Jan/Feb 2019

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!)

Out of Visual Range

People had started walking away from me in the middle of conversations, sometimes mid-sentence. In the café at work, I would be engaged in a friendly chat while waiting to order a chai, and the other person would just turn and leave. At an open-air bar while discussing a public art exhibition, the person I would happen to be talking to would look past me, then walk away and start conversing with someone else as if I hadn't been there.

Russell Carmony

What I Did in the War

I don't know if Maya actually harvested, dried, and smoked her own marijuana. I hardly think that would have been worth the effort since the weed was so abundant and cheap. I think it was all legal, but I'm not entirely sure. This was back in the day. Far enough back that Maya took some delight in teasing people from other countries about the freedom from certain constraints in The Netherlands. Ulrich didn't seem shocked when Maya took that attitude with him. He didn't seem very pleased, either.

Earl Fendelman

Hanged Man

She broke up with him after a month. "You belong with a girl your own age who's got a real future," she said to ameliorate his pain. "You've been in limbo with me, but now you're free to look for her."

Don Stoll

Being and Time

In the early days not every rule had been carved onto stone tablets, which meant some of us who weren't quite defined lived outside of time. God hadn't thought through the logistics of everything yet. He was always more brass tacks, more tactical than strategic. We spent a great deal of time—oxymoronic, yes—playing chess. Chess can be interminably boring. However, unmoored from time, the game became a wonder. Once, while considering a move for one of my knights, I paused and looked at the dust motes floating over my water and then took a drink. When I looked beyond the board to the world, I saw dinosaurs were now extinct, a continent had broken free from its shelf, and small animals were scurrying between caves.

Andrew Bertaina