Why We Should Synchronize With the Sea

In Issue 52 by Michael McQuillan

We can delve into pictures as we would with a text. This one shares insights. To find them I shed sneakers, drag toes through moist sand and breathe deeply. Eyes face the horizon. On a weekday there is no one else here. I drink in the air, sights and sounds, a healing balm for the chaos of our so-called civilized world.


The Lost Room and Everyday Objects

In Issue 52 by Debbie Robson

Now that I have finished watching The Lost Room mini-series on catchup tv (actually catching up with a show first screened in 2006), I have a new respect for objects. You know, they are not as simple as they appear to be. They sit quietly minding their own business. But in an indefinable way, they do have lives of their own — as I will try to demonstrate.


Misfits of the Animal Kingdom: Butterflies

In Issue 52 by Susan Abercrombie

Forewing: I acquired a fear of butterflies the same way I acquired a favoritism of the color blue. One day, I simply decided. I’d cringe when they flew near, drawing my arms close to my chest to reduce their chance of using me as a landing pad. I’d stare at pictures of them on Google, examining their paper-thin wings and furry faces.


The Sphinx

In Issue 52 by David Kennedy

Paris could rightfully be said to be home to the diplomatic arts, but not all lay fully within its ken. Not every secret is pried open when men conduct their affairs with threats, intimidation, and hints of violence; for the more delicate questions of international intrigue, a softer touch is required.


Peeling the Onion

In Issue 52 by Sean McFadden

Kevin called Nolan to warn him that the clock was ticking, that if he wanted to see Dad before he died, Nolan had better go through Mimzy to schedule an appointment soon. The slots, Kevin said, were filling up. Mimzy and Oscar were allowing one family member visit per week, only over the weekend, then Oscar had to have the rest of the week to recuperate.



In Issue 52 by Jeff Schnader

When Adam was very young, he went skating on a pond in the woods with his older brother David. The pond was down a country lane surrounded by barren deciduous trees, naked winter forms, twisting and shaking in the wind under steely, hovering clouds. With a frigid snap in the air, the boys were swaddled in knits and coats.


The Butterfly

In Issue 52 by Max McCoubrey

The first time I saw him he was hanging on the back of a van wearing shorts and a pair of cowboy boots.
The van belonged to a rock band. I was in a pop band. We were both on tour. Musicians love playing but get bored touring, and they ease that boredom by thinking up ways of passing time.


After Calexico

In Issue 52 by Carrie Lynn Hatland

The nurse places the silicone face mask over my nose and mouth before aiming the light at my belly. The doctor is behind me, out of sight, washing his hands. Water hits the sink with deep hollow thuds and spatters. I imagine the sounds are my bare feet slapping on the floor as I jump off the table and flee down the hall.


Happy Place

In Issue 52 by Deya Bhattacharya

My first brush with the Happy Place could have happened one of two ways. It was either the email itself, sent en masse by them to a list that comprised what they presumed to be a target audience, or it was an advert that had popped up somewhere on a social feed and on which my scrolling thumb had rested long enough to count as a click. The laws of Internet probability dictate that some version of the latter led to the former…


The Island

In Issue 52 by Ben Tufnell

Eva leans against the doorframe and watches Daniel as he works. As he passes her, carrying bags and boxes to the car, she also watches the street. With one hand she shields her eyes from the brightness and with the other she meditatively strokes her belly. It is a fine spring day but infused with a strange stillness, a peculiar quiet. The sky is clear and she notes again how odd it is to look up and not see a mesh of vapour trails above the city.


19 Miles

In Issue 52 by Darryl Lauster

It was a tougher slog than on most days. The spring had come early, and the rain hadn’t let up for three weeks. With every step, his boots sank an inch deep into the muck and released with a slurping sound. He was approaching a transition point in the woods, where the heavy canopy gave way to the wetlands that extended several miles to the abandoned northern train tracks.


Phone Calls & Faith

In Issue 52 by Thomas Weedman

The phone calls come three nights in a row, 2:30’sh, from different people, waking, scaring us to death. The black, landline rotary dial hammers its bells like a fire alarm.


Monkeys in Maine

In Issue 52 by Seth Foster

The peace and quietness of a summer morning, by a lake near “Stinkin” Lincoln Maine, was shattered by the startling discharge of a Remington Model 1875 Single Action Army revolver.
My father’s loud cry and a string of bad words followed.


Transit Visa to Redemption

In Issue 52 by Jo-Anne Rosen

Everyone but Helmut was anxious. He sat by himself, as usual, at a small table in a corner of Café Stammtisch, calmly reading a newspaper. Germany Invades Rhineland! The headline took up half a page. He yawned.