Apr/May 2007

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f i c t i o n


(These are excerpts—click on the title to view the whole piece!)

Steiner Requests His Hole Be Dug in Poland

From a medium distance one might think Belinski handsome, but his eyes, as one closes the gap, are set too close together, and his chin angles into his neck much too quickly. This causes him to breathe through the mouth. He has developed the habit of muttering. It's as if his brain were incapable of thinking inside itself. He reflects that punishment, to be effective, must occur soon after the offense.

D.E. Fredd

Debacles and Rendez-Vous

At no point did he harbour illusions of marriage—he had never considered it. Julia, who was much more fastidious by nature, a Canadian through and through, blonde, blue-eyed, and addicted to early morning coffee, seemed much more invested, but that would be proven wrong in time.

Bojan Pavlovic

Come Away; Poverty's Catching

Sometimes, when misfortune befell one of them, the men did not gather beneath the tree for many days, tragedy triggering a break from their socializing. And when they finally returned from such an interlude, there remained a discomforting silence: no guffaws, no throat clearing, and it was many days before the vitality of their arguments was regained.

Jumoke Verissimo

Excerpt from The Arc and the Sediment

A lizard skitters close, assesses her with pushups. She takes a photo of it with the phone. Her daughter might forgive her if she brought home such a thing, worthy of any second-grade show-and-tell—such delicate hands, a blush of blue spreading from underbelly to soft pulsing throat, curious half-closed eyelids.

Christine Allen-Yazzie

The Rhino of the Real

Maybe he'd succumb to Sara Rasinsky, too. He pictured her in her field hockey uniform, pantyless. Ruminating, he didn't see the three turtles, stolid bouillon cubes, in the still water. Nor did it cross his mind at 10:58 that the Field House was an exceedingly odd place for the Dean to schedule a meeting...

Tim Horvath

Take Your Mustache and Leave

Around the time when Mr. Peterson's Mustache arrived, Mr. Peterson, himself, just happened to be following closely behind. The two traded handshakes before entering. Mr. Peterson offered a Boris (the name he had dubbed his fists), and Mr. Peterson's Mustache reciprocated by curling a few hairs around it.

Mark Baumer

Fig Leaf

He approached while she stood in a near-trance at the surf's edge, the cloud-soaked sun little more than a lemon stain. The cloud was shaped like Italy, a Sicily floating near its toe. The man's sudden shadow interrupted her reverie, and his voice put her on alert. His belly dished in, he told her she looked familiar and asked her name.

Andrew Coburn

In Grief Prostrate; Clobbered by Joy

Her arms out like a forklift, she catches him in an embrace. Roy's right hand accidentally slips under the hem of the jacket, and the t-shirt underneath. Slides against her spine, instinctively undoing the silver buttons of her vertebrae until instructed to pat soothingly. Her svelte kidney.

Benjamin Chambers