Jul/Aug 2022

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!)


She takes a sip, warms her hands on it, taking the time to think, even though there's not much to think about. "Okay," she says. Wally thought this might happen. She wraps the brick up and sticks it back in her pocket. "I got something else." She owes Wally—a lot—and he called it in this time. If the brick of CPU stuff wasn't enough to get the ring back, the plan was she'd pay with something of her own. If she brings both the ring and the brick back, Wally will cancel her debt outright, instead of bit by bit, job by job. A double-edged trade. Out of debt with Wally, but...

David Krebs

Byron Greenblatt's Better Self

These were things he understood and could not point to any problem with, but whenever he looked at them, or thought about them—not just purchasing them but the very fact of their existence, and how many of them there were—he felt a deep and evil thing turning around inside him. He had always felt this way, and it was part of why he became a teacher, so as not to be involved in the enabling or production or sale of more things.

Elizabeth Walztoni

Puppy Teeth

Cody's dad agreed to drive him over on the condition he brought his brother. Cody tried to argue against it, but he knew the reason he wanted Weiner to stay home was the same reason his dad insisted he go. There was no way he'd get up to any real trouble with Weiner around. The kid was natural contraception.

Greg Rhyno

Father's Day

Dan woke early the next morning while it was still dark. He pushed a chair against the wall, pulled back the heavy flowered curtain, budged open the double-hung kitchen window, and sat smoking while Virginia slept. It made him feel good to stare at her in the morning—one arm tucked beneath her head, her blond curls spread across both their pillows. She looked peaceful, prettier than she ever had. Before the alarm went off, he unplugged the clock radio, an Emerson with numbers that clicked loudly every minute, and set a coffee pot to percolate on the stove. He'd wait a half-hour before waking her, giving Ginny more time to sleep... giving himself more time to watch some to watch something he knew was ending.

Christopher Villiers

Books of Many Covers

I'd heard about the Human Library. The idea had started in Denmark and spread around the world. We had considered starting one in Nashville. People—transgenders, bigenders, black activists, Buddhists, nudists, Romas, Sikhs—would volunteer to tell their story to anyone who wanted to listen. If I were to go to a Human Library, I might sit down with a sex addict to gain a better understanding of Warren. Or listen to a situational lonely person to learn about myself.

Mark Williams


He knows he likes fiction and he's read broadly for someone his age, and he conveyed all that calmly in the interview as he never thought he'd even get to be interviewed. Resigned naturalness seems to be what has got him this far. That, and he suspects, having an Indian mother who has passed on enough "diversity" to him. On his first day one of the founder agents, a friendly man with wispy grey hair and a bowling ball gut, asked him if he'd read any Akhil Sharma, and he'd drawn a blank that seemed to embarrass the man more than him. He doesn't tell Marsha this part, either.

Anna Maconochie