Jan/Feb 2018

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!)

Morning Crew
(Spotlight Runner-Up!)

The young boys are lazy like boys generally are, lazy and inconsistent. Besides me, Dr. Joe, and Killer Jeff, most the other ten are young boys. They stumble in each morning around 5:45, at least 15 minutes late.

Eli Cranor

Prescribed Burn

Two years of life with Grant had caused Eden's values to shift. For instance, after their first year together, she started to fantasize about marrying Grant. It was a side-effect of living in such a heteronormative landscape as Kansas. It slowly began to enter her mind that this was what she wanting. She was therefore startled on their second Christmas together when Grant's "big" surprise for her was not an engagement ring, but an acoustic guitar. Grant watched the disappointment register on her face as she opened the gift, and he found himself unable to assuage it.

Ames Cain

The Ice Festival

Though Red Star was his father's kind of town, she had changed her mind about moving here, and she'd made other changes, too. She used cuss words, she yelled at the boys. She wore strange clothes. Today she wore an untucked purple T-shirt over a long black cotton skirt. Not that she had to look like the church mothers—Cory didn't care anymore that she was different—but she walked out of rooms, smoked too much, broke a dish now and then. She stayed up late in the night.

Ryan Blacketter


"It is too late. The snake has already eaten them," the novice said when he climbed back down. The old monk said the mother squirrel and the snake had once been women in love with the same man. One woman had been pregnant, and this made the other woman so jealous, she sprinkled poison into her rival's Tom Ka. The poison wasn't strong enough to kill the mother, but it did kill her unborn child. Because of that, they had been battling each other for many lives as their souls jumped from body to body.

Robert Hilles

Some Notes on the Geerts Manuscript

He noticed the corner immediately. The dog-eared corner, the outer layers of paper peeling away slightly from the central piece of cardboard. Value lost. He touched it gingerly with a gloved fingertip, the paper as soft as skin curling away from a wound, and once he had recovered, in a voice only half-theatrical, mumbled as if to himself what a pity it was the corner was damaged, as it lessened so substantially the value of the entire deck...

S. P. Tenhoff


He knew what his response had to be as soon as she spoke, herself full of mischievous energy after their sunny lovemaking. Above all, his answer had to be plausible, even true if possible, the truth one told a woman being of a different kind than what one told a friend or even one's child. But woman-truth was also the most difficult, bearing the dual burden of not being a lie and yet never being what the woman did not want to, or must not, hear.

Thomas J. Hubschman


They had ordered a new postwar Chevrolet even before her father had gotten his orders, and it reached Naples three weeks after they did. On hot days that August, Anne and Sally drove to the beach and cool sea at Ostia. On Saturdays and Sundays the three of them began to hike the wooded ridges of the Monti Sabini and Monti Simbruini, the Apennine chains that rise inland beyond the Roman campagna.

Peter Bridges