New Stories for December 21, 2020

 

“‘Is Bigfoot a Christian?’ and Other Questions About Life” by Paul Barach

Frozen in mid-stride, the Bigfoot gazed at us with wide curious eyes. Dan and I weren’t at all afraid. Despite its towering height and gorilla-thick bulk, there was an intelligence in its expression, a human softness beneath the ridges of its ape-like forehead. Coarse brown hair covered the rest of its body; a reminder that however much we wish to see of ourselves in an animal’s eyes, we lost that fur and that wildness long ago. We both knew it wouldn’t be wise to get much closer. Plus, we couldn’t. The doors of what until recently was Denver’s Premier (and only) Bigfoot Museum and Gift Shop were chained shut, decorated with a hand-written “Going Out of Business.”

All that remained of what must have been shelves upon shelves of irrefutable North American forest ape evidence was the Bigfoot statue posed on an AstroTurf box facing the entrance, made by whomever mass produces life-sized novelty plastic sasquatches. I rattled the locked doors.

“Much like the beast itself,” Dan lamented “The Bigfoot Museum can only be seen by the traces it leaves behind.”

To continue reading “Is Bigfoot a Christian?” click here.

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“Stop, Drop, and Roll” by Mercury-Marvin Sunderland

Tobias. I hope you understand.”

Tobias looked up shyly. He was sitting on the kitchen floor, defenseless. His backpack was lying beside him. He was already getting picked on at school. Having to leave the classroom while everyone else got to learn something he didn’t was going to make him even more of a target, for sure. Though he was young, he knew that missing this knowledge was going to affect him negatively, even if he didn’t really understand why.

“Mom,” he protested, “I really don’t think it’s the Devil’s work. I just want to learn.”

“Honey, there are many things that you don’t understand,” Mary remarked. “But I can’t have you learning about things you shouldn’t be doing even when you’re an adult.”

Tobias stared at her, coldly.

“That’s why you have to give me the form,” she continued. “I need you to opt out of taking sex-ed.”

“No.” He grasped his backpack.

This was not how he’d wanted to spend his afternoon home from school. He just wanted to go to his room. But he knew his mother’s anger too well, and that would only lead to even more punishment.

Mary’s lips turned thin. She huffed.

“After Seneca Falls” by Bill Fay

The “weaker vessels” drank-up
the Potomac potion wearing bloomers
hounded by misery, history, trickery
by men angered without whiskey
the emancipation proclamation in hibernation
bounded by chiaroscuro
the never bending color line
wound-up in blouses with bars
in lavender scented tombs
heavier than Alice Paul’s
three squares in the Pen.

the “better halves” carved-up
Washington’s monument bearing chisels
showered by pillory, injury, quackery
by men angered without masculinity
the franchise fricasseed sautéed then flambéed

To continue reading “After Seneca Falls” click here.

 

“Cerebral Leper” by Sterling Warner

A sad-eyed towhead,

photographer favorite,

epileptic outsider, my

Catholic baptism &

religious training did

little to mitigate ostensible

demonic possession amid

minds trained to discern

right from wrong, pain from

pleasure, evil from good;

they branded me a shaking

peer pariah—best kept at a

distance; 

To continue reading “Cerebral Leper” click here.