Storyglossia Issue 10, October 2005
Paper Swallows by Rebekah Cotton
She remembers when Mr. Kellerman took one of her notes and read it to the class. "Dear Walt," it had said. "Where were you at lunch? I missed you. XXOO, Love, U." The kids had enjoyed that one. They snorted loudly and made kissing sounds in the air. Mr. Kellerman had smiled, crumpled up the note, and tossed it in the trash can . . .
Tether by Kirby Gann
They told me that after she died her body sucked in a great swash of air and kicked its legs out. Even the nurses jumped. Easy to picture this. I wasn't there but I know what she looked like—her mouth turned to a mischievous grin while everyone else in the room slowly let the tension ease from their lungs. I wasn't there but I can describe it: the entire room, what the doctor wore, and the TV like a security camera in the corner. But her last words to me are lost . . .
Shut-ins by Connie Corzilius
She has shepherded Mrs. Lyons to the brown recliner and has positioned herself on the part of the couch that sags. Jane isn't sure whether this is so Mrs. Lyons will be more comfortable or so she won't discover that they have a couch that sags. At any rate, Jane can see that the whole situation—the sudden appearance of the preacher's wife, her bralessness, the listing couch—is throwing her mother off balance. Her mother's awkward attempt to shield her breasts with the laundry basket isn't working; it keeps slipping sideways off her lap, threatening to send their underwear and towels tumbling to the floor. The thought of her stained underpants on the carpet at Mrs. Lyons' buff leather feet is too much for Jane to bear . . .
Choking Up by G. L. Griffith
This was old stuff too, old assaults on the citadel. Ancient wounds that had mostly healed, but that had once oozed anxiety and worry. Virility, potency, manhood, fatherhood, fertility—all that shit. Caused him go to a Mormon doctor when he got back out West, one who ordered him to whack off in a bathroom, a task that had become second nature for him, even at that late date, and empty the remains into a test tube, which he did, and self consciously handed to a female nurse at the lab. He called two weeks later for the results . . .
My Faces by Glenn Deutsch
Five years ago one Friday night a copywriter named Dennis Schulte, whom I had fired for a lack of talent, followed me to the Appleton Hyatt, where the Fox Valley Ad Club was holding its Addy Awards. Schulte caught me outside our agency's hospitality suite on the sixth floor and with witnesses galore, he threw lye in my face and pushed me over the railing . . .
A Lost Child by Krishna Mohan Mishra
He used to worry his father would tie him up in a sack. His father never did that thing, though. All he remembers is that his father sometimes threatened neighborhood children that way. And he often imagined being tied up in a sack by his father. Dilip still doesn't know whether it was on his way to his mother's or on his way back to his father's that he got lost. But he feels sure that it was on one of such storm-blown trips between his father and mother that he got lost . . .
Old People Get Horny Too by Andy Henion
Naked except for his rubber-soled slippers, Hal is turned so he can use the headboard for traction. Lorraine has her legs spread like a gymnast, pudgy arms wrapped around his neck. Her beehive, normally a blue-black marvel, is a mess; Hal has two handfuls of the stuff. They're sweat-slicked and loving it . . .
Fresh Man by Eileen Donovan-Kranz
More than once his mother had said (to his father rather than Sean), "Wait till college. He'll find himself then." Sean had heard this so often that when he came to college he had honestly expected to find his new self sitting on the foot of the extra-long twin bed. Imagine his surprise when instead, he seemed to be losing pieces of his own old self all over campus . . .
Tangled Mind by Angela Carlton
Look out, the money is in Mama's hands, and the voices have told her to spend it! The sounds are clogging up her head. She keeps hitting the side of her temple as if the noises might shake loose out of her ear. Her greasy hair's hanging down in her eyes as she counts up our dollars in a rush. I cannot tell her that it's money for school food not to spend it. I cannot tell her to put it back up where she found it and get us on the right road home. I cannot tell her one thing. My Mama's miles away from her true self lost inside that tangled mind . . .
The Herdman Interviews by Wes Grey
This week we are pleased to present another in our series of interviews with the distinguished critic Stanley Herdman, late of Yale and Harvard and currently Professor Emeritus at Slippery Slope University, where his classic text Latent Symbolism: Sublimations and Subtleties in Romantic Poetry is required reading for all freshmen. Professor Herdman's interviewee this week is German philosopher and poet Freidrich Nietzsche . . .