One winter my dad went to London to meet with an old friend, Avery Knuth. They had a snowball fight in Hyde Park. Papa said rain and snow fell together on that day, so that he had shivered and winced. I have never seen snow falling or heard it pierce a frozen sidewalk. They were supposed to be friends: affable, kidding, beer-buddies.
Nicknaming the place Shroomtown was in bad taste. I knew that. But sometimes our work is so harrowing that I need a little black humor to get me through the day. That and my voice recorder. After every gig I sit somewhere quiet and tell the story of what I’ve just been through. It’s illegal, feeding this audio into the cloud. Instant jail time or worse if my bosses find out. Still, it’s worth it for the sanity it brings me.
The attic is alive with boneless bodies in motion. Living bobbins, no bigger than buttons, pushing fine threads of silver from their middles. Watching it is enigmatic, imagining the clacking of that many feet on the ground, but not really hearing it. Stick-pin feet are silent even en masse.
He sat in a restroom stall on the lower tier of the stadium complex, staring at an aluminum-plated door and gray tiled floor. Fluorescent lights flickered alien and erratic above him. He shivered, even though it wasn’t cold.
It might seem a cop-out to declare that passion and relationships play a big part in the stories selected for this issue’s fiction, for all great stories include such as a prerequisite sub-theme at least. A good look at the selection, however, will reveal why these shorts stood out: an assassin’s inopportune unrequited love; […]