by Riley Vainionpaa
Image: Riley Vainionpaa
I needed them to exist. I set the table for the ritual, spread a yellow sheet filched from the hall closet over it and placed an element in each quadrant. Fire was a tea light, plucked from the bag in the cabinet where my moms kept the bone china platter with the painted lilacs and their collection of limited edition Peter Pan plates. I always chose Tinker Bell. Water was the conch shell from that time we went to Mexico and the whole trip all I did was search for aluxes in the gardens outside our hotel, convinced the knee-high tricksters could get me out of the dance contest that night. Air was a feather I’d found at school, probably dropped from one of the Canada geese that liked to shit all over the soccer field. Randy Ayzer said it was dirty and said I was dirty for touching it. I told him everything in Sudbury is dirty, even if you can’t see it, because of the refinery fumes. Earth was a pebble from the driveway. Continue Reading
by Haran Sivapalan
Image: Haran Sivapalan
“Life will get better”
Lenny the Lemming always hated this phrase. It was a phrase laden with hubris, as if the person who uttered it could confidently predict the trajectory of one’s life. Life could get better, perhaps. But it could also get worse. The trajectory of life was as capricious and unpredictable as that of the best-made North Korean missiles. Continue Reading
by MiKA MiLK
She prayed for some light for the photographs that would become his internet presence.
Her skirt caught burdock as she kneeled down in the deep soaked snow to frame a right angle. The sun came out and smiled down on her. Each burr needle entangled in the fabric felt like the one found in some haystack. How many barns must a man walk down..
To what rarity shall one go—when coming from afar, all this way to see you. Continue Reading
by Rose Cullis
Image: Kate Dembski
It was one of those cases where the neighbourhood recluse had died – and when they cracked open the door of the little row house on Robinson Street where he’d lived, they discovered that he’d been creating magnificent works of art that would likely prove to be of great importance.
by Terry Doyle
Image: Mario Campos Castellano
When the fires stopped burning I pretty quickly realized there was no reason for me to stay in Fort Mac. The job was toast, my company truck had burned, and my ex seemed committed to remaining my ex. Her new man owned his own Ram. Owned it. Outright. Continue Reading
by Isabel Rock
Images: Isabel Rock
When I was young, I always wanted a pet. My parents wouldn’t let me have one so I made a poodle out of broccoli. I called her Tallulah Flooff. She was beautiful and I was so proud of her. I entered her into the local animal vegetable competition which she won. Then I entered her into a poodle competition, which she didn’t win, but she was spotted by a TV talent scout and invited to star in a dog food commercial. The dog food commercial was a big hit. Something about the look in her eyes made you really believe that the dog food was delicious. She landed a part in a movie called ‘What are you looking at?’ playing the poodle of a blind gangster. Tallulah totally outshone the lead part and became a movie star in her own right, starring in ‘What are you looking at now?’ Continue Reading
by Michael Díaz Feito
Image: Naomi Binnie
It was too hot in the banquet hall—like a jungle!—so we were distracted, complaining and searching for the thermostat, and no one saw Tío Kiko give Rita the knife.
It was her twelfth birthday. Kiko stopped her by the buffet table. He asked if she already owned a knife. She didn’t answer, looking down at her sandaled toes, instead, because he scared her. He was giant. Bald, red-faced, and broad-nosed, our only blue-eyed relative. He finished picking from the plastic tray of pyramid-stacked croquetas and clapped his big hands clean of crumbs. He asked her again. Continue Reading
by Dennis Pahl
Image: Luda Pahl
Everything was going fine when I entered my hotel room. Everything was going fine, that is, until the moment I opened up my suitcase and discovered, inside, a man I’d never seen before. At least he didn’t look familiar. Barely taking notice of me, the man nonchalantly stood up, stretched his arms, brushed himself off, and stepped out. He almost tripped over the edge of the suitcase, but somehow managed at the last second to keep his balance, shyly smiling at his near-fall.
Image: Maari Sugawara
“There’s a bit of rice left on your plate.” You sip your wine.
We are having Thai food. It is a warm Sunday afternoon. I tell you a story – or rather, a series of events; I wonder what the difference is? Continue Reading
by Erik Fuhrer
Image: Kimberly Androlowicz
A nightmare lived at the end of a rainbow and Charlie was determined to see it so he twisted his face into a star and visited the moon for some inside info since the moon sometimes bathed in the lake at the neck of the rainbow. The moon was to his dismay only a gaping yellow mouth in the belly of the lake which spoke no secrets but only slightly swished when a bird or Charlie’s toe slipped inside it. Continue Reading