Oct/Nov 2001

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!)

Mustard Gas

After the accident with the mustard gas, Wilson's mother never went out much. She was embarrassed about what had happened to her face, and she didn't want the neighbors to know that it was her own son who had harmed her like this.

Jürgen Fauth

Dirty One

Ma stumbled over to the sink and twisted the screeching faucets. Steam climbed upwards as she held her hands under the flow. Lathering up, Ma scrubbed between each finger, around the nails.

Michael Graves

To Blot Out All the Stars

You and your two friends would try to find things to do to distract you from the burning smallness of your heart and make it easier to breathe.

Becky Ohlsen


Her nerves are raw, they're outside the skin, playing around where they don't belong. Other people can't see them, but they're out there, naked, dancing in the world without a scrap of protection.

Becky Ohlsen

Late Day Storms

I look out the window and there is still no rain. The clouds have darkened and shrunk, like rags dipped in water and squeezed out, but the squeezed-out water is still pooled somewhere between there and here.

Vanessa Weibler Paris

My Barbarian

We were standing in the middle of the store. Surrounding us was an ersatz jungle laden with barbarians like mine. Most of the barbarians were swinging on vines or whaling on each other with femurs or logs. A few were masturbating.

D. Harlan Wilson

The Groundhog That Didn't Know He Was a Man

The bellhop got caught in a revolving door that, the moment he stepped into it, accelerated to 75 mph and wouldn't let him out. I saluted him as I blustered through a normal door, the big mirror awkwardly tucked beneath my armpit.

D. Harlan Wilson