Apr/May 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!)

Can of Worms

The warm haze turns into an awful buzzing in my ears. My face burns. Jesus. If Joe knows, everyone knows. And what will happen now to my corporate magazine career?

John Palcewski

Wigger Boy, Spit

I'm known to da' mass-media as MC Bodybag (formerly Smoghorn Leghorn). Cain Richards is me God-given name. I don't look like most skateboardin' rappers out in da' streets. I'm pale and a lil' fragile on sight, but sexy as fock overall. Imagine if 'dat prick Ed Sheeran wuz a fockin' gangsta and had a massive cock n' balls. That's me, bruv.


(Spotlight Runner-Up!)

It always turned out that the story was about me. Me being selfish and overcoming that. Me having some kind of epiphany that made me get a grip on my life and succeed. Me progressively maturing. Even if I ended up happy, it was ultimately about me, me, me. It wasn't ever about Zooey Deschanel or our love. It always was about how I caused it to fail, or masked my hurt too much, or wasn't caring and compassionate enough. Because any decision I made, any decision I was pushed to make, seemed to drive her away from me, or me away from her, and even though I never really wanted to be with her in the first place, there I would be at the end of the story, feeling estranged, having to do that end of the story thing where you dip a toe into the possibility of what extends beyond the story, the implied extrapolation.

Gian-Paul Bergeron

Lamps Light the World

At about 4:00, Noreen has her daily silent, shivering meltdown over something she is typing falteringly for Bob. Bob, who has developed an instinct about Noreen's moods ("he's like one of those dogs that helps epileptic kids," Maybell says), approaches his niece's desk and whispers to her for a minute, and her tense body relaxes.

Vivian Zenari

Lecture #3: Jackie K.'s "Dress Shop Window"

A couple of things should be said before we get on to the topic of the day. First, you are welcome to ignore everything on the syllabus. I put it together last night with no other goal than to mollify the dean and the dean's assistant. I simply grafted the readings and assignments from a certain Professor Rosinky, who taught here in the mid-late 1990s. Rosinky, as far as I can tell, was not an uninteresting man, but since I'm not Rosinky, we don't need to play by Rosinky's rules. You can ignore the Rosinky syllabus, his reading list, his assignments, and all the rest.

Seth Rogoff


He raped her twice the first night, just to let her know how things stood. He told her not to look at his face, even though she had seen him before, so she kept her eyes shut tight. Her mouth was a grim line, as if he was hurting her, but he didn't think he was. She was a big girl; she could take it. He liked the taut skin of her swollen belly, the sheen of sweat between her large breasts, the way her fingers gripped the headboard above the rope. She was a keeper.

Linda Griffin