STORYGLOSSIA Issue 22, August 2007
Nowhere is Close by A. Ray Norsworthy
With roses in one hand and a Macy's shopping bag in the other, Sean charges out the open front door and skips down the porch steps. Shaking his head and cursing under his breath, he tosses the bouquet of red roses into the nearest snowdrift. Farther down the sidewalk he winds up like a discus thrower and slings the shopping bag with Christmas presents (the 14K gold heart-shaped locket with their picture all lovey-dovey, the sixty-five dollar perfume, the black sheer lace teddy from Victoria's Secret) up by the chimney on the snow-covered roof . . .
The Impossible Ethic of Oglethorpe Bigby by David Herman
One night, while he was still in college, Oglethorpe Bigby decided to stay up all night in order to complete a difficult writing assignment for his philosophy class. It happened to be the night before Bigby was scheduled to be inducted into the local chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, in a ceremony to which he had been looking forward with a characteristic mixture of dread, impatience, mortification, and wry stolidity. He labored under a vague apprehension that the convergence of ceremony and assignment was not simply coincidental, but rather a syzygy of sorts—a superimposition of spheres that had been careening through time and space until this moment of cosmic alignment. For surely there was a structure to things? . . .
Esoterica by Aaron Einhorn
Seven Days With A Girl Who's Breast Committed Suicide At 52 And Took The Ship Down With It, Saturated with Honor and Courage and Pity and Suffering, Fear and Humor, Love and Sorrow, Country and City, and All Other Epic Necessities . . .
Darlene Descending by John Allman
Darlene—a once sturdily built woman, still with a lazy right eye and drooping eyelid, her mouth often twisted to the side—could not leave her house except for the visits to the hospital, and was wearing an electronic surveillance anklet attached by the Dallas police ever since she had been indicted for shooting Templeton Krist in the head while he was taking a nap . . .
The Cabalfish by Benjamin Buchholz
When the boy exploded, steadiness, headiness, air tipped saccharine, the cobbled mewls of the souk spun, a bar of iron whirled through the purple smoke of the sky, a sheaf of silk spread on the silk-vendor's hands caught fire and sifted the mist of falling blood. Cuneyt the Turk saw the boy's pieces rain onto the lap of the spread fabric, saw the fish, the cabalfish, shiny as a new shekel, small as an ear, as it flipped downward through the pinkening air . . .
Sketch of a Relationship by Yuvi Zalkow
Julie figures that he's not going to call. It was just a drunken hour at the bar. He was probably just looking to get laid by the nearest drunk. But he had an intense stare that she liked about him, it didn't waver, and she saw in those greens that he was sad about something, but maybe also that he enjoyed being sad, who knows if she was just making all this up, but she wanted to know more about it as she drank those three martinis with him . . .
Daniel and the Noise by Kenny Ching
Daniel was engaged in a sublime metacognitive act, as his mind gripped and kneaded the medical text—"synaptic cleft," "neurotransmitter," "dopaminic vesicles," and the like—twisting their lids as if they were tightly screwed pickle jars. Something about the "branch at the end of the axon" was just about to pop . . . when Daniel heard the Noise . . .
Too Close to the Edge by Richard Denoncourt
He had left Jenny the typical signs of an impending breakup the way roommates leave clothes on the floor under the assumption that they will pick them up later, maybe after work, maybe on Sunday after a morning of extended sleep. But when it came time for Eric to pick up the soiled shreds of their relationship, to wash and fold the blanched, discolored articles of companionship . . .
Always One Thing by Dominic Preziosi
Her name was Elise; that much she had told him. There didn't seem to be any of the hesitation or suspicion or reluctance he often encountered . . .
Easy Love by Patrick Somerville
The farm animal comment requires explanation. I do want, though, a discussion of love, ultimately, and I'm not sure it's important for you to know this part about the fire. But who am I to omit? I've decided that one can't tell about these things, and that the feeling matters more than what happened. This Pepsi incident, and my subsequent date with Alex's daughter, came on a Thursday. The previous Tuesday was the day . . .
Goodnight Chesty Puller, Wherever You Are by Andy Simpson
We pass and old Iraqi man standing alone on a street corner watching us. As we pass him, he looks directly at me and slides his hand across his throat. . . .
Bounty by Thomas Cooper
That year, the year his wife died of mesothelioma, her catalogues kept coming in the mail. Sometimes as many as several a day, thick and glossy and kinetic with color, as if fevered with their own bounty . . .
This Time it Will Be Different by Brian Kornell
This time it will be different. The phrase is carved into the back of the door, row after row of the same words stacked on top of each other, all the way from the top to the bottom. Jason tears the glove off his right hand. His finger trembles as he runs it down the length of the T and the curve of the h . . .
Worm Daddy by Lance Levens
Felton picked up the frog—still kicking—and retied him by his leg onto the dogwood limb where he hung in a row of four victims, all riddled with pellet shot . . .