New Stories for July 17, 2017


“Forewarning Pantoum” by Savannah Slone

Cannonading seas warn of malevolent presences.
Ominous seagull song tells stories of impending terror.
Intentions of abduction: Their shadows threaten my existence.
Vile shadows inch nearer. I scramble. Safe harbor.

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“Dearest the Shadows” by Samuel Snoek-Brown

All my nights here have been restless. Partly it’s these damned hotel pillows — They’re too flimsy, more rags than cushions. Also, I’ve been dreaming a lot. The first night at the conference, just into the hotel room and asleep in my clothes, I dreamed I was an animal wrestler, like bears and crocodiles, like at a country carnival. In the dream, I wrestle big dogs, Newfies and wolfhounds. I’m wearing one of those mucscle-man unitards from the ’30s and keep thinking I ought to feel embarrassed but I realize no one in the audience even knows me. And of course you aren’t there, either, which is somehow the greatest relief and the greatest sorrow. I wish you could see me, in all my ridiculous forms. Near the end of the wrestling match, I get into the dirt ring with a giant poodle as big as a pony and I’m hugging it, burying my face in its curled hair like wool, like a stuffed animal, but then it sinks its teeth into the back of my neck and I wake up with a migraine.

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“A Eulogy for LouCille” by Joshua Swainston

LouCille, my grandmother on my mom’s side, works at Preston Scientific in Anaheim, California, wiring computer components for NASA. Her apartment on West Ball Road serves as our family’s base of operations for Disneyland trips. The apartment complex has a hot tub, and around the corner stands a Fosters Freeze.

She’s kinda scary to me. A big woman, she wears gold bangles in her ears and on her wrists. I don’t think she likes children. Every year she buys a new car: a blue Camaro, a gray Cavalier, a white Impala.

My mom, Carla, is LouCille’s only child. My mom did not inherit LouCille’s stocky frame. My mom looks like a SoCal beach girl – like an extra from an Annette Funicello movie.

Grandmother lives with her own mother. My brother and I call Grandmother’s mom Grandma-Grandma. White curly hair crowns Grandma-Grandma’s head. She wears nightgowns in the daytime. Grandma-Grandma is kind to my brother and me. She pulls chocolate chip cookies out of the oven just as we arrive at the apartment.

LouCille says, glaring, “You boys sleep in the living room.”

We say, “I know.”

“You don’t know nothing.”

To continue reading “A Eulogy for LouCille,” click here.