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Edition 6: Caldera by Joshua D Moyes

flag USMoyes’ short story, Caldera, was shortlisted in the 2012 Story Quest Short Story Contest. The judges were impressed with the evocative imagery of a believable disaster of immense proportions in the US, as well as the story developing to something beyond… GH

Charlie’s tracks are no longer visible. Only a couple hours ago they were there, the edges softening and crumbling in on themselves. Now they have filled in completely. The front yard, the street, the baseball field on the other side of the street, everything: blank.

Not a trace he was ever there.

The flakes keep falling, big and soft and light. You can blow on them as they come down and they eddy and drift like froth. Like smoke. They fall clumped together, some clusters the size of a human head. It piles up as it has been piling up for three days. The second day it built up higher than the floor of the porch and then later it spilled over, fluffing out over the porch and crawling its slow way toward the door. You could almost believe it is snow.

Last night Charlie decided to go for help.

We packed for him, mostly clothes. Water we scooped into canteens from the bathtub. Several handkerchiefs to tie around his face. He wouldn’t take much food. Said he could pillage abandoned convenience stores he came across, and I would need as much as we could save. He didn’t know when he would make it back.

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Edition 6: Strike Day by Marie DesJardin

flag USMarie DesJardin’s Strike Day deservedly took first place in the 2012 Story Quest Short Story Contest as the judges felt that she sensitively wove an apocalyptic event into a person’s – and family’s – everyday life. It juxtaposed the worst possible of events with daily life, and a man’s love of his family. GH

Nate woke earlier than usual. He lay still, his gaze tracing the rough-cut boards that formed the ceiling of his bedroom. Pat either noticed his shift to consciousness, or was wakeful herself. She turned her head on the pillow, her eyes meeting his through a downy mass of hair. For a moment they simply looked at each other, then she leaned forward to kiss him lightly. The gesture had a feeling of finality, and Nate quickly turned away.

Pat stroked his hair. “So. Any change of plans for today?”

Nate stared at the ceiling. “Milk’s got to be delivered.”

“Even today?”

“It might miss.”

Pat hesitated. “I suppose.”

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