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Seven in the Morning
by Max Ruback

Sergeant still brings you his leash, secured in his mouth. He waits by your bedside, tail wagging. He only senses something wrong, a whimper when he glances at the prosthetic legs leaning against the wheelchair. A car bomb at dusk in Iraq. This first week home and you refuse to leave the house. It is seven in the morning and your mother walks into your bedroom and smiles, nothing said, grabs the leash and leads Sergeant outside for his morning walk. Good boy, she says. Good boy.

All content in SmokeLong Quarterly copyright 2003-2014 by its authors.

Max Ruback has recent or forthcoming work in Descant, Frostproof Review, Quick Fiction, and Zing. He teaches high school English and Reading, and coaches the JV boys' basketball team. He has recently finished a collection, titled, The Kindest Light.

Read the interview.
Issue Sixteen (March 15, 2007): Heaven by the Highwayside by Mike Amato «» There Swells and Jets a Heart by Rusty Barnes «» Miss Hempstead's Brother by Myfanwy Collins «» This Is What You Left Behind by Tod Goldberg «» Ten Very Short Stories by John Leary «» Photographer and Model by Stefani Nellen «» On Mondays, Francesca Takes the Stairs by Cami Park «» Seven in the Morning by Max Ruback «» Baby in a Jar by Tom Saunders «» The Color of Moths by Holly Selph «» The List by Paul Silverman «» Glasgow Lullaby by Rob McClure Smith «» Night Birds by Craig Terlson «» Quake by Beth Thomas «» Deep in the Heart of Texas by Robert Travieso «» Disappearances by Jeff Vande Zande «» This Is Just Another Yarn by Ann Walters «» Travel by Nancy Zafris «» Interviews: Mike Amato «» Rusty Barnes «» Myfanwy Collins «» Alicia Gifford «» Tod Goldberg «» John Leary «» Stefani Nellen «» Cami Park «» Max Ruback «» Tom Saunders «» Holly Selph «» Paul Silverman «» Rob McClure Smith «» Craig Terlson «» Beth Thomas «» Robert Travieso «» Jeff Vande Zande «» Ann Walters «» Nancy Zafris «» Cover Art "A Gathering of Matisse" by Marty D. Ison «» Letter From the Editor
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