PICTURE PALACE - cheyenne nimes

COLD OPEN. Sometimes in these stories. Extract the likeness out of your tongue, the totems. Fresh kills. Writing anthems. I know your words line by line. A story that’s been worked on so long it’s become something else. The first is last. Fear not little flock. Establishing shot: That we have been told about since the beginning. Witless. Bright red. Snapping. The neck is too small. Who were you later and did you know it? Station Identification. Black-&-blue mark. Blue baby. Full frame. Primary colors. Underground bases. File footage. Mo-HAV-ee. Restricted territory. A disaster picture. Everything is taken down. What, you don’t remember, but it’s there and it knows it. City, the. Detaching. Emergency Broadcast System. Gamy. And did you finish the prayer? You decided words weren’t enough… acts, powers, conditions, procedures. Cities, towns, villages, districts. After the light has waited, retake: shot or scene that needs to be taken more than once. Reshoot action adventure. Our black box. Reptilian green eyes, algae. Chase Scene. Key light: primary light focuses on subject. Grab the vine and climb the light. Trust in motions that bring us closer to the glare.

Cheyenne Nimes
Nano Fiction


It was the summer of eighty-nine and people were talking about a new poet in the neighborhood, some freighthopping scarecrow who slept in the forest and smoked what appeared to be actual opium from a long wooden pipe. His work revolved around esoteric topics like Cantor Sets and Klein Bottles that remained incomprehensible even after cursory library research.

Somewhat predictably, after a few months of rumors and random sightings he vanished from the town altogether not unlike he had initially appeared. Days prior to his disappearance there were reports of a girl dressed in all black on the country roads at night who floated out of the darkness in truck headlights or the orange beams of fishing lanterns.

I guess times really are always changing, whether you notice it at the time or not. As Old Will once said: “The key to living a long life is to avoid doing tons of dangerous drugs, and then lie about it later in interviews when asked about the key to living a long life.”

Nate East
The Hill of Dreams
Arthur Machen

CORRESPONDENCE - helen vitoria

Overwintering is the want. The rhizomes are dying in their beds with shriveled arms & someone is severing their legs. The narcissus has a personality disorder, turns purple, green, then purple again. It’s a bruised eye, summer’s hummingbirds are alive in my shoulder blades & the starlings have nested in the gutters, the sky is a torn blue tarp & I am the wetness beneath it. I crawl into the fireplace & eat the ash, my skin is fire tough, is thick cresol. I imagine you’re in the casino gambling on clothes, loose change, change falls hard, comes harder. Remember how when we met, you could not come at all, before long you were coming twice. But, if there is a god, he does not reward, he is a drunk in a dive, attached to a motel & the 3am last call is approaching, he is fucking the last girl with her molars showing, submerged in half an eggshell. And somewhere in her college dorm your daughter is having a train run on her, is an auto erotic asphyxiation game, she is the hangman, a comma being erased.

Helen Vitoria
Vladimir Nabokov

NEARLY SOUTH OF BROAD - anthony marshall

It was like a seven year car ride rewound in time lapse footage, quick deliberate movements and jerky limbs, all the while a weak sun reclined on a rainbow in the windshield. The music from the speakers played backwards, a resounding bouquet of issshhh and umphff instigating reality. Jamie took pictures of herself in the rearview mirror with her cell phone camera. She talked about flashing a trucker one time in high school, and how, even though she occasionally used the phrase ’God Damn’, she really did believe Jesus Christ was the son of God. Jamie reclined her seat and flowed, just flowed out like a palmetto tree in the pre-noon sun. Charleston, she said with a giggle that tortured both children and convicts alike. Aaron could see the ugly distortion of himself convulsing in the void of her dollar store sunglasses. His face appeared satanic and cruel with a furled brow like the lips of Cerberus, yet, like all minions of hell, was powerless to resist a woman in tube socks. Jamie sang the songs backwards and danced carefree in fast forward, occasionally glancing at herself in the rearview mirror to look into the reflection of her sunglasses.

Anthony Marshall
The Myth Of Sisyphus
Albert Camus


Laughter over the back fence, the sizzle of burgers, swift sails on the horizon, the tinkle of bobbing masts in the marina, gulls screech above the tide line and crabs scurry for cover. August is your birthday month, and your mother says you are no longer a child. She adds repeatedly that strangers are dangerous, that camping out in the moldy tent in the backyard with the next-door boys, as you have summers back, must stop, that you can no longer run through the sprinkler until your shirt, heavy with silky cool, clings to your suddenly cold body, not, she adds with a half smile, because she doesn’t love you, but that she loves you more. And you are frightened, sure this change will ruin everything. Your older sister spends all her days putting polish on her nails and all her nights removing it. You look at women and wonder if they remember this time before, this time when, in the cusp, they straddled the sharp edge of puberty.

Anna Peerbolt
Olive Kitteridge
Elizabeth Strout

CHURCH FIRE - dawn corrigan

On a swing, a woman scuffs her feet. Across the street, the church goes up in flames. She thinks she likes both views about the same. The church bells ring their last in rising heat.

The flames are climbing high as the white steeple. Their incense floats across the playground air. A man in robes consoles a line of people. She thinks church bells will always ring somewhere.

Dawn Corrigan
Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There
Lewis Carroll

DEVIL IN THE ATTIC - nathan elias

Today is my fifth birthday and my cousin tells me there is a devil in the attic. And he kidnapped your sister. You can only see the devil on your fifth birthday, he says. If you ever want to see her again you got to go save her. I haven’t seen the devil yet but I have seen the plastic bodies my aunt hides in the attic. I know I can’t save her without weapons.

Alright, I say. I’ll go in after her. But only if I can wear your talking Wolverine mask and gloves.

I climb the stairs to the attic, claws out. I do not turn on the light because I know better than anyone that devils hate light.

The door closes.

There is silence.

It’s locked, a voice says, you’re all alone in there.

All I can see is the devil standing in front of the armoire next to the mirror, rows of plastic bodies behind him. I’m not alone, I whisper. I got an army to take down.

Nathan Elias
The Truth and All Its Ugly
Kyle Minor