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HIDEAWAY BY JARED BENJAMIN

20 THINGS CHANNEL 4 DOESN’T TEACH YOU ABOUT OCD BY JOSH WEEKS
March 19, 2019
THREE FLASH FICTION ENTRIES FROM PAUL LUIKART
March 22, 2019
There’s a town you’ve probably seen before, the kind of back-road backdrop tucked
away like a dirt-splattered blanket. The sky is a gallery of malnourished figurines,
clouds that illuminate like 100 foot long skeleton, worming over a highway of blank
faces. There are a block of businesses; a bank, a bar, a barbershop, a row of old
southern colonial homes, two gas stations, a diner, a rifle exchange, and a Walmart.
Employees with eternal facial expressions. Some with fake plastic smiles, some with
honest grimace, some with a volatile cocktail mixture of both, interchangeably. A
township where all of your dreams go to die, and all of the lives must cut their
mourning to a minimum. This is the plain where the kids who were taught that
imagination is a menace and that life is paved in grime and stress, a workplace is
comprised of “little slice of Americana” mentality, and that no matter how much this
town grows in population, the brochures don’t tell the story the land itself could. Even
at a population of nearly 400 million and counting, this town, its flag, its anthem, its
most devout denizens, are getting old. And those who know too much, just want to
find a new town; a new place to call home instead of stockpile, a place to prosper
instead of rot, a place to to find sanctuary instead of hell on earth.

J.B. Stone is a neurodivergent writer from Brooklyn, now residing in Buffalo, NY. He is the author of two digital chapbooks, A Place Between Expired Dreams And Renewed Nightmares (Ghost City Press 2018) and forthcoming, Fireflies & Hand Grenades (Stasia Press 2019). His fiction, poetry, and reviews have appeared and/or are forthcoming in BlazeVOX, SOFT CARTEL, Maudlin House, Occulum, Peach Mag, Breadcrumbs, Crack the Spine, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, and elsewhere. You can check out more of his work at jaredbenjaminstone.com and more of his tweets @JB_StoneTruth.