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Opium, Made Easy

It’s legal to buy poppy seeds in America and it’s legal to plant them—unless you’re familiar with the simple process of turning them into opium, that is. Then having poppies in your garden is a felony.

Fiction Pick of the Week: "Delivery"

A pizza deliverer/calculus whiz becomes involved in the lives of two unstable college students.

"I licked my thumb, outside, by the car, and ran it over the suction cups, before I slapped the marquee to the top of my cobalt blue Toyota. The pizzas were already sitting in the passenger seat, cardboard mouths smiling. I was conscious, despite Walter’s assertion, that I was operating under the tick of a clock, an invisible, indefinite deadline. Really, we all are. But no one realizes how soon it’s coming."

Fiction Pick of the Week: "A Friendly Game"

A story of growth, regression, and divergent paths.

"But mostly, Joan sat for hours in her favorite spot of their old living room couch where she breastfed Phil. It felt sometimes like he was resting in the crook of her arm. And other times, her breasts would drip milk and she’d sit with a throbbing ache in her chest. Her husband returned twice a week, a different person each time as if trying on new identities: laughing, angry, sedate, stoic. Sometimes he brought the rocks with him. Sometimes Joan would have to go out on her own looking for them."

The Fall of the Cherry King

Arthur Mondella took over his family’s maraschino cherry business reluctantly. But once he had it, he started a second enterprise. Behind an unmarked roll-down gate, behind some of his prized luxury cars, behind a pair of closet doors, behind a set of button-controlled shelves, behind a fake wall and down a ladder in a hole in the floor, Mondella built a 2,500-square-foot marijuana factory. When the police finally found it, he shot himself.