Issue 35
March 2020


Issue 35

Knots

Liz Wasson Coleman

Any of the stories about why we left could be true, but I gravitate toward the one about the middle-aged father threatening to drive the Jeep off a cliff. I don’t know whether he imagined his family in the vehicle with him. The little boys wouldn’t have been wearing seatbelts in 1979. The infant would have been crying in her mother’s weak arms.

Issue 35

The Most Dangerous Pitch

BJ Neblett

Victims of automobile accidents often report that at the moment of impact time seems to move in slow motion. I now understand what they experience. For one protracted fraction of a second time stood still. The din of the spectators faded to a distant thunder in my ears. My gloved hand crept skywards.

Issue 35

Alchemy of Gambling

Catherine O'Neill

The whole process threw me for a loop. I spent over forty years of my life in Nigredo living in the darkness of the disease of gambling. Gambling is in my blood; I carry the ancestral glow of an epigenetic behavior which goes down to the bedrock of my DNA. If you didn’t gamble in my family, there was something radically wrong with you.

Issue 35

Michael’s Father

LeeAnn Sosa

I used to see Michael’s father nearly every day. He would be sitting on the steps of a church at the corner of Chestnut and Central, his face turned squarely into the bright sun and his eyes would be closed. He could be getting a suntan except that if you wait long enough you see that he periodically drops his head into his hands and remains like that, head bowed and cradled, his shoulders occasionally shaking. He looks like a statue...

Issue 35

Something Blue

Connie Kinsey

Only the bride was still.
The bride, LeighAnna Hope Camden, sat on the floor of the church dressing room in an avalanche of white. She had yet to put on the dress. The slip alone was thirty-eight yards of netting covered with a fine batiste. Batiste, Bastille. LeighAnna wondered if the netting was fomenting rebellion.

Issue 35

Esperanza

O. G. Rose

Once upon a time, there was a girl who believed that if she confessed her love to her best friend, her life would leave her body: she would move on. This would cause her best friend great pain, and to save Artemio from hurting, Esperanza suffered the pain of never telling him how she felt.

Issue 35

The Snitch: Kelly

M.D. Semel

Kelly couldn’t remember the last time she drove a car. She didn’t take the driving test until she was in law school and she had nearly failed it. Now, she was on the far eastside of Harlem at a cut-rate car rental place that looked more like a chop shop than a legitimate business. A friend had recommended it. She sat in the driver’s seat of a small, battered car and listened to the attendant explain its basic functions.

Issue 35

Able Archer: Distant Early Warning

Lawrence Lichtenfeld

Major Powell had agreed to take photos of schematic diagrams of the SDI satellite systems. Dubrikov gave him a Minox B camera to shoot the plans. Powell had special plans created by the technical team at Langley that would photograph clearly on the tiny spy camera’s film. The images had to be clear enough for the Soviet technicians to be able to read, but not so clear that it looked like Powell had had time to set up a photo-shoot.

Issue 35

Precious Possessions

Kennedy Weible

Carson Rawlings, attorney for the late Miriam McShanahan for over twenty years, waited for Trapp to stop laughing at his mother’s burial request. Trapp sat dwarfing a brown leather chair across from his desk. Carson leaned forward, fingertips pressed together, hands tented, glaring at Trapp. Trapp continued giggling. Carson sighed. “I remember the hilarity of my own mother’s passing,” he said.

Issue 35

Young Woman Pointing (in a Landscape)

Terence Byrnes

The nurse standing behind him tucked a strand of dark hair into her lavender hijab before grasping the rail on the back of his gurney. “Gib” Gibson and his surgeon had been discussing the modern hospital building that was under construction while they waited for an operating theatre here in the old one. The stony turrets and false battlements of this showy Victorian relic on the Montréal skyline would soon be put to some new purpose.

Issue 35

Actors Therapy

Jessica Mannion

Amaryllis stood in the rain, squinting at the little blue dot on her phone that showed her location. The cracked screen was barely readable, and the rain didn't help. It was the correct address all right, and nicer than where most auditions were held. The lobby was very warm and very posh, with doormen, a security desk, and turnstiles that allowed entry only when security pressed a button.

Issue 35

They Look Like They Are From A Dream

Jamaluddin Aram

It was raining loudly on the tiled roofs and on the concrete sidewalks and on the trees but quietly on the grass. “This rain doesn’t sound and smell like rain,” I said when I went back inside the garage. My brother made a mark on the wood and put back the short yellow pencil behind his right ear. I looked at the cigarette behind his left ear and waited for him to say something.

Issue 35

Dendra

Becky Strohl

She lived alone in the woods.
As far as anyone knew, it was just nature beyond the Clifton Wilderness Park’s Welcome Center. Trees and mosquitos and dirt. What else was there to it? Hikers might enjoy the crisp air and momentary escape from their day-to-day life, which they termed “becoming one with nature.”

Issue 35

The Corpse in the Woods

Hallee Israel

Marli finds a corpse resting at the bank of a river in the middle of the woods after school. She almost doesn’t see it hidden amongst the brush and the moss, but the dingy gray color of its sneakers sticks out underneath the vibrant autumn leaves. After cleaning off her Dana Scully glasses – and squinting for good measure – she’s certain that it is a corpse, and not a fresh one either.