be cool with them, but people are ruthless and disgusting, and the only person who’s got your back is you. Nobody got you like you got yourself, Salem Rose. You have to take care of yourself and tell everyone to go fuck themselves.  “I know dad,” I would tell him, giggling because I knew he would get mad at me if I swore.

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FROM HUMBLE EYES BY SALEM ROSE 34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 94

Whatever happens 

happens for the good.


Bean whispered, you could place your hand in a ripe fruit and withdraw a beautiful afternoon. He said, “Whatever happens happens for the good.”

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A SCUT OF EARTH BY ELIZABETH KIRSCHNER 34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 93

 You wore my hat and laughed as 

 we walked home hand in hand.

LOVE AND PHILODENDRON BY PATRICK SEAMAN 34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 83




It was a quick walk down to the little creek that ran through your father’s backyard. We would kick off our shoes and ball our socks into our pockets and feel which rocks were the slimiest and search for crayfish with our toes. I remember you wore my hat and laughed as we walked home hand in hand and I told you to keep it and you did. 

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 Everything, she thought, is 

 an accident of where you are.

STEALING HOME BY KAY BONTEMPO 34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 78


Two bell peppers, Muenster cheese. Cauliflower, a pack of Newports, Tampax. Martinelli’s apple juice. Paper towels two-ply. English Breakfast tea. Boil-in-a-bag rice, paper clips, ramen noodles. Maybe some ice cream if there was money left over. America’s Choice vanilla, eaten straight from the carton. It wouldn’t be bad. With an uncomfortable pop, he pulled out of her and lay beside her, breathing hard. It was 11.52pm. She wondered if the Shop’n’Save would even be open. 

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