Fiction is a reconstruction of reality, duplicitous by nature because it forestalls the recognition of what exists, what changes, what constitutes the real nature of reality. Easing into narrative is a delicate series of steps, the task of memory and imagination putting flesh to bone, clay to hearth, shape to shapelessness. Night becomes day, for the man sitting still inside the house is like so much firewood waiting to burn, like leaves gathering and recircling, collecting and dispersing in a fierce wind, taking the dead to their last place of refuge. You want him living, breathing, thinking, but imagination is depth and breadth. There is too much to remember, like the broadness of the sea when it rises and collapses.Continue reading “Paper Flowers by Thomas Sanfilip”
Look closely. Near the walnut bookcase a friend built for my son. Can you see me? I visit here every day.
A couple of weeks ago, I told my son it was time. There were no miracles cures for me – ninety-two years old – not really high on the list of miracle-cure candidates.Continue reading “It’s All I Can Do by Thomas Elson”
My eyes snap open and in that instant, I’m battered by the three-punch combo of a massive hangover, Rosie pounding on my door, and three more dead on my ledger. The hangover will sort itself eventually, the dead are dead, but Rosie will beat the damn door down if I don’t answer. She’s stubborn as hell, is Rosie, and dangerous strong for a female.Continue reading “Sonny’s Shadow by Marco Etheridge”
One day in March, I felt an excruciating abdominal pain, so painful that I fell to the floor. Because my wife Sally was out shopping and I was immobilized, there was nothing I could do. Within five minutes, the pain left, and I felt as if nothing had happened. I decided not to tell Sally, because I knew that she would freak and want me to see a doctor immediately. I thought it best to see how things played out, and see my doctor at the earlier of my next incident, or within a month.Continue reading “Half by Doug Hawley”
Torqwamni County Convalescent Center (“T3C”)
Sunday, 26 January 2014, 3:52 AM
Millie was in the breakroom waiting for her shift to begin, when, like a child, Wendy from the graveyard team peeked through the swinging doors. Obviously relieved to find Millie alone, Wendy rushed in; her eyes were wide with worry and woe.Continue reading “Unsanctioned Acts of Compassion by Leila Allison”
There was a dog on the road. A mangy thing with grey fur falling out in tufts showing its wrecked body. I saw him one night limping up the road as I smoked my cigarette and did nothing. I watched it limp towards the side of the road snout burrowing deep into the dewy grass looking for anything to eat. He found the mouse whose body I had thrown there earlier in the day. I didn’t kill the mouse. Something else did. The mangy thing found the mouse and eyed it suspiciously for a moment, natural suspicion overriding starvation for an instant, and then ate the mouse. The mangy thing limped away just as I finished my cigarette and went inside.Continue reading “Dying Things by Yancarlo”
I caught her eye. Recognised a kindred spirit. Her head then converted into cruor popcorn. Colour of grey nail varnish, millet porridge. Scarlet white and woeful.
I feared I’d lose my lonesome bench for good.Continue reading “All My Darlings Waiting by Antony Osgood”
It’s right rare that someone asks me to take them down a road I don’t know – been traveling the backroads of Teyach going on twenty years, and the only ones I don’t know are those little sandy, marshy stretches in the inside. Figures that’s where the lady wanted me to take her. She wasn’t much of a talker, wouldn’t even give me her name. She just sat there in the passenger seat with her eyes fixed on the horizon, those dried up flowers crinkling in her grip. Not that I didn’t try to make conversation – drive mile after mile through silt that’s aching to swallow your tires whole, and you just have to say something, even if it ends up being to yourself.Continue reading “A Flower for a Lost Grave by Andrew Johnston”
Betty’s blue sneakers are alongside of the road. My sneakers are red.Continue reading “Betty and My Sneakers by Townsend Walker”
A clutter of stray cats roams the streets at night, eating corpses. Least that’s what they say. The clutter don’t make the corpses neither; they just sort of clean them up for us. Course, technically speaking, they’re a destruction of cats, seeing as how they’re wild. But clutter sounds better. Besides, all cats are wild no matter how fat and lazy and orange they might pretend to be. Cats are more like us than we care to admit. Only two animals who regularly practice sadism are us and the kitty cats. Hell, they even domesticated themselves just like we did. But even after all these thousands of years, they’re still creatures of the night. Just like us. Just like that Laura Branigan song. And just like the world.Continue reading “Kitty Cat Man by Erik Sorensen”