Oct/Nov 2003

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!)

Random Girl

As for Ms. Cummings, I like her. The things that bother the other girls are exactly the things I like about her most. She doesn't talk down to us, she doesn't have low expectations. She doesn't assume that since we're future teen mothers, we're incapable of intelligent thought.

Theresa Boyar

The Arrangement

Who cares what you dream, I told her. It does not matter. The war matters. The murdering matters. The biscuit factory is on fire, as is the fireworks reserve. Men are being speared alive. Disembowelled by screaming skyrockets. These things matter.

Duncan White

Bounce the Ball

We can't even enjoy a little peaceful backyard BBQ time on Sunday without Bill's fat head dropping over the fence like a tear that won't fall.

Michael Cocchiarale

On the Eve of Leaving

The farewell party had started at the club after work, everyone wishing him well with the new post in Phoenix, presenting him with a set of clubs—nice Pings—saying they hated to see him go. Even the new girl, nervous, gulping her wine, said she would miss him.

James Simpson

A Union on Independence Day

"Where are you from?" Americans often asked. Sometimes they smiled, other times they looked at me with suspicion. I was from Africa, I ended up saying, because I quickly learned they didn't know Nigeria. They asked, "Algeria? Liberia?" I started to say West Africa, to make things easier for them.

Sefi Atta

The Banana Breakfast

I followed him into town until he stopped outside a police station. I would like to have seen his face, but you cannot drive after people and expect to see anything more than the back of their mouldy heads.

John Gray

Joe Stomp-On

The men are young. They have bland faces. Like sculpted bread dough. But with the underlying intensity of volcanoes about to explode. I see this is their stance. They can't wait to wail into me.

Joel Best

The Miracle Worker

"My name is Makinde! I'm the owner or this lot! And I'm telling you now! If you wish to continue to see your vision, I suggest you pay me one naira now, each, or else I will take a rag and wipe the vision off."

Sefi Atta