Jul/Aug 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 Salvation of Ruby Fae McKeever

Backlit by a setting sun flaunting all the colors it owned, the Road-runners raced across the dirt into the sweet-clover weeds of the grader-ditch. The McKeevers, pigs and all, paused for a silent moment. They all knew to be respectful in the presence of God. They'd been raised right.

Roxie Faulkner Kirk

The Executioners

At first, I attributed those nightmares to the images I'd seen in the Seattle Post Intelligencer: faces mirroring my own, gazing out, trusting and sweet, smiling. We didn't know, then, of course, the identity of the killer. I didn't know it was the boy in the law library I finally asked to leave me alone. "You're creeping me out," I'd said, and soon after, he stopped coming to class at all.

Kirie C. Pedersen

The Gardener

He reached into the depths of his overalls, brought forth the gun and handed it over to me. He gave me an encouraging nod. "I can bury you right up now. Nice and neat."

Robert Garner McBrearty


Not all faces he sketched were beautiful. He'd once sketched the head of a Fulani beggar. The beggar was unlucky to be facially deformed, as opposed to having the amputated limbs or clubbed feet many beggars have. The beggar's face appeared to be almost whorled, his mouth bent clockwise. Toyosi had stared long at the beggar that day, more fascinated than disgusted by the grotesque deformity.

Israel Okwuje

(Spotlight Runner-Up!)

"It's a nasty bitch out there," Ms. Munro said. Her eyes moved impatiently, jumpy floodlights on a small, thinly haired head. Tasneem rarely felt dumb, but she did now, trying to find the English for a response she hadn't come up with yet.

Ahsan Butt

Some of the Above

You know Dwight will eventually be rich and take care of you until you get ugly. You've been working out and trying not to eat as much. Some things go straight to your ass, but it's already 7:30 and you're hungry. The bottles form a star on his coffee table. You'll take it with you when it's over, even though it's his favorite.

Christopher S. Bell


The boy was old enough to know that within the cat's belly was not the weird ball and not a stone. He was also old enough to know that if he asked his parents what was rounding this cat's gut, they would say, if they answered at all, babies. But there were no kittens here. The boy could tell by the way that the belly pulsed when he touched it that day. It was like one large heart thudding, thudding—not like little squirming creatures.

Eric G. Wilson

The Mermaid Effect

It wasn't that Dillon was bad looking. Girls were often attracted to his soft brown curls and chiseled mouth—at first. But something about his wry smile on closer observation warned them to run. His unusual pallor, too, brought on perhaps by spending much of his time indoors on his computer, didn't help his image.

Ann Gilligan Bond

Thunder Bird

There's cold air in the stairwell leading to those upper bedrooms. The fizz of the soda is alive as I hand it to him, to drink between levels, his blood-shot eyes on the video screen. Sometimes you fall asleep without me, leaving me to this mad existence, as the words slither around on the page. All alone now, and the book I was reading was now reading me.

Timmy Johnson

Second Fiddle

I opened my violin case and took out my instrument. The rich brown sheen was like a horse's coat. It was almost too beautiful to look at, though I ran my fingertips along its side, the rib.

Ana Ottman