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Issue 37, April-June 2013
Prime Number Magazine is a publication of Press 53, PO Box 30314, Winston-Salem, NC 27130
The Night I Said I Was Leaving

by Patricia Ann McNair

He stole my shoes. In the silver dawn on my way home from the club, I saw him in the weeds near the road. I slowed the truck, but he didn’t turn around. He hurled a shoe into the field, wiped his face, hurled another. “Last call!” He yelled at the sinking moon.
A 53-word Story
Every week, Press 53 offers its free 53-word Story Contest with Meg Pokrass, with one winner chosen and posted on the Press 53 Blog. Each quarter, the editors of Prime Number Magazine choose one story from all the weekly winners. But this quarter we have selected two: "The Night I Said I Was Leaving" by Patricia Ann McNair and "Dredge" by Brad Efford.
Patricia Ann McNair is a professor in the Fiction Writing Department of Columbia College Chicago, where she received a nomination for the Carnegie Foundation’s US Professor of the Year. McNair’s collection of short stories, The Temple of Air, has received a number of honors, among them the winner of The Chicago Writers Association Book of the Year, Southern Illinois University’s Devil’s Kitchen Reading Award and the Society of Midland Authors Finalist Award.

by Brad Efford

They pulled the boy from the river, heavy as the sadness of death, sorrow of mystery, of not knowing where to look for answers.

That night, busy animal sounds of police-work through the phone line—and there again the officer’s voice, cracking, a rough stone dredged from the muddy pocket of a creekbed.

Brad Efford was a finalist for Shenandoah's 2012 Graybeal-Gowen Prize for Virginia Poets. His work can be found or is forthcoming in Juked, Monkeybicycle,The Fiddleback, The Monongahela Review, and elsewhere. He lives in Roanoke, VA, where he's an MFA candidate at Hollins University. Find more of him at