Issue 16 Fiction
by Leslie Doyle
last week, liam ran his thumb down the right side of her head, looking for the bulge in her skull— “remodeled” according to the radiologist report. But he found nothing; the changes, they tell Annie, are all on the inside.
Lately, when Annie first wakes up, she tries to imagine what really exists in the empty space in her head. Cerebral fluid, they have told her, the same stuff that bathes her brain to cushion it from injury.
by John Matthew Fox
dirk drove home with runes of baby blue paint across his overalls and forearms. When he looked in the rear-view mirror, he realized he even had flecks on his eyelids. He hated eyelid flecks. Couldn’t use paint thinner or scrub hard, just had to wait them off. It never made any sense how they got there in the first place–he blinked, sure, but often enough that paint could land? He closed both eyes for a second and the light bled through in polka dots.
Three Chords and the Truth
by Richard Fulco
you’re sitting at the kitchen table with your mother who’s trying to help you with your algebra homework, but you can’t concentrate because the Rolling Stones’ “Shattered” is stuck in your head. Shoo-doo-bee. Algebra is not your favorite subject, Language Arts is, but your mother wants you to be an engineer, so you’ve been trying to raise your grade to appease her. According to your mother, “B” stands for “Blemish,” and she’ll not accept anything less than a pristine report card.
El Gaucho has the Flu
–Guy Levesque, Esquire June 1988
by Dan Mancilla
el Gaucho bites off a length of black athletic tape tethered to his massive forearm and spits out remnants that have clung to his teeth. The CWA’s Transcontinental Champion tapes up while sitting on the floor of a Madison Square Garden locker room, banging his masked head against a cinder block wall to the beat of a song blasting on his Walkman.