"The Sound" by Mike McCorkle
Issue #11 / October 2014
Illustrated by Samuel Reeves
MIKE MCCORCKLE is an emerging fiction writer and freelancer based out of Seattle. He recently spent a year living in Mexico instructing English and now works as a writing mentor and private instructor in the south Puget Sound. When he is not writing, Mike can found exploring the backwoods with his son Rylan and Labrador Betsy.
"Who’s there?” the old man yelled from his kayak. An oppressive silence overcame him like a wave. He was not a man to hear voices in the night nor go to church on Sunday, but how can he deny the haunting, audible intonation?
The sinister voice warned him as the boat crested over the first waves he met on the two nautical-mile, open-water crossing. He wondered for a moment if his mind was truly escaping him. Madness, however subjective, he rarely deferred to. In solitude noises can be explained away as the consequences of isolation. Despite his predilection to heed the plea of this sound, the old man continued, dismissing the warning as an encroachment of his imagination...
"How Can We Ever Be Better?" by Star Spider
Issue #12 / November 2014
Illustrated by David Curtis
STAR SPIDER is a writer from Canada where she lives with her awesome husband Ben Badger. Star is in the process of seeking publication for her novels while she writes and frolics on the beach. Her work can be found in Gone Lawn, Aperion Review, Klipspringer Magazine, Close to the Bone, Black Treacle, ExFic and Grim Corps.
"He blew into town on the breeze, light as a feather, his dangling limbs thin as twigs. We watched as he passed through the streets of our town in the thick golden twilight, face obscured in the shadow of a black-rimmed hat. We whispered behind our hands, eyes narrow with a cold curiosity, sheltered as we were. He took up residence in that husk of an abandoned cottage, the one by the old cannery. Its thatching was spotty as a bald man, walls black as sin, windows slowly closing eyes. He went on in and vanished like a magic trick as the sun extinguished itself in a stuttering haze over the softly sloping hills beyond. We talked that night till the stars blazed bright and then dark again. Our words weren’t wise but worried, our hands knitting our scarves and sweaters into tighter and tighter knots until they wouldn’t come undone no matter how hard we pulled. Our rocking chairs made fissures into the floor, deep abyssal chasms, and our words slapped the windows like rain, so hard our children hid under their blankets for fear of lightning. Visiting strangers was unheard of in our town. It wasn’t heard of and it wasn’t wanted, no...
"Ghosts of the Villa Borghese" by Frank Scozzari
Issue #13 / December 2014
Illustrated by Gabhor Utomo
FRANK SCOZZARI's fiction has previously appeared in various literary magazines, including The Kenyon Review, Tampa Review, Pacific Review, The Nassau Review, Berkeley Fiction Review, Ellipsis Magazine, Minetta Review, Eleven Eleven, South Dakota Review, Roanoke Review, Reed Magazine, Hawai’i Pacific Review, and The MacGuffin. Writing awards include Winner of the National Writer’s Association Short Story Contest and three Pushcart Prize nominations.
"They stood on the Pincio Terrace, that place above the Piazza del Popolo with the commanding view of Rome. Beneath them, a thousand red-tiled rooftops stretched out across the ancient city, from the distant columns of the Coliseum to the glistening dome of St. Peters’ Basilica. To the west was the long, winding curve of the Tiber River where it came around past the Castel Sant’Angelo.
“It’s like we’re back on the Terrace of Infinity,” the young woman said.
“Yeah, but that was a little higher,” Garrett replied.
“Do you think Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck stood here?” she asked.
“And Sophia Loren.”
"Warehouse" by Randy Osborne
Issue #14 / December 2014
Illustrated by Ben Hipp
RANDY OSBORNE’s work has appeared in small literary magazines. He teaches fiction and creative nonfiction for the continuing-education program at Emory University in Atlanta. He is finishing a book of personal essays, and is represented by Brandt & Hochman in New York. You can find more about his current work at www.randyosborne.com.
"Judge John S. Flanders fixed me with hooded eyes. His hairy sausage fingers fumbled with the paperwork. Wet lips peeled away from yellow teeth.
I felt sick and dizzy.
“Who comes before us now?” Flanders boomed at me, drowning out my heart’s thunder.
It was 1965. Lyndon Johnson sent the first troops to Vietnam that year. Malcolm X was shot to death. Race riots tore up the South. In my hometown of Rockford, Illinois, I walked with my cousin Patrick and his brother Mike into an open building from which I took nothing. Then we all got arrested...
"Conjure" by Alice Hoffman
Issue #15 / December 2014
Illustrated by Timothy Tang
ALICE HOFFMAN is the author of many bestselling novels including Practical Magic, The Red Garden, and The Dovekeepers. Hoffman’s work has been published in more than twenty translations and more than one hundred foreign editions. Her novels have received mention as notable books of the year by The New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, The Los Angeles Times, Library Journal, and People Magazine. She has also worked as a screenwriter and is the author of the original screenplay “Independence Day” a film starring Kathleen Quinlan and Diane Wiest. Her short fiction and non-fiction have appeared in The New York Times, The Boston Globe Magazine, Kenyon Review, Redbook, Architectural Digest, Gourmet, Self, and other magazines. Her teen novel Aquamarine was recently made into a film starring Emma Roberts.
"It was August, when the crickets sang slowly and the past lingered in bright pools of glorious light, even though it would soon be gone, the way summer was all but over, yet the heat was still on the rise. The weather had been extreme that month: days of drenching rain, sudden showers of hail, temperatures passing record highs. Local children whispered that an angel had fallen to earth in a thunderstorm. There were roving groups who swore they had found signs. Footprints in the grass, black feathers, a campfire in the woods behind the high school where there were sparks of shimmering ash. One neighborhood boy vowed that he had seen a man in a black cloak rise above the earth and walk on air, and although no one believed his account, mothers began to keep their children home. They locked the doors, called in the dogs, kept the lights on after dusk...