Fiction: “The Revolution” by Ling E. Teo

Tired of the male machismo and sexist attitudes, Ms Delacruz dresses differently. Today, Ms Delacruz wears a cowboy outfit, complete with bolo tie, a departure from her peach-colored dresses with floral prints. She stands up in front of us – one hundred and thirty middle school teachers – as the female Assistant Principal’s indispensable school aide. Those who know, know that she is the real boss. As she reminds us to locate Home Language Survey forms in their students’ records, I notice how neatly she’s dressed, her white shirt tucked perfectly into her black jeans, and the turquoise stone of her tie obscuring the top button locked securely in the button hole. Continue reading

Poetry: “Summer’s End” by Linda Beeman

Summer’s End

summer’s first light skims
top most limbs of hemlock
incites swallows to their aerobic
labors and peeks under the skirts
of my uphill big leaf maple

angular beams mottle through
elder and salmon berries painting
lime     grass     nile     bottle
greens     highlight slug slime
calligraphy on my window glass

agonizingly slow action painters
those banana slugs     viscous
Jackson Pollocks     trailing glutinous
stories of creation     disintegration
and forest floor

sword ferns fronds moving
in the breeze moiré against each other
cast tiger shadows in my bath
stretch spider silk to telegraph
emergency dots and dashes

signal alder leaves to fall
elderberries to redden
insinuate summer’s end

Linda Beeman is an award-winning non-fiction writer and poet living on Whidbey Island in Puget Sound. An independent scholar and former Foreign Service spouse, she writes extensively about South and Southeast Asian antique textiles. Her travel and cultural outreach articles have been published in The Los Angeles Times and the Foreign Service Journal, among others. Her poems have appeared in Pinyon, Windfall and online at Adanna.

Fiction: “Good Neighbors” by Kristen Hamelin Tracey

Over breakfast, Jillian refused to go to the funeral. “It will be boring,” she said.

Her brown hair was messily escaping from yesterday’s ponytail and dipped into her cereal. Colette allowed herself to be distracted long enough to minister to the errant hair with a bobby pin, grabbed from a basket of trinkets she kept near the telephone. Her daughter’s funny freckled little face, still puckered by baby fat, looked up at this gesture with an expression hovering between wistfulness and resentment.

Colette kept a hand holding Jillian’s head tilted back, so she could look into her light brown eyes. “You really don’t want to go?”

Jillian shook back and forth, no. Continue reading

Fiction: “Weight” by Woody Skinner

It’s your birthday.  You sit in your room finishing your homework and listening to music while you wait for him to come over.  The television is on the Disney channel, but the volume is down.  Your room is very small, and all of the furniture in it is made of wicker.  You’re beginning to feel like you’re sleeping in the dollhouse tucked away in your closet.  Your mom wants you to donate the dollhouse somewhere, tells you about all the extra closet space you could have, but you can’t bring yourself to do it. Continue reading

Fiction: “These Are the Eyes of Norah Jones” by Phillip Gardner

Adam’s Rib was located near the office where we spent our days cursing the stock market and counting down the hours, where Robert, Peter, Wess and I no longer sold high-end real estate. Wess referred to the bar simply as “The Chain” although to my knowledge it belonged to no franchise.

“Nooo,” Robert said—this was ritual, “not The Chain.” Robert’s ex-wife was Jane. But after an hour or two of Scotch, she became “Chain.”

Adam’s Rib was mahogany and soft light, no clocks, no televisions and never crowded. Dark and cool in the summer. Its bartender, Derik, had become our friend. At that time, about the only things we hadn’t lost were our companionship and one corner of the bar. Continue reading

Fiction: “The Disaster” by Amy Savage

Henry had put on a few pounds as he aged, but he maintained them intentionally, believing the fat storage would come in handy when The Disaster struck. He knew that soon, any moment, there could be a plague of pests, glacial flooding, and drought. He did his best in everyday life to prevent these things. He had the right light bulbs and bought recycled toilet paper and had an inflatable raft. He even composted his tea bags and recycled the wrappers. Henry took the bus and rode his bike sometimes, but he knew that his own actions were just a drop in the near-empty environmentally-minded social bucket. His fellow man’s wastefulness meant he had to conserve all the more. So, when his mother called him and told him she was concerned about his weight, he snapped. Continue reading