Jan/Feb 2015

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f i c t i o n


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

Tiger Hunting

The air was filled with choking clouds of red dust and the noxious fumes of India's notoriously poor-grade diesel fuel, and traffic was heavy, with the jeep constantly slowing to pass lumbering trucks or people—on bicycles, or walking, or driving teams of oxen, or herding cattle, or just plain lunatics: the sadhus, who professed to be wandering holy men but were worse than anything when it came to getting out of the way.

Melvin Sterne

Color Blind

Vultures. Hundreds of thousands fell out of the trees where they roosted. Autopsies showed they died from visceral gout, aka bird kidney failure. White crystals coated their internal organs. The fungus had evolved.

Caralyn Davis

(Spotlight Runner-Up!)

Dom started whacking the sausage with the cleaver. He was exciting to watch, even performing ordinary acts. Then again, he had used this cleaver to remove the hand of a rebel who had tried raping Elena. He had the fingers in a box, as a reminder to the young ones who thought they were tough.

Gary Moshimer

Ponce de Leon has a Problem

You have seen the plains roll out like a gypsy's rug. You have touched the hem of the horizon so many times, you've lost count. You are starved. You are thirsty. The North Star and the Sun, at one time your friends, sing a siren's song of "Onwards, this way." No man or woman has seen the vast slice of life you have seen.

Mack Basham

The Fish Story

Margot watched him swimming around his tiny bowl, and thought he must be lonely. What was it like, to really live in a fish bowl? She named him Louis the Love Fish, but she could never bring herself to call him Louis. She called him Fishy.

Jennifer Lunden

Surface Tension

The toll on Michael and Kathy's marriage was only increasing, nearing some kind of breaking point. In seemingly irretrievable ways, he could feel his wife growing permanently distant. He didn't blame her. How could he? She had been protecting herself. That was only natural.

Steve Vermillion

All We Have Left

He reached down and pulled a pair of scissors out of a utility drawer. He cut out the article in three snips and left the rest of the paper. The next morning, he bought an airline ticket. Within a week, Marshall found himself stumbling around the hot, yellow streets of Brazil.

Jonathan Starke

Sister & Me

If we wanted to sneak past 'em, we couldn't. Not with sister's stupid brace clanging along against the ground blabbing to anyone with ears that we was coming. Sometimes them kids watch us like we is wild pigs in a shoot squealing for their delight.

Bowen Astrop


The blond road rose out of the distance from green seawave hills, and the white teeth of the Cascades diminished behind me. Theatrical clouds drifted into high anvil thunderheads off to the south. The valley floated in waves of heat, and a silver river slid with serpent scales flashing in the grasses as I followed it in my parallel course.

Douglas Cole

Down the Plymouth Road (Series Two)

I was walking down the Plymouth road. It was me and the Rabbi. And we'd come to the part of our journey where we had arrived but still needed to keep going. I imagined in my mind's eye an oval, an undulating and lovely oval. I imagined that we had arrived within the oval. Breached the perimeter. Outrun the demons. We had arrived in the neutral place.

Stanley Jenkins


"My God, Felicia," he boomed into the concrete depths. "We're going to knock New York on its ass." His legs were spread like a yachtsman at the helm, taking command. "Monumental is the word. They dominate." Brink, as they called him in Soho, was a charmer, almost as tall as me, but slim and elegant in his zippered Italian sweater, trim flannel slacks and Gucci loafers. The kind of boy you might find at the New York Racquet Club, toweling off after an hour of squash. He retained that hint of prep school in his voice that set him just above the rest of us.

William Reese Hamilton