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

Tim Rico

The Foundering

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.

Michael Chapey

San Carlos

Michael Chapey’s uplifting story is about a dad who ruined his iPhone in the pool and is generously helped by an Apple “genius.” The name of the Apple genius? Carlos.

Robert Hilles

Photographing Dreams

In the tender love story by Robert Hilles, Scott sees his wife Cheryl holding his six-month-old daughter Denise, reminding him of the dream he had earlier that morning. It was the happiest he had ever been.

Chaya Bhuvaneswar


On the staid street in Boston, Vinita manages a manicure business for her cool boss Leo while he’s on a short vacation. But Vinita makes plans, and they have nothing to do with staying where she is.

Aaron Heil

Junk Mail

Aaron J. Heil's story steps ever so sensitively into the marriage of Justin and Renee, which is complicated by a family wedding, a misunderstanding, and a junk mail offer for on-demand weather.

Maria Savva

In The Past

“In The Past,” Maria Savva takes us into in the lives of Roger Bainsford and Paul Squires who have “issues” from the past. One wants a job; the other gives it. It is a synchronous moment in the lives of both.

Stela Dujakovic

Half As Good

Stela Dujakovic meets men and draws them as characters in fictional realms, sometimes several into one in “Half As Good.” The story explores the tension between reality and imagination.


A Boy Who Was an Orca

“A Boy Who Was an Orca” is one of those stories that come along every once in a while to upend one’s notion of perception and intuition. By rainteller, it is mystical, spiritual, and transcendent.

Samuel Cole

2 Regular & 26 Long

The push and pull in Samuel Cole’s “2 Regular & 26 Long” reaches deep between the married Mitch and Victoria, who play an alphabet computer game which Victoria has compiled and which Mitch can hardly bear.

Carter Vance

When the Bubble Meets the Needle

Carter Vance lays out a trenchant analysis of Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 presidential contest. He takes stock of his own position and concludes that the media must help to bring the opposing worlds “into conversation with each other.”

Yalei Wang

What I’m Really Like

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.”

Eric Martin

Revolving Like Ixion

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.”

Ronika Merl

Nobody’s Daughter

You would be forgiven if you read “Nobody’s Daughter” as fiction. It is, however, an essay. Either way, the subject is difficult to absorb but absorb you must to feel the full impact.

Andrea Clark

The Waves of Dissonance

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.

Michael Radcliffe

Tadhg and the Seven Dragons: Story One

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.

Chris Capitanio

Last Night in Granada

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.