Apr/May 2004

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!)


I'm collecting weaponry, even though I don't need it. I know how to use my hand like a knife, my leg like an awl down the trunk of a man's body. I've come to notice how people hold themselves. Confident. Bashful. Like they're bored. Like they could kill you.

Diane Zinna

A Proctor is More Than Just a Reader

His Sunday school teacher was a tight-lipped woman with big breasts that none of the boys were allowed to acknowledge but that they all secretly fantasized about. She made two things very clear. The first was that God was unknowable.

Aaron Sitze


The sexual tension in the air, Bridgewater thought, might only be a symptom of his loneliness, an illusion fostered by the jungle-like whir of the cicadas. Or there might be some metaphysical basis to it, some crisis in his own developmental process, paralleling that of the insects.

Charles Rammelkamp

Mud Dog

Dog, we've been told, is boy's best friend. Dog is loyal. Dog is good. Good, like mud is good. Like brother is good. Like girl is good, too.

Peter Markus

AquaSerene (A Fish Story)

Despair in all cases is to be avoided. Despair will ruin your kingdom before it even gets started. If you bought your AquaSerene out of despair, stop reading now and return it immediately. We will not be held responsible for despair.

Anthony W. Brown

Sleight of Hand

He had done modest conjuring shows in rehab, and he found that junkies made a great audience. They would watch raptly, grateful for the distraction, and with a brittle and empathetic eagerness for the tricks to work. No one wanted another addict to fail at even the smallest thing.

Dennis Tafoya

Parcel of Trouble

Shaking his head, the interpreter gives Eesang a pitying look. "The white devil," he begins solemnly in the language only he and Eesang understands, "says that today you'll meet his father in the next world if you don't produce his parcel. Where in God's name have you hidden this crazy parcel of trouble?"

Crispin Oduobuk

Haywire Car Alarm Deep In September Night

"You're being recalcitrant, Mr. Morshky," said Smithers. "Very well. We'll prove a point for your benefit." He turned to the first man wearing the wrist unit and said, "Jones, make a triceratops hatch out of Mr. Morshky's brain."

David Alexander

Three Flashes

Samantha was setting fire to her toys. Benny was her encouragement. When the fire brigade arrived, all they found was the refuse of the past eight days. They hosed us down and wept for mothers everywhere, trying to pretend it had nothing to do with them.

Duncan White, DJ McDougle, and Steven Gajadhar

The Hit Doctor

But the dirty little secret remains and was hovering palpably over that courtroom throughout the trial: If you officially recognized the validity of my defense, you would have to hold every physician responsible for the same misdeeds of which you sought to convict me.

Thomas J. Hubschman

What It Means To Be Dead (An internet prose collage)

But still, you thrust something solid into the place, the window, the hole; you plug into the socket, and there is light, and there is connectivity, and there is the appearance of roots and roots and white on dirt, and there seems to be fertile loamy loam and maybe blue green veins on white thigh.

Stanley Jenkins