by Ahimaz Rajessh

shadow #4

Marilyn Maciel via Creative Commons

In Nazareth—that intricate yet simplified labyrinth—if you were of the kind that walks in twos, eight of its pathways led to the century-old church that Canon Arthur Margoschis (with the aid of hundreds of nameless, faceless coolies) built.

Nine of them, if you count the ten foot wall that divides the boys’ school campus from the church.

If you had been a lamb, or a child with rapacious craving for climbing, running and jumping, or of the kind that is arboreal, you would know a wall is as well a pathway.

After the scarcely attended English church service, out of pure habit or instinct or both, Yesu took the ninth pathway one Sunday night.

Vaulting it with his pole of a foof (a hoof that’s a foot) in a hole that Jebi carved out two decades ago, leaping upon it and landing as he did, ever so quietly (an inch shy of six foot) Yesu raced toward the southern exit, as the never-once-used, derelict basketball court (that marked the beginning of the slow demise of a once-remarkable, now fading institution) under a starlit sky, cast its shadow aslant.


Ahimaz RajesshAhimaz Rajessh has been lately published in Flapperhouse, The Fractured Nuance, 7×20, Cuento, unFold and Pidgeonholes. His writing is forthcoming in Milkfist, theEEEL, and Strange Horizons.

by Jake Walters

Face at the window

David Muir via Creative Commons

The frosted glass made my face a ghost’s, floating between worlds, eyes too wide. What I saw: a goddess in her ripening middle-age, full of love for me, her fingers laced together with an unfamiliar man’s. Seeing her smile, through the cold, a smile hesitant and fleeting. Like she was a free woman, her first day out of jail. If she glanced toward the window, I would step back a foot and disappear. Not completely, but the way a story does when the book is closed.

She never looked. Still I drifted backward, until the darkness swallowed me. Funny how it swallowed me, like sleep at an inappropriate time. You always awaken from such dozing embarrassed, not refreshed. I was embarrassed for her, for the man sitting across from her, for me. And for Dad, drinking his third or fourth Michelob already this evening, wondering where She was. Wondering when I would wander back from working on my Chemistry project at a pretend friend’s house.

As I walked home I tried not to imagine the next time I will be called upon to kiss her: at a bedtime, upon leaving for college, or perhaps only at her funeral. Tried not to imagine the labyrinthine nightmare memories that would conjure.


Jake WaltersJake Walters has been published in several journals. He teaches English in Transylvania.

Double rainbow house

Pete Seapaddler via Creative Commons

As I write this, my little ezine/blog content experiment is rolling halfway into its fourth month. In all honesty, it’s going a lot better than I thought it would, and I was pretty optimistic about it. I’ve received a ton of truly phenomenal microfiction submissions, found audiences and support from some completely unexpected places, and discovered I have something of a passion for editorial work.

But after a quarter of my trial-by-fire year, I started examining things at a higher level than just “read this next submission! layout the next issue! format this accepted story for posting!” What was working, what I wished I’d done differently early on, how things looked financially, whether the schedules and formats I’d established were sound, basically evaluating everything from top to bottom.

The first result of this was a minor re-design of the aesthetic elements. It was something I’d planned to do starting in Volume 2 but I realized I didn’t want to wait. I also made Nikki the Managing Editor, really just formalizing the work she was already doing behind the scenes. Guidelines were set for guest editor spots; plans set into motion for the Volume 1 edition which will collect all stories from Issues 1 through 6; contingencies were established for the budget; realities for the social media presence were addressed.

But the biggest and most glaring source of contention from this examination was the way the stories were being rolled out. Friday posts felt like they were being lost in the shuffle of weekend plans (partially confirmed by the traffic numbers and the relative responses to “in case you missed it” reminders the following week). But moreover the monthly issues with only four short shorts felt like they weren’t being given sufficient treatment in the ezine. In fact with two 600-word editorials per issue (one from me and one from the guest editor), the ratio of story content to meta or editorial text was 2:3. For a fiction publication, that seemed a little funny.

Continue reading

by Nikki Boss

“When you come back, I will be here like this.”

“What does that mean?”

“Nothing to you but everything to me.”

“Sarah.” I love how he says my name, Say-ruh.

“Come here.” I pull him to me, my hands cupping the back of his neck. He pulls away.

Ray Moore via Creative Commons

Ray Moore via Creative Commons

“I have to go.”

“You could stay if you wanted to.”

“I can do anything I want.”

“Except stay with me.” And there it is. It does not matter what I want or what he wants; there will always be this.

He scans the room for his clothes.

“In the bathroom,” I tell him. He goes to fetch them and I use the moment to light a cigarette. Inhale deeply and let the smoke unfurl from my mouth.

“Say-ruh.”

I ignore him.

“Say-ruh.” I will not go to him.

“James.” I state his name rather than reply. Take another drag and let it poison me.

“You can lie in that bed all day and it does nothing.”

I spit back. “I can do whatever I want.”

The door slams. He is leaving me again.


Nikki Boss

Nikki Boss lives in New England with her husband, children, and too many animals. She is currently a MFA candidate at Vermont College of Fine Arts and teaches middle school English.

 

 

 

by Holly Schofield

The familiar tingling began across Mara’s scalp. She grabbed her spacesuit and had both legs in by the time the space station’s klaxon sounded. She’d been preparing for this her whole life. Her father said her inherited precognitive powers would diminish as she matured, but today seemed evidence they were holding steady.

Misplaced Warning

David Goehring via Creative Commons

Suit, helmet, gloves, check.

The other crew members were just beginning to suit up.

The pressure was dropping fast: a hull breach two levels down. Seconds counted. She grabbed the patching kit.
She slammed the hatch shut behind her. No need for anyone else to die. Beside a view port, air screamed through the meteoroid’s thumbsized entry hole.

Sealant, a metal patch, and the shrieking stopped, along with her tingles.

“Just in time.” The captain caught up to her. “How’d you react so fast?”

“Good reflexes, ma’am.” She wasn’t about to reveal her abilities. They had always served her well—calling 911 at age seven before she smelled smoke, being the city’s best teenaged lifeguard, a dozen other averted disasters.

Including this one.

She hid her smile of satisfaction by looking out the viewport, just in time to see the second, much larger, meteoroid hit.

originally published in AE: The Canadian Science Fiction Review, April 2014


Holly Schofield travels through time at the rate of one second per second, oscillating between the alternate realities of city and country life. Her fiction has been published in Lightspeed’s “Women Destroy Science Fiction”, Crossed Genres, Tesseracts, and many other venues. Upcoming stories will soon appear in Unlikely Stories’ Coulrophobia anthology, Bundoran Press’s Second Contacts anthology, World Weaver Press’s Scarecrow anthology, and Metasaga’s Futuristica anthology. For more of her work, see http://hollyschofield.wordpress.com/.

by Ville Meriläinen

Ladder

David Alliet via Creative Commons

It was the end of the world as we knew it, but some things never changed. You were always a hopeless romantic, and I hated to let you down. When I said we should start thinking of tying the knot, you thought I meant something sweet, so instead of a noose I got you that ring you were eyeing before all this shit went down.

I took you to the old church and we sat on the roof watching stars and the city teeming with the dead and listening to their growls and the song of nightingales in the park. It was then I realised I hadn’t thought this through. We exchanged vows with no way out.

You asked, “Does it count as consummation if zombies climb ladders and we’re royally screwed?” I’d never seen them do much anything than shamble on without purpose, but I guess we’d find out in time. We were supposed to be home by now. I hadn’t brought any food or water, just some rope.

I wrapped my arm around you and told you, “If zombies climb ladders and death tries to do us apart, we’ll tie our hands together and walk as one forever.”


Ville Meriläinen is a Finnish twenty-something student and a miscreant of the arts, with a penchant for bittersweet stories and a passion for death metal. His noir fantasy novella, Spider Mafia, is available at amazon.com for the perusal of anyone who ever wondered what might happen if cats in suits had to save the world from spider wizards.