Issue 5 / September 2017

“Before writers are writers they are readers, living in books, through books, in the lives of others that are also the heads of others, in that act that is so intimate and yet so alone.” Rebecca Solnit

Short Story Issue Five

The Foundering

Tim Rico

In the Gothic horror tradition of Edgar Allan Poe and E.T.A. Hoffman, Tim Rico brings us a gripping tale of a purloined galleon, a grotesque prisoner, and a shipwreck in “The Foundering.” The ending satisfies horror expectations.

Essay Issue Five

What I’m Really Like

Yalei Wang

The word “mean” connotes “cruel,” “nasty,” or “malicious,” but Yalei Wang proposes a different way of looking at the word, and doesn’t apologize for “living life without getting caught in the weeds of emotion.”

Essay Issue Five

Revolving Like Ixion

Eric Martin

An existential disquisition on the ultimate question: “Why are we here?” Doubting his teaching career, Martin returns to the novel Moby Dick to seek an answer to this perennial question. Perhaps in the end, it is unanswerable like “insight joined to silence.”

Novel Excerpts / Novella Issue Five

Tadhg and the Seven Dragons: Story One

Michael Radcliffe

It is Halloween and Tadhg and his friend Jayden have been flying his new dragon-shaped kite, one with widespread wings and a long, spiked tail. On their way home to get ready for trick-or-treating, Jayden’s older brother Tavin stomps on the kite and ruins it. Ringing the bell of the home of a scary lady (Jayden) and a “nice” lady (Tadhg) on Halloween night, they are greeted by a pleasant woman named Miriam and her cat Dreyfus. Tadhg feels compelled to tell her about Tavin who steals their treats and teases them about dragons. Concerned, Miriam leaves them to reappear only moments later and gives Tadhg a small amulet “carved in the shape of a green dragon, with a Celtic symbol emblazoned on the wings.” Miriam tells the boys that the dragon on the amulet is Greatwing, a gift from one spellcaster to another.

Novel Excerpts / Novella Issue Five

Last Night in Granada

Chris Pellizzari

Chris, the main character in Last Night in Granada, takes Ambien at night to mitigate the effects of anxiety, depression, and insomnia. To avoid the panic attacks that inevitably punish him when he gets anxious, he reflects on the four months he studied in Granada, Spain, during his junior year in college. He fell in love with Vera, the girl he met there, and together they fell in love with the city of Granada. It was the happiest time in his life. In Chapter 2 we meet Chris in his apartment in Westmont, Chicago, dealing with the cold weather and his insomnia. When he senses the anxiety begin to take hold, he reflects on the places he and Vera explored together: Granada and the Alhambra, but also “Madrid, Toledo, Sevilla, Barcelona, Nerja, Almeria, Cabo de Gata, Guejar Sierra.” We also learn about Chris’ favorite poet, Frederico Garcia Lorca, who plays an essential role in Last Night in Granada. This novel is a love story—between Chris and Vera and Granada—and the narration is deeply satisfying.

Novel Excerpts / Novella Issue Five

The Waves of Dissonance

Andrea Clark

It is thirty years after the 2020 Plague, or WW III, and Waverly Nelson is lying on the gunmetal metal leg of the bearded sculpture The Awakening half-buried in sand. Around her neck is a ladybug-shaped pendant, a product of her company Cis-Star Technologies that patented the VEE—Virtual Energy Emissions technology producing holographic images. Waverly Nelson’s personal pendant is a prototype that can move data around in mid-air. This morning before dawn she is activating the message that will derail the election of Marshall Danforth after years of manipulating his political career.