The Mound

BY SJ BUDD

Overnight the garden had perceptibly shifted, even Marilyn with her city eyes could see that. Betwixt the falling of twilight and the lifting of dusk the garden had taken on a luminosity of green, so bright it seemed to vibrate with joy. A shade of green that possessed a wild and savage nature in servitude to no one. Marilyn almost dropped her morning cup of coffee. It seemed to her that the garden had travelled back in time to a primordial state of being...

Home Improvements

BY JILL HAND

Danae left for work one morning only to return to find that her house was gone, fallen into a sinkhole. She stood on the sidewalk amid a gaggle of curious onlookers, staring at the place where her house used to be. There was nothing there now but a ragged hole in the ground cordoned off by wooden barricades strung with yellow police tape. All my stuff was in there, she thought dazedly. Not quite all. Danae’s cat, a black Persian named Evil George, was at the vet’s...

My Ex-Girlfriend's Ex-Girlfriend

BY JM WETHERELL

My ex-girlfriend’s ex-girlfriend called me up tonight and told me to look out the window. Did I not see it, in the haze above the steaming rooftops of apartment buildings extending west—the greenish-gold filigree, a tear in the late summer sky? ...

The Alchemist's Daughter

BY REBECCA HURST

Once there was a scholar who all his life sought to turn lead into gold. Alchemy was his art, his science and his religion. It left no time for anything else; he lived as one who is blind, deaf, mute. Or at least he spoke, but only of gold...

All the Hippies Are Dying

BY GWENDOLYN KISTE

My mother went to Woodstock. The real one, not any of the imposters that came after. She says she met my father there, but since I’ve never met him myself, I can’t be sure. And seeing how I was an eighties baby—a product of shoulder pads and Aqua Net, not mud and free love—I doubt she kept him hidden away from relatives and friends for a decade and a half just to pull him out of cold storage and declare “Let’s make a baby!”...

Sever

BY JAN STINCHCOMB

When Sheila arrived at Langelinie Promenade, her cheekbone was purple and swollen. She was making a pilgrimage to the Little Mermaid statue, where a crowd had already gathered. Sheila pushed forward to see the mermaid, or what was left of her, and heard a woman explaining to a small boy that the statue wasn’t supposed to look like that. Someone had stolen her head. This was not nice. It was, in fact, an act of vandalism. A crime....

Tsunami, Mon Amour

BY WILLEM MYRA

I hired a team of scientists—the best one-hundred grand could get you in those days—and had them fabricate a hurricane I named after you. The scientists promised me it would kill at least three-hundred people and wreck four times as many homes, and when you said, “That’s all?” it broke my heart because that was my present for you...

Lore

BY HELEN MCCLORY

They killed the hare when the mist was on the early morning river. They had come upon her in an abutting field, while crossing it silently out on a hunt. She lay in her form, resting, eyebright and whiskers quivering. Dew on the long and parted grass. One man whistled through his teeth. She did not move. Her nose moved. Someone cocked their gun...

Return to Grenash

BY MARK FURLONG

The nimble beast flashed with frenzied speed through the dark, dense trees. With each violent step the sodden ground surrendered, causing him to falter, recover, and then falter again. Sharp, thorny branches sought out the vulnerable openings of Lathon’s sallet, raking flesh, and digging shallow, scarlet gullies into his arms. He desperately struggled to guide his steed through the thick underbrush with muscle memory and instinct guiding his way.

“Do you challenge?”...

 

Bunny Museum

BY RON BURCH

We are going to the Bunny Museum! It is finally here. We don't know for how long but we know we have to go. Some have told us that if we don't go soon enough, it disappears and we'll have to wait months, perhaps years, perhaps never!, for it to return...

The Trolls

BY CHRISTOPHER DEWAN

They pulled off the highway and onto the winding country road that led to his parents' house.
"When's the last time you saw them?" Staci asked.
"It's been a while."
The corn was at the end of its season, row after row after row, and its tall stalks blotted out the setting sun so it flickered as the car sped by, like a strobe. If there'd been traffic on the road, Nils might have crashed straight into it from blindness. He focused on the gravel of the shoulder...