Issue 8 / December 2017

“If you can write about how you feel, you can publish it. No dream is too big and no story too small.” – Farrah Fray

Short Story Issue Eight

Christmas Charm

Piper Templeton

Aunt Mathilda holds the snowflake charm in her hand; her sixth sense takes charge; she places it in a drawer. A woman visits her niece’s consignment store with check in hand and Mathilda puts two and two together. “Christmas Charm” is a story in the wonderful Mathilda series by Piper Templeton.

Short Story Issue Eight

Haul

Alex Nichols

A long-haul truck driver, Nathan sees only ghosts—“robots”—on I-70. The loneliness gets to him until he meets Gail at the OGALLAH PUMP ‘N’ SNACK, an emergency pit stop. “Haul” by Alex Nichols is an everyday story—except for the robots.

Short Story Issue Eight

Pic

Neil McGowan

In Neil McGowan’s story “Pic,” “a wee man” comforts eighty-year-old Audrey, who has suffered two strokes and is confined to her bedroom. In her final moments, Pic stays with her until the owl lifts her into the sky. Fantasy and reality are one.

Short Story Issue Eight

Old Blue

Bryn Chamberlain

“Old Blue” by Bryn Chamberlain is a tender coming-of-age story about a teenager; his black Labrador “Blue”; and a power lawn mower, also named “Blue.” This trio makes the difference after his father leaves. Love and ambition—“inextricably entwined.”

Short Story Issue Eight

Game-Winning Hit

Chris Pellizzari

With anti-depressants in hand, Anthony Capitanio catches the bus to attend a Catholic High school. His severe anxiety disorder ramps up when he sees Joe, the best pitcher in the little league. Then things go haywire in Chris Pellizzari’s “Game-Winning Hit.”

Short Story Issue Eight

Where Do We Go?

Maria Savva

At a Halloween party, a man in a horrific Scream Ghostface mask tells Jane he’s on his way to collect “an unfortunate soul from Scotland.” In Maria Savva’s “Where Do We Go?”, the divide between life and death is as slim as to be nothing at all.

Essay Issue Eight

The Greatest Scientist of a Generation

Scott Wilson

“The Greatest Scientist of of a Generation” is Scott Wilson’s satirical take on what is the serious problem, CCD, or colony collapse disorder. Scientists couldn’t agree on the source of honeybee deaths, a real problem because honeybees are the pollinators of fruits like blueberries, vegetables like broccoli, and nuts like almonds. Scientists, corporations, and the INTERNET are tagged here.

Essay Issue Eight

And

Sophia DuRose

Sophia DuRose says it loud and clear in her essay “And.” She refuses to be labeled, having learned a lesson of discrimination against her Jewish faith when she was a teenager. Rather than taking the opinions of others at face value, she writes that we must “create our own opinions of worthiness and self-assurance.” Taking a line from Maya Angelou as her axiom, Sophia DuRose will, “like the air,” rise.

Essay Issue Eight

Why I Am a Writer

Maya Roe

It’s a summer afternoon and Maya Roe can’t write. The “overdramatic and rambling” prose hitting the page isn’t working. So, she goes out intentionally looking and seeing and feeling. Nature is not symbolism or metaphor. It just is. Stream and Forest. Bees and Moss. Cattails and Blueberry trees. All of this an “inexplicable world” to love.

Novel Excerpts / Novella Issue Eight

I’m Not Asking

Elizabeth Richardson

“I’m Not Asking” is excerpted from Elizabeth Richardson’s science fiction novel, SportHacked, A Game of Emotional Halloween, about a woman whose life has been destroyed after it’s been taken over by computer hacking and what she does to put her life back together. Rory Scott was an accredited counselor, but “after six months of daily sabotage, my life taken from me,…I am now ready to do something extreme.” And what Rory does is extreme, but what choice does she have?

Novel Excerpts / Novella Issue Eight

Life Sentence: Chapter One

Barry Potyondi

Read the first chapter of Barry Potyondi’s novel Life Sentence before reading the preface. This is merely a suggestion, but it allows you to read Chapter 1 without presumption or judgment. Thus unfettered, you will be struck by the raw emotion that builds from the first sentence to the last, and, so engaged, anticipate the consequence of rejection and hardship in a combustible mix. Then, return to the preface. It will open your eyes to the eugenics movement during the 20th century in Alberta, Canada, that destroyed thousands of individual lives.

Novel Excerpts / Novella Issue Eight

With All Our Faults

Daniel Talamantes

Part 2, Chapter 1 of Daniel Talamantes’ novel With All Our Faults begins agreeably, with the nameless narrator indulging in a burrito while watching a World Cup match on his computer. Yet, Talamantes mixes up his observation of the game with his reflection about life—“somewhat like a burrito, the more you indulge, the more you unwrap, it is nearly impossible to recover”—leaving you in a state of unsuspected suspense: What is really happening here?

Novel Excerpts / Novella Issue Eight

Strangers You Know: Chapter One

Vanessa Christie

Vanessa Christie introduces us to her noir mystery novel, Strangers You Know, and what an introduction it is. The story opens forcefully as we are introduced to the criminal and the cop; the details of the crime; and what we anticipate will be an intricate and fast-paced plot. You anticipate these characters facing difficult decisions as they track each other down—and consequences that will upend both of their lives.

Novel Excerpts / Novella Issue Eight

In a Time of Monsters

Koushik Banerjea

This excerpt from Banerjea’s debut novel begins with a gang arrest in a neighborhood in south London, but the focus of the chapter is the immigrant woman who reminisces about her happy childhood in pre-partition Bengal. She implores her professor father, her Baba, to allow her older brother, her dada, to take her to the cinema. The wish is granted, and she experiences for the first time the Mukul cinema, “its well-decorated marquee at the entrance and walls pasted with big posters announcing forthcoming features.” Along with other girls chaperoned by older brothers, she and her dada sit in the very front row and watch the giant gorilla carry Ann in his huge hand and disappear into the jungle, as the Mukul cinema is “filled with the shrieks and cries of children.”