"Watchers" by Scott Cheshire
Issue #16 / March 2015
Illustrated by Mark Para
SCOTT CHESHIRE earned his MFA from Hunter College. His work has been published in Harper's, Electric Literature, Slice, AGNI, Guernica and the Picador anthology The Book of Men. He lives in New York City. High as the Horses’ Bridles is his first novel.
"I’ve seen the Racetrack Playa for eleven years in Januarys when the desert air and ground are still forgiving. My first year here was spent with the faces one finds in clouds, with the old men, running men, the dancing men one sees in the gnarled and raised roots of arrow weed, in the arms-in-the-air surrender of the Joshua tree, in the ever-changing weathered walls of towering rock and mud. In time, they all move and fall.
My second year here on the playa, I met two others—Raymond and Sport, a gay couple, Australian. They were wandering the Americas on foot and riding the occasional Greyhound. I happened by them in my Honda as they hitched their thumbs from the roadside. We drove some, and then sat facing the sun for two days. We didn’t speak much, our eyes scanning the flat ground beneath us. Some, like Ray and Sport, leave the playa and never come back. Others return for two years, three years. And some just keep on coming...
"We Shoot Here" by Anthony Martin
Issue #17 / April 2014
Illustrated by Jenna Hobbs
ANTHONY MARTIN (@pen_tight) can be found in Pea River Journal, Squawk Back, Lunch Ticket Flyleaf Journal, Quiddity, The Austin Review, Watershed Review, and Up the Nung River in search of Colonel Kurtz. Always getting off the boat.
"That carrying a concealed firearm across state borders is a federal offense only occurred to Pop after we were home. His epiphany came at the dinner table in Ma's halfway house where we were eating on the day Pop and me got back from Arizona because my parents are still peaceable enough to make it through cheeseburgers for their youngest daughter's sake. Ma was in baggy black sweatpants and a loose beige sweatshirt and her hands were shaking. She saw me looking and smiled a little as she took a bite of her cheeseburger and then asked about her firstborn...
"Gone" by Madison Robbins
Issue #18 / June 2015
Illustrated by Borja Cabada
MADISON ROBBINS is an MFA graduate student studying Fiction writing at Chatham University. She spends her time finding a balance between what is truth and what is fiction, and more importantly, how she can put it down on paper. She lives alone in Pittsburgh with her dog and lives way too many lives vicariously through television and movies. You can find her on twitter: @madrobbins.
"I went to a therapist for the first time in my twentieth year. Her name was Dr. Connor. She told me to call her Janice, or Janet—something with a J. I was too distracted with my thoughts. I just needed someone to talk to.
She had a home office. The chairs and couches were comfy but not welcoming enough for me to forget my reasons for being there. I was anxious—sickeningly. She determined I had food anxiety—Janet (Janice) asked about that, the whys of that, and asked when it started. I could feel her beginning to trap me into telling her things I didn’t want to tell anyone.