Jan/Feb 2010

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!)


Sometimes she didn't finish her thoughts and left dangling sentences in the air like Flytape. She'd come downstairs with a birdcage full of old letters and say that the mailman needed air in his tires. She'd enter the kitchen holding a dead light bulb.

Adam Marston

Bangalore to Thrissur

Hosur Road was Bangalore of the present in microcosm. The old vineyards and fields had been partitioned and sold off by squabbling families to the highest bidders. IT parks with manicured lawns and buildings with glass facades and Ionic columns—to give a classical touch—alternated with upmarket apartment building developments, run down restaurants, and three floor tenements. The violence of modern development was painfully obvious.

Saudha Kasim

Nasty ... Short

In the mornings we'd collect the chairs, far flung, tilted into corners, or nestled up with a couch. We moved the sofas out of their puppy pile and return them to lounges. It was a routine, a morning chore. Everything back to its place.

R. Christopher Knight

The Final Coming of Night

When he was four, with his father in jail, his mother baked a lumpy coconut cake from a store mix, put yellow candles in it, drank her drink and sang the same thing, her voice thin and desperate, hair in her eyes, apron stained, whiskey leaking down her chin.

Anne Leigh Parrish

The Emptiness Monk

Speak up, said the tall man. My hearing is poor. He shoved back the winter robe. Both his ears had been sliced off close to the skull, leaving only crimped buds of flesh, shiny pink as a newborn baby's lips.

John Givens

Soft Landings

"C'mon," I say, chuckling. "Rarely is success in life such an easy dash. Rarely does it require more effort to fail."

Jay Baruch

How to Mummify Ice

1848 was a quiet year. His sharded fingers resisted. Guildhall. The Boethian notes shattered mid-air. Then his hands and then his nose and then his ankles and then arms and then his chest: sharp, diatonic tracks in mid-scale.

Joseph Cassara

The Gulf Between Us

His back pack is filled with manila folders and yellow pads devoted to arcane projects he's into, one of which is war history. Perhaps that is my influence. He is very much into copying out the opening pages of novels. He loves literary classics, the kind where the first letter on page one is a scrolled, ornate thing. He will sit for hours like a sixteenth century monk and, using magic markers, recreate the design."

D. E. Fredd