Can you feel it? Spring is near! Let’s celebrate with some great new writing published online this month! We’re featuring stories and essays from Nancy Ludmerer,
“The Villagers” by Kieran Mundy | Joyland, February 2, 2020
The dog incident, I could tell, had only amplified his concern. He hadn’t wanted me to do any of the driving, but I’d promised him I was perfectly capable. Despite my insistence that the people around me remember I was sick—that they see it—I wanted them to forget it, too.
I hated this about myself—that I needed both at once.
When the dog ran out from behind a parked car and made a dull thump against our bumper, my boyfriend said he’d told me so. I started to sob. He had me pull over, and then he got out. He was gone for several minutes. When he came back, he told me the dog was completely fine, that it’d run off back the way we came.
“So Gentle You Don’t Feel It” by Nancy Ludmerer| Electric Literature, February 10, 2020
The school authorities hadn’t learned to read Luke the way I had. When we first met, I thought Luke was unattached but soon realized my belief arose not from anything he said but from my own ill-founded expectations. By the time we arrived in Surrey, we had already put that past behind us.
“Ghost Cat” by Andrea L. Rogers | Waxwing, February 2020
It was best to keep your expectations low with people like my mother. I hadn’t seen her in a year. Mom had once often repeated a story her grandmother had told her about a Blackfoot man coming to the door of their home on Ucluelet Island claiming they were relatives. Her great grandmother had no interest in Indians and had run him off, but Mom had gotten a lot of mileage claiming to be Indian. A year earlier, I had asked her to stop and we hadn’t spoken since.
“The Messenger” by Claire Hopple | Hobart, February 19, 2020
Sure, you, the victim, are technically my subordinate. But it really only worked out that way on paper. You are younger yet more mature. You have what can only be described as poise, a word I understand in the abstract but can never manage to pull down into self-application.
“Escape Velocity” by Ellen Rhudy | Split Lip Magazine, February 2020
Next to the bus station is a diner where she carries a cup of lukewarm coffee to her mouth again and again. There are some habits she has retained from life: this, a fondness for Rocky Road ice cream, always washing her hands before a meal in a restaurant. Things that no longer hold any pleasure or meaning. A man spins on one of the treacherous, wobbling stools, and tells her a story about his morning at work. And then you wouldn’t believe—, turning her face so she can watch him imitate his manager. It’s so rare, he tells her, to find a woman these days who will just sit and listen. She stares at the waitress, who is inspecting a key lime pie on its stand and refusing to look her way. When she finally leaves, not having paid, the man follows her through the parking lot and onto the road, he grabs at her arm, he reminds her that she has nothing to lose, she’s already dead, she’s already dead. What difference would it make, to spend a little time with him.
Curated by Cole Meyer