Human Gauntlet

By Peter Clarke,

He’d been up in Chico getting medical treatments for several years. Before long, he was just another midtown scene-kid who’d moved on (people were always leaving for San Francisco, LA…). He was forgotten, for the most part—except whenever a group got together and ate pizza with psilocybin mushrooms. … Continue reading

The Calm

By Michael Chin,

Haiti was in ruin. Again.

It was one of those places outside my consciousness most of the time—couldn’t tell you anything about the local politics or even, with any precision, where to find it on a map, until it materialized on the news, the victim of earthquakes and tropical storms and hurricanes.

It was on TV. Sheets of rain, trees pulled up from their roots, homes torn asunder. “It’s coming for us, buddy,” Uncle Ron said. … Continue reading

Photographic Memory

By Steve Campbell,

We keep the photos in an old square biscuit tin inside the cupboard. At one time it held two moulded plastic inserts, one on top of the other, that crinkled whenever we lifted them up to raid the pink wafers from the bottom. It gets dragged out every once in awhile and then we rifle through the bad haircuts, the old friends, the crying babies. It’s our assorted selection of memories.

“What’s that Daddy?” Emily reaches up.
… Continue reading

No More PTA

By Paul Beckman,

Mom left to get away from Dad and us kids—especially Dad. She said we’d taken on Dad’s attitude towards her and she wasn’t planning to put up with it any more. I’ll be gone four weeks and you’ll all have to take care of yourselves.

Dad told her to assign chores so that would keep bickering to a minimum. Hah, said Mom, no more telling me what to do. She told us there would be no phone contact but she might send us a postcard or two.
… Continue reading

Interference

By rob mclennan,

make your mouth noun
shaped now make your hands
– Pattie McCarthy, Nulls

1.

He vanished long enough ago that he’d most likely been forgotten or declared dead. Possibly both. He’d managed to completely step away from a home, mortgage and a good paying job. Had anyone noticed? Scattered relatives, perhaps. Most likely long dead, themselves. His sister. He knew his absence would have left few to bother asking, or seeking him out. There might have been rumours. A speck in the news, and then gone. … Continue reading