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City in Flames

By Cristian Vasquez

"... Our drive home from the freeway usually took 10 minutes, but that afternoon the streets overflowed with angry people armed with rocks, bottles and milk crates. The red light at Main Street and Century Boulevard was the first to trap us. The mob hurled bottles, rocks and any heavy object at our car. An uncoordinated “No justice, no peace!” chant pierced our closed windows. Dad and Uncle Heli looked in every direction, scanning for anyone trying to approach the car. A rioter tried opening the door to the car in front of us. ..."


Angel

By Michel Stone

"... We not talking in there. But then one man he get very crazy in the head,” Angel says, his perpetual smile lost now. “Is very bad. He screaming and he wanting his mama, but is no space in there and is no mama, either. I want to hit him in the face! You see, is no because I am a bad guy, but this man, he could get us caught, you know? ..."


An Act of God in Baseball

By Milovan Pompa

"...In the ninth, I got the first out but the second hitter singled and stole second base. One of their best hitters was up. He had hit me hard earlier. The count was two and two. It had been a little windy that night, though not anything to notice. I start to deliver my pitch. The wind picked up and a mini dust-devil funnel cloud about two feet tall suddenly spun right on home plate. ..."


Emri’s Chest

By Rachel Kimbrough For four years, I could not remember what my son looked like alive. "...If I shut my eyes and focused, I had one vague memory of him laughing--the second and last time he ever laughed, immediately before the nap from which he would never wake. But I couldn’t remember his face. ..."


The Raid

By Hugo Garcia The morning sunrise made its way through the window into my bedroom in our second-floor apartment. As the alarm clock went off, I hit the snooze. Then I heard a loud Bang! on my door downstairs. Was somebody trying to break in my house? This early in the morning? I peered through the window, then rolled out bed, threw myself on the rug and ran to another window in my room to get a clearer view of the scene unfolding downstairs.