Issue 55 (July 2017)

Fiction

Upon A Fearful Summon by Julio Toro San Martin

The Payador entered the town and tied his horse to a hitching-post outside the general store and bar. He strummed his guitar, now and then singing little ditties of love and other inconsequentialities, nothing too spectacular, but just enough to give a taste of his repertoire, which promised outstanding things.

The Falling Marionette by Jennifer Lee Rossman

Stumbling and wobbling, her arms floating out from her body in the lower gravity, Cass took her first steps.

At the request of her brain, the hinges at her ankle, knee, and hip bent in sync, unsticking the gravity boot that locked her feet to the deck of the clinic ship. It came down with a little click a few inches ahead. Joy flooded her body that had never moved with such ease.

And then she panicked.

Dreaming Awake by Larisa Walk

The dream comes to me after I lost my hands in a car wreck. In it I see the sixteenth century dowry chest I envisioned but never built. It has five panels in the front and two on each side. Intricate carvings of hounds and birds, surrounded by climbing roses, adorn the front panels. And my hands are here, in the dream, carving a five-petaled rose blossom with a single, serrated leaf on its left. The prominent blue veins under the skin and the crescent scar by the right thumb look painfully familiar. Oak resin scents the air. Wood shavings drift to the floor and settle there like flakes of pale gold.

Vuowro by Ron Riekki

At an Anishinaabe summer camp recently, I asked an Abenaki elder what this region’s ideas were on ghost stories. Could they be told? Should they be told? We were on a lake kayaking at the time and he told me to shut my eyes and listen.

“Open them.”

I did.

He asked me what I heard.

Antiapotheosis by Adrian Reese

iii. apogee

Your body is not your own.

You are not allowed to be yourself, nor are you allowed to die. At this late date, you are not sure which option you’d prefer. Certainly no more of this.