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Story Excerpts

by Sheila Kohler

Art from 123RF

At the end of the summer, for the first time in years, Jane called me. We had been best friends at boarding school in Johannesburg, where we had met at five years old. Jane was a Rhodesian and that first night at school when she arrived, after traveling by train for two days and a night and stumbling at midnight half dead into the dark of the dormitory, I had heard her sobbing in the bed beside me. In order to get some sleep I told her to get into mine, which she did and fell asleep eventually with her little arms around my neck.

I had had letters from her recently, but never before had she called me long-distance from Italy, from their place near Rome. I imagined her standing in a long loggia in the moonlight, with a fountain playing in the courtyard and the smell of jasmine. She had described the ancient villa to me in detail in her letters, an extraordinary place, she said, surrounded by vineyards, near the sea. READ MORE


The Barguzin Sable
by Sam Wiebe

Art from 123RF

“You know I don’t ask you for much, David,” my adoptive mother said. Never a good sign when she started calling in markers. “The Kozaks up the street need a hand with some detective work.”

She said this as if it were any other household chore, like steadying a ladder while her neighbors cleaned out their gutters. The car’s making that noise again. And by the way, could you be a dear and locate a missing person or two?

Wakeland and Chen Investigations had all the work a two-person agency could want. My first day off after a ten-day stretch, and I wasn’t inclined to give it up. I’d just uncapped a bottle of Buffalo Trace and was flipping through my Apple TV. READ MORE

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