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Traumatic Detour

Sometimes, during a lull between murders, I realize we’re due for another. Often, within a day or two of me realizing this, something dreadful occurs: a mass shooting; a bombing; a knifing rampage; a truck accelerating along the sidewalk. When this happens, I feel instantaneous remorse, as if I should have tweeted a warning: “Don’t go to school/ride the subway/attend the concert! Stay home tomorrow!” Then I send my editors an email: “Available to work murders.”

Nonfiction by Susan Katz Keating

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Elysian Fields

I wake in morning light on my back-porch cot, glad to figure I’ve found my way back in the night, thanking Providence and Zeus and whoever else. In the night I must’ve dreamed about Helen, the older sister of Parke Wright and the only woman I’ve ever truly loved. I’ve got her song on my brain.

Fiction by Tad Bartlett

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