Introduction to LI Fiction by Guest Editor AJ Brown

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The characters in each story are like seashells, fragile and easily broken.
The characters in each story are like seashells, fragile and easily broken.

I recently arrived home from the beach.  Yes, the beach in November.  Who does that?  Apparently my family.  It was cold and windy and I had to wear layers of clothes to keep from freezing.  I still had a good time looking for shells along the shore.  I found a few nice ones, but more often than not, most of the shells were broken.

On the second day there I pulled a piece of seashell from the wet sand.  It was broken,  I frowned and started to toss it back. Then the coloration of the underside of it caught my attention.  The piece itself was white and speckled with scars, but beneath…beneath it was a vibrant purple that faded to pink.  It was magnificently beautiful.

As I stared at this fragment, I couldn’t help but think that life is like a seashell, fragile and easily broken.  So often we toss aside the broken without taking the time to really look at it.  Sometimes…just sometimes those broken things can be so beautiful.

That brings me to this issue’s stories.  In them you will find beautifully written broken people.   You will find dilemmas and life-altering decisions; a past that haunts a man and how he deals with it; a life spent waiting for the arrival of a queen; a garden that may or may not be what it seems; what happens when you hold the line or fail to do so; poetic love and loss; a childish love for dancing and the yearning to never grow up, never grow old.

The characters in each story are like seashells, fragile and easily broken.  But don’t toss them aside without really looking at them.  In these pieces you’ll find some truly beautiful words.

A.J. Brown