Jan/Feb 2020

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f i c t i o n


(These are excerpts—click on the title to view the whole piece!)


He was going to introduce a discussion of a story called "Intrusion" by Paul Hare. The story concerns the intrusive burial of an Iron Age man who was killed by being thrown into or possibly falling into a fissure. Or he may have been killed in a landslide while exploring a tunnel. Hare allows for a variety of alternatives. At any rate, his body, when it is discovered centuries later, is in the "wrong" geological layer, as though he had lived at a much earlier time.

Robert Stone

A Visit to My Father with My Son (a novella)

The driveway was perilously steep and the view, as you ascended, was dizzying. It was narrow and unmarked so you could easily take a dive off the edge; unpaved so that your back wheels created a flurry of gravel, especially if, as my father used to, you raced up and down at manic speed. In the winter, iced and slippery, the going would have been even rougher, and there was no way Mimi's car could have made it.

Edward M. Cohen

Come and See

Up the stairs in the bathroom, the shower curtain has been torn from its metal rings. The mirror is shattered. The baby is in the toilet.

Stephanie Yu

Perilous Stuff: Dispatches from Beirut (a novella)

A therapist once attributed my problems to the three years I spent in Beirut. A fat little man with a bald head and thin bloodless lips. "Post-traumatic stress," he announced, smug and owlish, as if the words, themselves, relatively new to the world's vocabulary, had some sort of biological reality. I knew otherwise. All life is a breaking down. It isn't the big things, the obvious things, that finally crack you. It's the metaphor they represent. You don't get out of this alive.

Michael Campagnoli

Le Freak

People retain a surprising variety of attitudes when it comes to dogs: some adore them, others regard them as barking bags of nuisance, some fear them, and some lend them a status even higher than the average human's, perhaps deserved. But after the attack on Amanda, there was a reflexive defense of dogs all across Los Angeles, along with dismay the murdering dogs were put to sleep. Harassed pedestrians, harried joggers, the outright fearful, and the inconvenienced were pitted against exuberant dog lovers, anti-euthanasia agitators, and owners of every breed of hound. I'd grown up with dogs and liked them, but that was beside the point.

Ken O'Steen

All the Rage

"I think, Stearns Carver," said Adee, "we will see major developments in the next several years. I am going off to Europe on my usual cycling trip this summer, and my guess is that the papers will report the fact—not because old Adee is going to wheel his usual thousand miles, but because Adee must not think war imminent, else he would not leave the country. Indeed I do not think war is coming this year. But I am making no bets about 1914, even if for now the German chancellor is saying nice things about England.

Peter Bridges