Oct/Nov 2009

e c l e c t i c a
f i c t i o n


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

The Lookouts

Every sports movie I had ever seen starred a team full of geeks, losers, and rejects, usually captained by an equally loser coach who was emotionally sensitive and had something to prove to his father, and they would suck until some good player joined the team and whipped them all into shape. I had hoped that I would be placed on this team so that, between gulps from our asthma inhalers, I could have a rousing discussion with my teammates about the reproductive techniques of the spider wasp.

Tom Kelly

A Good Mother

The man gave up. A good mother. Thick skin. Teach her children to listen.

Ann Ang

Voyage Back into Space

When the astronauts emerge for spacewalks, one notices a certain bounce in the step not attributable simply to the lack of gravity. The ship's boosters fire jauntily, and they zoom into the blackness. Passing Mars, they all marvel at the planet sheer's redness. But redness has never been enough—for anybody.

Ethan Bernard

That's My Boy

"Cadet of the Year, three years in a row," Dad would say later. "Could have gone to West Point." Instead, Bull got kicked out of military school that year for bashing in Ronald Thompson's face.

Siobhan Welch

Permanent Black Burn

You learned guitar and bass guitar. You sang. He sang. You shared a microphone. Now this is where it got dirty. You fell in love with him. Your lips grazed his lips a lot. He spat when he sang. You were good; Fynn was ablaze.

Jennifer Greidus


The dashboard was of another age—a medieval black slab of steel. The gauges were big and easy to read, and the amount of chrome covering every knob and protuberance could have been measured in square feet.

Tyler M. Mathis