Odd | by Frederick Foote

First Sighting

     We’re a small town. A very close community. There’re 3,570 people in town and about that many within five miles of town. We’re not bigoted. We are champions of diversity. We have an Arab, Muslim family, several black families, two Asian families, and three mixed race/ethnicity couples. We have gay couples and a score of gay individuals.

     I’m Jewish, married to a Catholic. We own the Country Store.

     We’re forward-looking and forward-thinking.

     In the last election, we voted fifty-eight percent Democratic.

     You need this background to understand. I hope you do understand. Continue reading “Odd | by Frederick Foote”

Coins | by Ahimaz Rajessh

     Andy, crouched under the dense buzzing of solar-powered fans, screams, “Yes. Are you bleeps getting out or what?” His condensed cry sets the bleeps in question leap off their power-out NCs.

     Rubina taps at her sadly self-manicured thumbnail to trigger green texts blow up before her face. Junk texts and texts of unpaid bills.

     “Next. Next-t. Next-t-t,” Anand joins the reverbed refrain as Andy pretends to nap just as he prays to god only knows how many gods.

     Rubina chews on a power-out toothbrush even as Anand chews on a guava leaf he nicked last night off a 10-rupee Fruitbot.

     After fifteen nexts, Anand almost chokes on his leaf just as Rubina lets out a stifled,

     “Bleep yes. Appointed.” Continue reading “Coins | by Ahimaz Rajessh”

Prime 5 | by Doug Hawley

Julie Collins – I’m very pleased to be able to have another interview with Dook, a representative of our closest relatives, what we call the yetis and what they call the Angwin.

We have talked about some Angwin basics and your successful attempt to create homeland. Today I’d like to talk about your daily life. We’ve already learned about your sustainable life, and your creative romantic life. Would you tell us what a normal day is like for you folk?

Dook – Glad to. We always try to get a good night’s sleep and then work on our homes and communal structures and harvest our food. None of those activities take very long, so we have plenty of time for entertaining ourselves.

Julie Collins – I’m sure that our in house audience and those listening and viewing at home would like the details filled in. Continue reading “Prime 5 | by Doug Hawley”

Open Palm of Night | by Brendan Adams

My dad’s name is John Josephs Jr. and he’s a ghost, and what he misses most about being human is: SUPERFOOD SMOOTHIES.

On his plane of existence, they taste like cigarettes and feel like razorblades going down.

I know this, because Father still speaks to me, even after death. I mean really talks, which is the way it always was, and the way it seems its always going to stay.

His voice in my head, blabbing about outsourcing production and quality inspections and liability risk and my failures as a daughter. It’s torture.

‘Torture you deserve,’ is what he says.

Debatable, really. If he hadn’t been such a dick father, maybe things might have turned out better. No response to that one.

All he can talk about is how pissed off he is to be dead, trapped with all the other Astral Bodies I’m carrying around in my head. Like I can do something about it, like I’m something more than a vessel – a Life Raft stuck in the Not Quite Afterlife. Continue reading “Open Palm of Night | by Brendan Adams”

Half a heart on a smoked glass | by Philip Berry

When we were 11 I held a fragment of smoked glass up to the eclipsed Sun. The moon moved, and the sun’s bright edge was revealed.

Light burned through a scratch in the sooty film and coagulated my retina. I didn’t look away immediately because I thought the glare was normal, what we were meant to see.

I was fascinated by the shape, the curve, the intensity. The pain came later. I didn’t tell my parents at first, because we had been told not to look. On no account should you look. But a group of us, an informal gang of boys and girls, snuck out to a crop field.

Then my eye swelled.
Continue reading “Half a heart on a smoked glass | by Philip Berry”

Foundations | by Stephen Thom

     Yourself

     The automatic doors snark an impatient hiss and he rushes out. Clots of rain thrum the sidewalks. He ducks into a phone box and it is a muddier, submerged rattle.

     She is croaky and detached through the line, as if the elements traverse the circuits to wash her away.

     It’s just dying a slow death, she says.

     It would be a terrible shame if we stopped speaking or spending time together, though.

     It would be, he agrees.
Continue reading “Foundations | by Stephen Thom”

Bled | by Spencer Lucas Oakes

     My sister jumped and I did not see her oily head resurface.

     I walked away from friends and deeper into the forest. I looked for a place suitable to take a minute, as they say. I was barefoot. I left my sandals on the rocky cliff where everyone was launching themselves into the air and into the lake’s water.

     The glass positioned itself past my skin’s surface and softly clinked one of the twenty-six bones living among a hundred muscles and tendons and ligaments.
Continue reading “Bled | by Spencer Lucas Oakes”