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Issue 4 SIX BY SIX

6S, MY DEAR WATSON

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London, 1895 by Rod Drake I ran into Sherlock Holmes one snowy, bitterly cold day in the West End of London. As we walked, he told me sotto voce that Dr. Watson was off playing his part in this very important case, so important in fact that the very crown was in jeopardy.  He touched his nose nonchalantly; a signal I could see meant something of import to one of the Baker Street Irregular urchins waiting across the street, who quickly took off on a run through the drifting snow.  I wanted to ask him, was it Professor Moriarty, but feared to speak and be overheard by who knows what nefarious spy possibly lurking close at hand.  Holmes stopped, relit his calabash pipe, and I noticed the fire in his eyes that happened when ‘the game was afoot.’  Then I remembered I was in Cleveland, it was 2009 and Sherlock Holmes was a fictional character.

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Losing Herself by Alisa Rynay Haller She was somebody once, before she was a wife and a mother, she was a cheerleader, she thinks, and something about student council, it was all so long ago. She knows her daughter is a cheerleader (is that where that memory was born?), and she knows her son is on the football team, with a scholarship for college if he doesn't break a leg or twist a knee. She was somebody, Before, before the "mom I need this, mom take me here, mom where did I put my pom poms, and honey we'll be late". She was somebody once, before her larger than life husband took up all of the room, be it at home or at the endless meetings with high officials, she was somebody. But as she looks back on her life, she has discovered that she has disappeared, one piece at a time, until all that remains of her is this shell of a body that functions on its own, without any need for her. She looks at her children and her husband, and they don't see her at all, and she wonders where she got so lost, as her hands disappear from her view. She was somebody once, before her larger than life husband took up all of the room, be it at home or at the endless meetings with high officials, she was somebody. But as she looks back on her life, she has discovered that she has disappeared, one piece at a time, until all that remains of her is this shell of a body that functions on its own, without any need for her. She looks at her children and her husband, and they don't see her at all, and she wonders where she got so lost, as her hands disappear from her view.

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Father’s Day by Thomas Mundt The annual family croquet match ended poorly for Tim. He was eliminated by Uncle Gordie’s poison ball fifteen minutes ago and now he’s face-down on the lawn, crying.  His mallet is pinned under his armpit and when Aunt Linda tries to wrestle it free, Tim lifts his head up off the grass and bites her leg just above the ankle.  Then he returns his face to the dirt as Aunt Linda mutters little prick real quiet so that Great Aunt Bessie can’t hear.  Then he resumes crying, wishing he was Kobe Bryant instead of a six-year old boy so that he could beat the living fuck out of everybody at the party.

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They Come in Pairs by Sean Kennedy Marcus was sitting in the ship’s cockpit, studying an endless display of star-charts, when the first object appeared; a perfectly accurate sphere, roughly the size of a football, lay suspended in the air just above his head. It made no sound or movement, just hung there silently like a cigar burn through a photograph. Fear gripped Marcus, freezing him to his seat while the object hovered less that one meter away. Time began to dawdle and what was merely twelfth seconds felt like an hour; then the astronaut finally made a move, slowly raising his hand to touch the alien artifact, but it disappeared as swiftly as it had arrived. Alone again, Marcus sat back in his seat trying desperately to make sense of what he’d just witnessed, when he noticed the second object appear, this time outside the ship; a planet. Where this alien world had come from, Marcus didn’t know; but he brought the ship into orbit, prepared a shuttle for descent, and looked forward to finding out.

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Winter by Tessa Scoffs Every week I buy a can of Marcona almonds. In every can, there are about five or six nuts gone rancid.  They look the same as the others; you can't tell they are bad until you taste them.  When I get a bitter one I think of Jack Torrance from The Shining and pretend I am chewing Excedrin.  I stand at an upstairs window and look out at the icy pond in the back yard.  I am waiting for the snow to melt.  

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Oblivious by Absolutely*Kate Oblivious is sad, mad and draining. When the cup is lifted and the saucer sits, there's nothing there, when expectations are for a deep aromatic swirl of satiating vibrant brew. Why dare to usurp care from share, and where benificent beams did bounce now trounce with an enigmatic stare? It's not fair nor fare for the living and giving, your mistrust and misgivings. Come back, come back Shane even if your name's really Chad. Don't be a cad Chad, nor a non-vote, come back, come rain or come shine ~ there are songs to be sung, trails to be traipsed; we need to triumph each other's names all over the place . . . Your eternal love, Hermione.

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About the Authors Thomas Mundt lives in Chicago, where he participates in Bank of America's Keep the Change program. He has already accrued $5.62 this month and looks forward to future debit card purchases.  Absolutely*Kate writes and promotes; therefore she is. Believing in believers at the confluence of two rivers meandering to the sea, she breathes in inspiration and strives to give out grace. Her writings and stirrings are showing up all over the place ~ and will soon be featured in the upcoming publishing-promotional voyage, Harbinger*33. Rod Drake wonders why MacArthur Park is melting in the dark, all that sweet green icing flowing down... Alisa Rynay Haller is a sometimes writer and a full time Animal Control Officer. Sean Kennedy attends the University of Salford in Manchester, England. Tessa Scoffs has a fondness for the Maugham quote: "She had a pretty gift for quotation, which is a serviceable substitute for wit."

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Six by Six, Issue 4  

Six six-sentence stories by six authors.

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