Read

Like Snakes Among Vines

Issue 49 by Brenna Hosman

In college, she learned about rape myths, the misconceptions and excuses created to downplay the crime and blame the victims. Dani saw the myths plastered on poster board and in the margins of flyers hanging on the walls of every campus building, myths that she didn’t even know she had believed until they were spelled out for her in words and, one by one, debunked.

read more...

Read

A Very Innocent Man

Issue 49 by Edward Belfar

On Monday, at the end of his session with Boadecia, the doctor, leaning back in his chair with his hands crossed behind his head, inquired, with affected nonchalance, “So, you can bring me some business?”
Boadecia, springing from her chair, jumped six inches off the floor, clapped her hands three times, and grinned.

“I can bring more business than you’ll know what to do with.”

read more...

Read

Querida:

Issue 49 by RC Hopgood

Maria Collins used to be so childish, such a baby. Oh yeah, she was going to change the world, take down the man, destroy the machine, let freedom bells ring and then tra-la-la happily ever… never. Such kiddie fantasies. Juvenile righteousness… Right. Juvenile stupidity is more like it. She kicks off her worn-out blanket, sits up and adjusts the straps on the leg, and ties up her boots as tight as she can.

read more...

Read

The Outcast Land

Issue 48 by Francis Flavin

The old pickup sped through the night like a spaceship in the void. The only contact with reality was the faint whir of studs on frozen asphalt. Lake felt disembodied — a vagrant thought alone in the dark. He loved night travel when reality only occasionally interposed in the form of a long-haul trucker or startled moose.
The truck veered toward the shoulder as he passed through a dense bank of wind-swept snow.

read more...

Read

Uncle Joe’s Muse

Issue 48 by Micah L. Thorp

Despite many legal infractions, Uncle Joe had only been arrested once. In the summer of 1987, Joe traveled to Eugene, parked his van in the middle of Autzen Stadium’s parking lot, laid out a large blanket and spent a couple hours fixated on a dragonfly that kept buzzing around his vehicle. The Grateful Dead were to play the next day, the weather was hot, and the stadium was the largest venue in the area.

read more...

Read

Ithaca

Issue 48 by Mathias Dubilier

The mere thought of a huge sailboat on land, propped up on stilts, was so unnatural that as hard as Felix tried to suppress revulsion, he couldn’t help but feel it rise.
He was fourteen and the only times he had seen sailboats were years earlier when they lived in America and he was in the backseat as his parents drove along the Hudson or within glimpsing distance of Long Island Sound. They were birds, that’s what sailboats were. Birds skimming the ripples of water. Complete unto themselves. Untethered. Free.

read more...

Read

Jude

Issue 47 by Lydia Landrum

I always hated driving. More than that, I always hated the backseat, and I always hated riding shotgun, even. I hated it back when I was a little girl in the backseat of my daddy’s Ford Super Deluxe. I don’t know why, really, maybe it’s because someone always lights up a cigarette and chokes up everyone in the car, or maybe it’s the way I get carsick if the windows ain’t up. I don’t know, I just don’t like it.

read more...

Read

Under the Microscope

Issue 47 by Joanell Serra

Deep down, I will always be the pastor’s daughter. While Inspector Corrick has come to Keystone School as a private investigator, my roiling stomach imagines he is a messenger from God, a toad-like minion in the army of St. Peter. Is he here to decide whether there has been a crime committed, and if so, my part in it, or to ascertain whether there has been a moral failure?

read more...

Read

Iben… I’ve Been Through Some Sh#@!: Unbroken

Issue 46 by K.E. Mullins

I looked at myself in the rearview mirror one last time before entering the building. The gym was packed. As I took the podium, one young man, then another, clapped. “Thank you,” I said before beginning. “I’m Iben Okafor and it’s a pleasure to have the opportunity to address you today. Before I get started, how many of you have brothers and sisters?”

read more...

Read

I Don’t Swoon: Chapter 1

Issue 46 by Esperanza Cintrón

The Reverend Cletus Jenkins was stretched out in the front yard of Miss Mattie’s whorehouse. Stiff like that wooden Indian that Virgil Parker sets outside his general store every morning, Jenkins looked like somebody had shoved him off the porch with the business side of a heavy boot and he’d landed splat on his back.

read more...

Read

The Serpent Papers:  The Serpent of the Apocalypse

Issue 46 by Jeff Schnader

The reality of the draft and the resultant paranoia which had descended upon my collegiate brothers precipitated a sense of indecision in me. Forgetting about the library, I grabbed my coat and fled the dorms like a shell from a cannon, my trajectory at random. Questions squirmed in my head, challenging me as to why I, son of a warrior, would be so panicked by talk of the draft or possible rendezvous with war.

read more...

Read

Her Own Devices: Part Two

Issue 46 by Geoffrey Dutton

A tour guide without tourists, that’s me. All I can do here is revisit familiar places with nobody to relate them to. Save for the never-ending astral chorus I constantly hear, they appear as silent movies in the muted colors of old postcards. I am free to approach the screen but not to penetrate it to where life is being lived.

read more...

Read

The Serpent Papers: Jump

Issue 44 by Jeff Schnader

A small truck stood curbside in front of a narrow store; a florist was taking delivery as I approached. The shop’s metal cellar doors, normally flat and flush with the sidewalk, were opened and upright revealing the steps to the storage area below the shop.

read more...

Read

Stumbleweed Valley

Issue 44 by Stephanie Sandmeyer

“Isn’t there some other way we can go?” she asked, looking warily at the work crew only a few yards ahead of them. She buried her hands in her muff, although she wished she had insisted on taking the reins. It was, after all, her horse and carriage…

read more...

Read

One Silent Moment

Issue 43 by Ted Olson

I found Dad’s typewritten manuscript in his filing cabinet three days after his funeral. It lay flat and about an inch thick in a 9×12 envelope. The flap had been sealed, the metal clasp spread open. It was in a drawer that also contained insurance documents, the title to his car, and his honorable discharge certificate. The envelope had my name on it, written in copperplate pencil.

read more...

Read

The Serpent Papers: Echoes of Sunshine

Issue 43 by Jeff Schnader

Christmas break arrived, and I elected to stay in the city. Without any school or family obligations, I could explore the landscapes of Gotham, a student on furlough, looking for random adventures flowing with women and rivers of beer. Nebraska was gone—God knows where—and I had the room to myself, sleeping at any hour, traipsing naked if I wanted. I could have women without any concern for Nebraska’s rights to his space.

read more...

Read

The Serpent Papers: Headed to Babylon

Issue 42 by Jeff Schnader

There are things I’ve never told anyone, secrets hidden away in a vault with the doors clanged shut, forty years ago or maybe fifty, in the deepest recesses of my head. Secrets not previously told because they might have jeopardized my future by branding me a pot fiend, a beer hound, a left-wing radical or a white pointy-headed bigot. But I’m older now with a dwindling future, and the story is ready to be told.
Everything starts with the seed, and then come the roots.

read more...