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Circus Smirkus

At school, Kelly Thomas had her butt-ugly sister telling everyone Vincent was too poor to go to the circus. The girls, they were the meanest, skipping rope singing "Vincent Harris wants to go. Vincent, Vincent, He’s too po’."

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My Confidence

I gave Dad a stare and thought about holding his hand. It made me feel he had every reason to love me — I could hold his hand.

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Trippers and Askers

Has to be about her age, maybe a few
years younger, certainly capable of landing a job. Landscaping,
washing dishes. His eyes are blue and sad and turned down at the

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This Easter Weekend

On the screen, a sergeant places the Pope’s skullcap on his head and dances atop the papal corpse as the other soldiers link their little digital arms and sing God Save the Queen.

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The Art of Improvisation

I like to imagine that I live the life of a jazz musician, despite the fact that I’m not a musician of any kind. It helps get me through times like this.

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The daughter, the one I’m thinking of, she looks like a hooker clown.

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The High Hour

People clasp their straw tote and canvas bags and scurry like field mice to the safety of their hotels; the sand weighs down their run up the boardwalk.

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Button Work

My life could have been different but it wasn’t.

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d. I saw one of her breasts when I was ten. We were celebrating 4th of July and she had caught a spark that flew into her bikini.

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The Gun On the Bed

Danny wakes up with a gun on his bed. He doesn’t know how it got there. It seems like a rare coincidence or a prize for a lucky man, a reckless and slapdash man. There’s a woman on the bed, too. The gun lies between them. He asks her "what’s your name and is this […]

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Close Your Eyes

She points to her mouth but doesn’t say a word. He stands up and quietly puts his pants on. Then, she wakes up.

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Yellow Teeth

In the rear-view mirror, my yellow teeth looked buttery. If I hadn’t forgotten my cell phone, I’d leave myself a message to look into those new Crest strips I’d just seen advertised. I looked again: golden-retriever yellow. Fuck! I hit something. I slammed the brakes and squealed to a stop and then reversed. He was […]

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Butternut Squash

A little learning is a dangerous thing; Drink deep or taste not the Pierian spring. –Alexander Pope, “Essay on Criticism” Looking at simple things in a cosmic way is the work of a poet. Accordingly, Thaddeus Edelstein made a point of keeping his eyes open. He wouldn’t want to miss the world in a grain […]

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The Jewish stockbroker I dated said facetiously, “I think the Ku Klux Klan sent you here to fuck all the Jews to death.”

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Life on Earth Deserves to be Lived in Vegas

I was sinning in the shower this morning, thinking about the six Tony nominations this past season for Arthur Miller’s revival of The Crucible on Broadway. What is there about America that craves witch-hunts? Damned if I know. And I was wishing I was in Las Vegas, "the city that has re-discovered Sin," according to […]

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    Identity Theory publishes fiction from new and up-and-coming writers, with special attention paid to promoting strong literary voices. To contribute a short story, read our fiction submission guidelines.