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Recommended Reads

Stories and poems that have made it into our recommended reading section are handpicked by our staff. They have been identified as exceptional pieces of writing, which warrant separate recognition.

Stories that are part of a series, or novels that have made it into this outstanding series section, are nominated by our staff and awarded by a select panel. These stories have been deemed superior as complete works and have garnered special recognition.

You are almost certainly guaranteed a good read, if you've selected a story from these offerings!

9
Recommended Read

The Hotline

Do the tattoo. If you need to. 1-800-273-8255

 

5
Recommended Read

Parlor Tricks

An old man ponders the past and what he learned there so long ago

Uncle Jeff called them bear berries. That hadn't sounded right to Terrance. Now, so many years later, he recalled that long ago moment and curiosity finally lead him to search online. It didn't take long to find a picture of them. They were salmon berries. That was the succulent fruits he had found growing thickly and profusely on the briars out in the woods so long ago. He couldn't...Read On

5
Recommended Read

Five Dollar Donation

A young man finds a connection to his father through a museum exhibit

  The bus ride over to the museum was as painful as a tooth extraction without the laughing gas. Kids who were nearing adulthood acted like two year olds on Red Bull, bouncing in their seats, yelling at one another, popping gum, running down the aisle playing musical seats, ignoring the shouts from the teachers. We were on our last outing of our senior year, not that anyone cared....Read On

10
Recommended Read

When Shall We Wake?

An ode to a departed friend and poets everywhere

When shall we wake?  Shall we wait, wringing our hands, Until our last child smiles no more? Shall we wait until he’s gone to war?  Shall we wait, with a self-righteous tear,  as last he feels his mother's love, And ends his life  in the streets of our City’s  empty heart? When shall we wake? Shall we wait, clicking our tongues  as the newsman tells of the old woman who suffered in the...Read On

6
Recommended Read

Colorado Calls, Jersey Rejoices

Every story has two sides...

Note: This compilation occurred to me more than a year ago. In fact, the reason I logged on to Facebook on March 14, 2017, was to reach out to Alan and propose that we combine our efforts, merging his Colorado Calling and my Jersey Rejoicing into one poem. Instead, I learned that morning of Alan's passing a few days earlier. It threw me for a loop, and the idea got pushed to the back of...Read On

7
Recommended Read

Going Steady

Sunny days, drive-ins, and the way it goes

Old enough to drive. Old enough to own a car. Old enough to go steady. The first Saturday after Jake Terwilliger turned sixteen he went to the Department of Motor Vehicles to get his license. He struggled a little with the written test, but he passed the driving part with no problems. It was a sunny spring day in the Ozarks. They drove his family's old '52 Ford during the test. Jake was used...Read On

9
Recommended Read

Suddenly!

Was it just lurking, waiting to take me by surprise?

 

2
Recommended Read

Hamlet and James Dean Died Young

Young couple, once in love, now estranged: they discover that Shakespeare’s Hamlet was a reckless, d

about 2200 words Hamlet and James Dean Died Young by James Foley In Virginia, an hour’s drive south of D.C., there’s a huge white house—built in the 1890s out on a point on the Chesapeake. And this summer when I drove there for a Wednesday-evening literary-club meeting, a gale was churning the water in front and on both sides of the house. And somehow on that lightning-blasted...Read On

14
Recommended Read

Honky Tonk Bar

We can dance if we want to

 

4
Recommended Read

Bugsy's Revenge

Frank Danger has two choices: Think fast or die.

I was tailing the unfaithful husband of a neurotic client down a dark alley when someone slipped behind me and put a gun to my neck. I heard Bugsy’s voice and knew I had a problem. “Frank Danger, P.I.!” he said with a delighted baritone that rumbled like a dump truck. “Bugsy.” He laid a heavy mitt on my back and sent me staggering. Bugsy was a great guy. I thought the world of him. ...Read On

12
Recommended Read

Learning to Swim

Still waters run deep

 

9
Recommended Read

We Have All The Time In The World

For my lover

We have all the time in the world It is not denial But acceptance of a higher truth My eyes look upon you and know We will go on No matter what they say It is the only way to live our lives  To the fullest With each day that passes To live without seeing an end To love without crying again To laugh without doubting  And win We have all the time in the world    ...Read On

4
Recommended Read

The Therian: Chapter One

"Above all watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you."

Lily jerked awake, barely registering the chorus of the song playing on the radio, and the white noise sounds cars made while on the move. She was dreaming about running through the forest. Something was chasing her, and she was all alone. She shook it off and looked around to familiarize herself with the here and now. Next to her in the driver's seat was her Dad. His familiar bearded...Read On

13
Recommended Read

Learning to Fly

Dear Dad, I should have done this so much sooner but I am a procrastinator as you well know. Sharing my thoughts with you now is the very least I can offer. Soon you won't remember my words and perhaps not even my face. Fate is cruel, stealing your memories but leaving your body healthy and intact. From the time I was little I always felt safe with you. We had so much fun and not always...Read On

15
Recommended Read

Waiting for Irma

Nothing else to do

I'm sitting here in Southwest Florida, mere feet from the Gulf of Mexico. I live here. I've lived here for 30 years and have never been this scared. There is a storm coming. A huge storm. Hurricane Irma. She is 400 miles of catastrophic wind and will bring storm surges over 12 feet high. I feel like I am waiting to die. We all are. My family. My love. My life. Waiting.  Why don't I head...Read On

3
Recommended Read

Chump City Nights

Everybody's Dirty Sometimes

Since 1946, the same electric sign has hung out over the sidewalk in front of Dusty’s Pub. The sign features a cartoon French maid dusting the word “Dusty’s” with a feather duster. One warm summer evening in 1978, Dusty, the club’s namesake and creative genius behind the sign, clutched his chest, slid down a wall behind the bar, and expired. His widow sold Dusty’s before Dusty was cold and...Read On

7
Recommended Read

The True Story of Rapunzel

The witch never knew what trouble teenagers could be until Rapunzel turned fifteen. The girl whined constantly about boredom. She complained at every turn about her milk, bread, and honey diet, though it had been perfectly acceptable until now. Worst of all, she only had one dress and it was green. She hated green. In a moment of impatient weakness, the witch cursed Rapunzel with...Read On

8
Recommended Read

Obituary

Something I started when told I had cancer...

I wrote my obituary today. It feels strange to write that, a surreal experience to say the least. How does one take stock of his life? If it is by money and status, then I am very poor indeed. If it is by the number of his friends, then I again fail. Did I have the most toys? Take the best vacations. Drive the fanciest cars? Will people remember me in one hundred years? The answer to all...Read On

9
Recommended Read

The Mohawk Cabin (Chapter 1)

Their lives crossed paths by unlikely accident in a time few now remember.

The wood-spoked wheels of the old Crow-Elkhart began sinking in the soft mud along the shoulder of Route 9W almost as soon as I stopped the car. I had just pulled off the macadam in a panic, at the sharp command of my father. Aunt Alma protested that she was alright, but she was looking rather pale, from what little I could see of her. A towering stack of luggage, all her worldly...Read On

15
Recommended Read

A Final Poem For Mommie

Katy's heartbreaking inner thoughts

 

3
Recommended Read

My Eagle

He is so free and majestic as his white head and splayed white tail propel...

It never failed. I was never surprised anymore. I walk out here with my fleece throw, my cup of coffee in hand, and sit on the bench overlooking the lake. Then, without question, there he is, always soaring high above the lake fog. I swear I can see the wink of his eye as he turns that white head in our morning meetings. Sometimes, although I'm wrapped in a throw and enjoying my hot...Read On

5
Recommended Read

Diana Discovers

Diana is in a summer of discovery.

 

18
Recommended Read

Reality of War

Peace never comes when the perils of war are taken lightly.

The perils of war, are furrowed deep in the memory of many, escape seems unobtainable, within the confines of minds young and old. Those who were lost, are not only those who perished in the conflicts many, but those who were left behind to remember. The perils of war, are furrowed deep, deep inside the recollections of those souls, who came home from battle misplaced. As the...Read On

16
Recommended Read

My Angel

Bright Eyes/ My Angel over tater tots you stole my heart two from different worlds become one love can do many things carefree what could happen then the sound and then louder the cough and the word none wish Cancer life spins out of control my Bright Eyes grew wings 6 years ago today now she guides my journey now she is secure in my heart ...Read On

8
Recommended Read

A Soldier's Memory

A poem in memory of all those who have given their lives in war to give us peace

He lay stretched out on the narrow iron framed bed Idly staring at the cracked and blotchy ceiling, Its surface resembling a map of no man's land, A senseless wilderness of craters and barbed wire. Unthinking, his mind was empty of all feeling Other than a sense of utter futility, A weariness that had seeped into his marrow Like the water bleeding from the walls of the trench Whose...Read On

17
Recommended Read

The Fall

Do you know how it feels to fall in love?

In a magical land far far away, fairy tales make the headlines on a daily basis. Seldom sad endings, mostly happily ever after. Everyone was special if they believed. I wanted to be famous; I wanted them to sing songs and tell tales about me long after my death. But most importantly, I wanted to fall in love. I started my day just like any other day. I read the paper as I had my...Read On

30
Recommended Read

(I Do Not Like) The Orange Man

A humorous take on the U.S. presidential race, told in the style of Dr. Seuss

Pardon me, miss, have you time for a poll? No, not today. I'm out for a stroll. That's okay, ma'am, while you stroll I can poll! All right, I suppose, if you poll while I stroll... Do you plan to vote in the presidential race? Oh, yes! Not voting is a terrible disgrace! Tell me a bit as to how you'll choose— If you could, please share your views! Well— I do not like the...Read On

12
Recommended Read

Earth Rising

The sun does not set on This face of mine, Nor soar on wings of fire to me, Nor rush to greet me, Kiss me, leave me, Nor burn and scorch the skin from me. It is I who moves away Withdrawn From light and life All blazing bright and Cloistered in My rising run, The weight of spirit Left behind. In darkness seeps the weeping soul, The river dry yet Flowing slow, Still, from diamond drops I...Read On

Recommended Read

True Love Prevails

Our life together

Funny how true love prevails Even after those dark days Back to our life fairy-tale In bad times, I did pray We're both in a better place Love is back and here to stay We now always touch base We can talk and have lots to say Laughter fills our rooms  I feel I have my friend back No more sadness or gloom Our love is back on track Seventeen years this September I've loved you each and every...Read On

5
Recommended Read

The sins of the father

A man remembers and contemplates

I often am questioned, on decisions I've taken. Why my help for some women, leaves me often forsaken. "I have a need to save every woman that's broken" is often the words, that are bandied and spoken. To understand me, you need understand this. Why I help all the women staring at the abyss. If you can picture a child, at the age of "Still learning". Where all things are still wondrous, to...Read On