Catalogues of Memory

By Jacqueline Carter

We passed skeletons littering the roadside.

Poor desert orphans with limbs stretched out for flight that will never come; fingers distended and warped; ends tapered into razor-sharp claws, their jaws hinged open in silent screams. The world has become an open wound; a festering infection fueled by poor, desperate souls clinging to the yoke of their humanity, grinding the shell of some lost purpose under their heels until it resembled nothing but fine dust.

The symptoms of the mutations were easily overlooked at first as the storms began to increase, lightning-struck, dry desert hills. But every storm brought more – mutations, dust in the air – igniting our lungs with some viral infection that couldn’t be stopped. Continue reading

Have A Nice Day

By Sandra Arnold

“Hi! How’s it going?”

“Oh…well…”

“These pears are on special, by the way.”

“Are they? Right.”

“So how’s your day going so far?”

“Not that great actually.” Continue reading

Author Profile: Jake Pritchett

pritchett

How and when did you decide, or discover, that you were to be a writer?

I started writing when I was 16. I had just finished The Road by Cormac McCarthy.  Something about writing felt so worthwhile— like right thing to do. My mother was the one to always read my stories first. A published novelist, she gave me equal parts encouragement and edits. I think she understood why I loved to write. Continue reading

Smokes

By Jake Pritchett

I dream of smoking:

1.

It’s my grandfather. He smokes from a corn cob pipe, bouncing me on his knee — I burble-laugh. He says something in a teasing tone, but I’m not listening. I’m focused on the bounce; I anticipate when he’ll stop the descent and catch me. Then I slip. The ground surprises me. He lifts me from under my arms and sets me in an empty chair, pausing for a moment to look at me; he leaves and walks into a white farmhouse. Continue reading

The Ink Well

By Donna Amburgey

There is a triangle of white stucco motel there. A vertical neon sign buzzes on the rooftop, flickering Bayside Motel. The rooms are not modern; the ceiling fan churns the early morning damp air. The Pacific lights up with the first rays of sun. A palm tree stirs in the courtyard.

I am awake, drinking weak coffee. Suddenly a door slams and the sound breaks the softness of the dawn like glass shattering. Quick, hard footfalls followed, the sound of heels on hard flooring. I hear high-pitched squeals now, and fast chattering as a bevy of girls passes beneath my second-story window. Continue reading

Author Profile: Jeff Nazzaro

nazzaro

How and when did you decide, or discover, that you were to be a writer?

I decided when I was a teenager that I would be a writer. It has come in fits and starts since then, but finally I have achieved the consistency of effort and production that I feel validates me as a writer. Continue reading

A Toast to Not Knowing

By Jeff Nazzaro

I found Pete in a corner booth in Busby’s, this little Highland Avenue dive we both liked. If Jimmy knew you and you’d never stiffed him, you could sit and drink a decent fifth of Scotch for just under two bucks a shot, and that’s what it seemed like Pete was trying to do. I’d told him I might swing by around lunchtime, and when I got there just after 11, the bottle of Bell’s on the table was a third gone. The ice hadn’t quite melted in the one waiting for me.

“Before you say a word, I did what I was told,” Pete said. Continue reading