by Alethea Eason

Kingsgate Arch

Graham Ó Síodhacháin via Creative Commons

An angel of light came to the night woods, searching for what was unobtainable in his Heaven. He had never ventured to my paradise before and arrived with guardians, though his brothers must have told him not to be afraid. His three holy wolves bared their alabaster fangs as I approached, my Nereid shell opening to woman form. But when I spread my own ribbed wings and beckoned, they whimpered and lay at my feet.

“You are far from home,” I whispered, and kissed his rigid jaw. “How sad there is no sex in your heaven, no fertile soil, no animal flesh.”

The wolves cried for they too were made of light. I sensed their sad longing for the pack, earthly memories of pups licking their faces and the taste of prey on their tongues.

My wings touched his and he sighed. We mated in the aqua sky; starlight shining upon virgin trees, amid a thousand fireflies burning through the ecstasy of their short lives. He now carries my child—angels are like seahorses that way—and has returned to his paradise. I descend to roots and the sweet decay of matter bearing life in a much different way.


Alethea EasonAlethea Eason is a writer, artist, and teacher who lives in Northern California. She has written the young-adult novels Hungry (HarperCollins) and Heron’s Path (Spectacle MPG).

by Allison Epstein

It wasn’t a glamorous way to die, but he’d never liked attention. Not like Scott McKenna, who drove his Pontiac off the 496 overpass when the Grand River plant closed. Scott had style and an axe to grind, and everybody knew it. The State Journal had a field day.

For him, no bangs, no whimpers. Just drink expanding to fill the space available, doubles doubled double-time, until his liver pink-slipped the whole mortal coil.

Praying headstone

Ray Wewerka via Creative Commons

He glares at the granite angel praying on his headstone. Praying. He wonders what for. If he had his say, a recliner, an IPA, and the Tigers on real quiet in the background.

More likely, world peace. Angel stuff.

He kicks the headstone. It doesn’t connect. Obviously.

“Fuck you,” he says.

The angel doesn’t reply.

When she comes, she’s wearing the peacoat he bought her, the one she never wore. She’d skipped the funeral, of course.

He’d been so long about dying. Rude, really.

He hopes some of him will catch her eye. An elbow, or a scruff of beard. She could tell him from a beard, sure. She’d always hated that beard.

She stands a minute, not more. Then she smiles, off-center.

“Rest in peace, you sonofabitch,” she says, and turns.

The angel prays on, just to spite him.


Allison Epstein is a twenty-something writer, editor, proofreader, marketer, feminist, and amateur Shakespearian living in Chicago. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in The Huffington Post, Adios Barbie, and Ugly Sapling. Find her on her blog, on Twitter @AllisonEpstein2, or wherever heated debates about em dashes are underway.