Sep/Oct 1999

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!)

When They Eat Chocolate

I needed a bathroom. I would have to leave my place in line. I hadn't had a bowel movement for weeks, maybe even months. I couldn't leave the line; the men waiting behind me would quickly fill the vacant spot. They saw nothing but themselves and their need for food.

Daniel Velton

Potato Pancakes

At school, the potato pancakes were served steaming hot. We heaped on tablespoons of applesauce. My teacher Mr. Ramirez grinned at us while we ate. "This is what Jewish people eat," he said. "Jews are the happiest people in the world."

Marcy Dermansky


My mother commented on the special glow on Szerénke's face and inquired if she had told us all there was to know, or if she had hidden something of a more personal nature.

Martha Nemes Fried

Something Coming to Meet You

He didn't know what to say. It's true that he hadn't cared for the kitty, per se. He cared about doing his job well. You couldn't care for everything that was out there needing you. Wasn't it enough that he showed up?

Alan Kaufman


The straights and gays relaxed, and soon downed several liters of champagne in rapid succession. Betty drove the red convertible off to Provincetown with high heels of various shades—and her rented brogues—strung to the back bumper. A bed sheet taped to the trunk announced "Newlyweds."

Dennis Must

The Sunflower Girl

A sunflower is a strange kind of flower Sam thought, and this was a strange looking girl. Sam was just thinking that she looked like some kind of alien, a beautiful alien, when she leaned over to him and actually whispered, "I'm a Martian."

Oren Shafir


Lugo'd been reading over my shoulder, his new brandy not unscrewed yet (all these years thinking Lugo couldn't read). He didn't waste time on whatever he read in my eyes. He shook his head. "You can't say that."

A.Y. Tanaka