Apr/May 2015

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 Inside, the Out

Monday: Mother appears to have no visible difference in smile, but occurrence while on the phone a new development. Usually M presents with apathetic look while speaking on phone, with voice pitch slightly elevated to indicate interest.


Heather Steinmann

The Cruel Month

At night we talk of how it is now. A man says he would rather lose an arm than lose a leg. A man with two legs can run, he can kick, but better the left arm he says than the right. A man with one leg would be useless. A woman asks if losing a finger would be enough. She is afraid of scars.

Alex Keegan

Saving Hermann Hesse
(Spotlight Author Runner-Up!)

Josef was not to be deterred. There was something about Hesse's writing, its clarity, its mesmerizing rhythm, that drew him in and made him feel that even he, a simple apprentice, a bad student in school, a desultory private in the Kaiser's defeated army, participated in a grand imaginative community.

Rudy Koshar

A Festive Suicide, Attempted

What kind of a life was his? A stray dog's life. They keep food out for him every day, and a sleeping mat in the veranda, but there was nothing else in the world that he could call his.

Veena Muthuraman

Goodbye, Kate Shelly

"Thing is..." Billy said, "Daddy did som'n not so good. He's got what's called an addiction. Sometimes, he can't control himself. Ain't his fault. Ain't nobody's fault. That's why you haven't seen him for a while."

Jason Lee Helm

Falling Woman

"That's enough of that young lady. Whatever the circumstances are that you've gotten yourself into, I'll have no crocodile tears. None. Do we understand each other?"

Beth Hogan

My Bad

I knew what she meant. I'd heard it before. Tim, Tom, Tad. She buttered her brioche.

Robert Marshall


Once, she asked me what was the safest, realest thing I could remember. I told her my mother, swimming slowly up and down like the water was only there for her. I knew she could swim forever, live forever. I knew she was created to be my mother.

Alex Keegan

Starbucks (A Novella)

Maris wasn't behind the counter at Starbucks the next morning. He didn't ask the redheaded boy where she was and ordered his usual mocha. When he came into the office, Brenda said, "You have a visitor. She says she's your cousin," in a tone that suggested she knew what that meant. Brenda loved gossip, which he had always been too discreet to provide her.

Linda Griffin

Finding the Foot

The further I drove, the clearer the sky got. It was like a version of Berkeley that hadn't been tainted yet. I imagined what the drive would be like to Hawaii, if such a thing were possible. Endless ocean in every direction. Driving through infinity.

Warren Buchanan

Light and Light

Eight years is the right age that the devil likes. In fact we usually say between six and ten. What number is in the middle of that? Eight. So you see, your daughter's age is at peak ripeness for letting the devil wear her like glove.

Chikodili Emelumadu

Heartbreak Lake

Days later, after she had quickly sold the comb in her shop for a very good price, she missed it. Found herself wishing for it back. Its beauty and smoothness that seemed somehow familiar, like something long lost. Something hers. That prickle of the teeth against her fingers.

Leah Erickson