Jul/Aug 2017

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 Shark Dancer

Encarnacion's place was more full than she had ever seen it. Gone was the miasma of drought and dust and the sad, half-heard radio. Tonight the music was loud and brassy, and everyone inside was dancing. Nia watched, marveling at this culture that embraced sensuality in all its forms, all its shapes and sizes and ages. Fat Donatella, she of the full-cheeked scowl, was not scowling tonight, but danced like the most beautiful woman in the world.

Karly Lake McCullough

Wild Animals

He feels the quick heat of annoyance, but stuffs it deep down in the cold part of him to open later, when he's in therapy, or allowing himself one of his weekly cries in the car. She says "return home" as if it had been his decision to move out in the first place, when it was Vivien's decision, her ultimatum, really.

Emily Ansara Baines


The old woman was wearing a chenille bathrobe the color of lemons. She had dyed her now-white hair jet black. Cheryl gently folded the newspaper and grabbed her aunt's chin. Two large brown paper bags next to her were packed with clothes and medications. A bottle of powdered laxative lay on the ground. CONTENTS, said the label, MAY SETTLE DURING SHIPPING.

Marlene Olin


She loved the cottage for its ability to stand still. Each year her father locked it up on Labor Day and when they returned nine months later, all was as it was. The only evidence of change was her and her sister's height markings on a pine door.

Jacki Maynard

My Sister's Labyrinth

"We can never truly know another person," she said after we sat down, and I thought I saw something move in the depths of her eyes, like an eel or a dolphin swimming through fathoms of green water.

Lâle Davidson

A Season of Turbulence
(Spotlight Runner-Up!)

At first, I spend a lot of time alone in Solly's house, which like Alaska itself, gives an impression of space unoccupied but is far from empty. Mornings, I lie drowsy in bed amid the pattering splash and warm fog of Cliff's shower. Fragrances of coffee and bacon and aftershave make their way downstairs. The voices above are mostly male, punctuated by the trebles of women overnighters.

Linda Boroff