Apr/May 2005

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!)

Are You Lonesome Tonight?

Anyhow, I think you've heard enough from me for the time being. Who started that round of applause? No, dear, I'll be back. Don't you worry. Now then, I want you to put your hands together for a young lad who's up-and-coming. That's right—he's a trainee steeplejack. No, he isn't... he's a cloudpainter. No, he's not—he's a skyscraper. Ah, well, he's one of the three.

Roderick Leyland

A Suitable Girl

"What could you have done, hah? You were ten thousand miles away. We have to fight our own battles. Your Uncle has still not learnt his lesson. He thinks he can make a difference. He keeps butting heads with those in authority. The poor man doesn't realize that those in power will tolerate a fly as long as it is merely irritating. Once it crosses the line and becomes annoying, they will crush it swiftly and mercilessly."

Gokul Rajaram


I can't believe our luck. It's an honest to god dope deal. Ricky is shaking and gulping air like a dry-docked goldfish. He's about two seconds away from blasting off the way he does, so I clamp my hand around his mouth.

Phil Jones

Passport to Heaven

You enter the Danfo bus, clutching your pocket and the passport with your left hand and darting your eyes left and right like a security officer guarding a head of state. You will not argue with the conductor today; you will avoid any fight by all means. You are Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, all rolled into one body. You are now Christopher, ambassador of peace.

Victor Ehikhamenor

Conjugating Sleep

Je dormirai, tu dormiras, elle dormira, nous dormirons, vous dormirez, elles dormiront, I scribble, in the vain hope that conjugating the future tense may somehow win me a night's future rest. (As illogical an assumption as the obsessive practice of copying Mrs. Colleen Ryan, Mrs. Charles Ryan, Ms. Colleen Ryan, over and over again into my Mead composition book in junior high, attempting to manifest a happily ever after ending to my hopeless crush on Charlie Ryan.)

Susan Dugan

The Artist

Many tell of the moment a space opened in the crowd. How he would for his audience, ritually, ceremoniously, have his reflexes tested.

Duncan White