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Returning

Issue 13 by Christine Marra

When the cold, white morning of her fiftieth birthday arrived, Beatrice couldn’t lift her head. The chimes of her good morning, programmed into the phone she kept beside her, just in case, circled through their simple melody three times and then stopped. From outside her bedroom door came the cries of the cat, hungry again, its staccato screeches demanding attention. Sunlight fell like shards of glass on the floor, too bright this April morning, reflecting the snow that should not have fallen, here, in Atlanta, where last week was springtime.

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I Enjoy Teaching Nineteenth Century Novels

Issue 13 by Alina Stefanescu

I enjoy teaching 19th century novels for three years at a small private college before a student steps forward to query the bias in my curriculum.

He is a serious, hardworking student with perfect attendance. He portends an earnestness for which I am not prepared. It is the unreported thunderstorms, the torrential rains presaged by quiet, windless skies, which cause the most damage.

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My Dearest

Issue 13 by Charlotte Burnett

My Dearest

Sometimes I think they did it deliberately, these nations, started this war just to separate you and me. Sometimes I think they all did, these strange cowards who’ll follow me into battle.

That’s unfair, after all I don’t know them – for all my bitter mind knows they could have their own Dearest waiting for them at home, pouring over the letters they write, waiting for that next train to bring them home.

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Two Buddhas

Issue 13 by Kenneth Kapp

Gerald is sitting in a wingchair in the lobby, waiting. His walker’s in easy reach of his right hand. Periodically his head drops to his chest and he wakes up startled. Tom comes to a stop in front of him and coughs gently into his hand. “Sorry I’m late, heavy traffic.”

“No problem, Tom. I like being alone with my thoughts.”

“Is that the good news or the bad news?”

“You tell me. I’m trying to be philosophical. Like my doc tells me, ‘a day at a time.’”

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Dancing On Graves

Issue 13 by Kelly Ann Gonzales

It wasn’t that we particularly enjoyed Lolo Genesis’s death. It was more like a sigh of relief because the guy was kind of a dick. Buena and I were not purposefully attempting to live out an irreverent, dark comedy by playing music and dancing on his grave. We were raised with standards. The inherited musical and creative types by nature. Call it genetics.

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The Letter Writer

Issue 13 by E. Merrill Brouder

After he awoke, he did not remember his name for many days. By then, the mess of line that had tangled around his ankle had peeled away. He’d also found the transom of his boat, The Aloha, broken over a sandbar and stretched and twisted and torn like chewing gum. Now he remembered her, a lovely little schooner with a cream-colored deck over a small one-man cabin. The atoll, too, was small. It was so small one could see its east coast from its westernmost point.

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