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Six by Six, Issue 2


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CONTENTS Love, A Definition Dave Erlewine

The Confessional Strain Ellen Lindquist

Calgary Baptism Kate Gordon

Beginning the End Rowena Forbes

Morning Alyssa Quintieri

We Are All Talking Microwaves Tom Feltham

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Love, A Definition by Dave Erlewine

My wife snores loudly enough that I feel justified flicking her back, hard. She flips over, wild-eyed, looking capable of anything. “What the fuck?” “What?” I say, as groggily as I can muster. “Jesus, you're still pissed about what I said? Love is putting up with someone,” she says very close to my face, “whoever told you it wasn’t?”

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The Confessional Strain by Ellen Lindquist

The advice Sister Ignatius gave us was designed to save us. Everything would either provide grace, or send us to the Other Place, somewhere Sister Ignatius wasn't going; this made it seem rather desirable. Her injunctions were like throwing pennies down a well: a plunk meant she'd found a thirsty sinner she could lower buckets of guilt on. I drank as much as I could, only I never lived up to all the guilt I was given. Why didn't I have anything to confess like everyone else? I couldn't go into the confessional with nothing to say so I told the priest about sins I'd never committed, which led to the blackening of my soul.

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Calgary Baptism by Kate Gordon

Calgary had the longest, straightest, most organized streets of any city we’d been to. We drove in late one Sunday night and my step-dad pulled our run-down school bus up beside an austere, white Pentecostal church that was sandwiched between an old office building and a run-down hardware store. We all went inside and, after a quick conversation with the pastor, mom and me put on black woolen robes and were led along a hallway, through an unmarked door to a room with a large, glass water tank and a window into the church. As mom, the pastor and I slipped into the water, the thick wool clung to my body, so the pastor, quick as a wink, pulled the robe out like a tent so the congregation watching wouldn’t see my newlydeveloped curves. He baptized us in front of all those strangers, but I can’t remember the name of the church or even what street it was on. And anyway, I didn’t believe in it any more than I believed in all the

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other things my parents exposed me to as they dragged me along on their spiritual journey that year.

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Beginning the End by Rowena Forbes

It ended on the night I said I love you. Halfmurmured, half-whispered softly, simply, into his bare torso, feeling my lips prickled as they formed the words by the wiry black hairs on his pale chest. He paused, allowing my words to tiptoe tentatively into his consciousness; then his arms tensed around me as he squeezed me tightly, so very tightly‌ and couldn't say it back. I didn't mind – I already knew the answer, and I far preferred the confused truth of his silence to the glib, careless response with no thought or meaning behind it. But he minded. And he knew instantly, all those weeks before I did, that I'd just forced him to finish it.

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Morning by Alyssa Quintieri

I hate birds. I hate birds because they sing at night, together. Birds are supposed to sing during the day. Even if it's technically morning, it's still dark out. It's too early even for farmers to start their day so what gives birds the right? They sing together, to each other, as if there's something to sing about.

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We Are All Talking Microwaves by Tom Feltham

I felt as bored as a fish in a dentist’s waiting room. (Floating dead on the surface of the water; forgotten about because Jean - she usually feeds them - is on holiday in Dorset with her husband and their dog, Ponty, a Yorkshire Terrier with a kennel-load of grudges.) I felt like an emptied can of cider crushed in the corner of a cubicle in the female toilets at a chain pub in East London. (I felt as though I had died and left my mind behind to mourn my body’s passing.) I felt like Christ must have felt on the Via Dolorosa, only not quite as bad. I turned the television on/off [delete according to personal preference] and things got better.

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ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Dave Erlewine has work published or forthcoming in a variety of print and web lit journals, including Dogzplot, Drunk and Lonely Men, In Posse Review, Literal Latte, Pindeldyboz, Smokelong Quarterly, and Word Riot. Tom Feltham is a prolific writer of unfinishable, unpublishable and therefore unreadable masterworks. (Don't mention the word "unbearable" to him.) Rowena Forbes is a copywriter, editor, freelance journalist, and lover of all things words. Kate Gordon is living and writing in Toronto. Ellen Lindquist was a winner in Caferati's “Tall Story� Flash Fiction Contest. In 2004, she was invited to submit poetic texts to the London Art Biennial. You may visit her online at ellenlindquist.blogspot.com.

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Alyssa Quintieri, a California dreamer residing in New Jersey, doesn't really hate anything, winged or not.

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Six by Six, Issue 2  

Six six-sentence stories by six authors.

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