Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Golden Buffalo Makes Your Dreams Come True

By Daniel Vlasaty

You try your luck when you meet a golden buffalo named Sanchez. “Rub my belly,” he tells you. “Everyone’s a winner.” You rub his belly. Nothing happens. “Hold on,” he says. He burps a few times, wet-hot burps, to release some of the built up pressure in his stomach. “Rub my belly,” he says again. “Everyone’s a winner.” You rub his belly. The golden buffalo starts to shake. His body rumbles. A giant legless grasshopper slides out of his golden asshole. The grasshopper cries when it sees you. “Mommy,” it wails in a tiny voice. “Everyone’s a winner,” Sanchez says. Scaly wings grow out of his back. He flaps them to get warmed up. “What am I supposed to do with this?” you ask him but he is already gone. The legless grasshopper wiggles on the ground, covered in gold placenta. “Mommy,” it says to you, and you know this is what you’ve always wanted.

 Bio: Daniel Vlasaty will stab you in the fucking face...probably.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

see-through baby

By Kyle Hemmings

the baby was born with a window in his belly. the surgeon from toledo scratched his head, said words like hinged or unhinged, vista or without. he said he needed more time. in our baby's window we saw rivers & boats, cities & birds, we saw ourselves looking out helplessly. my mother-in-law spread ground glass & ammonia in our bed sheets. she said it would make us strong. sometimes we heard a distant knocking, the laughter of young children. our baby had fake tears. my wife cried while breast feeding. sometimes we dreamt of something crashing, a rock through a window. a specialist from cincinnati offered a cure. he placed a flap where the window was. the baby grew up blind & we moved into a smaller house.

BIO: Kyle Hemmings is a what? A moon cake. A subvervise astronaut. A mama's boy with claws. Kyle Hemmings is who you want him to be. He has been published elsewhere.

[Insert Discarded Story Title Here]

 By Bob Carlton
The narrative has wandered away from the course of events, each sentence a deletion from some other story. The nested birds cluck and tweet with delight at their mother's regurgitations. It is a source of wonder and strange fascinations that we do not. Truer tales cannot be imagined.
“Who stole all my books?” asked the Archbishop.
“We have seen the glory of your worship,” I said, “and do not believe our sacrifices have been worth the return on investment. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us a pizza.”
The wild surmises of disenfranchised peasants led to uprisings surging with elation and ignorance. The mark of ten thousand lashes sprang up with a bloody ardor matched only by longevity. This story cannot be told in words alone.
“I have pictures,” she said coldly, ignoring his imploring eyes, the restless fiddling with a wedding band of flaking platinum.
“Perhaps we should talk.”
“There is nothing to talk about.”

“There is always something not to talk about.”
His failed experiments, supported by a half century of junk science and slipshod methodology, gathered about Dr. ----, clutching at his lab coat with the desperate need for recognition and validation, longings which even the angels of compassion could not, in good conscience, entertain.
“Is that a yes or no question?”
“Is the answer ever 'no'?”
“You cherry-picked the data, Roger. You cherry-picked the god damned data!”
With the wreckage of past expeditions crunching beneath our feet, we came to it at last. We have come to it finally. The end? Yes, the end. The very one. That is to say, the forces of entropy have rushed in, trashed the kitchen, broken into the liquor cabinet, and are passing out on every stick of furniture in the place. 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

it hurts whenever i think about 1958

by Kyle Hemmings

under a hand-me down moon, she cooed, then went frigid. she told me how she discarded the memory of her father, how it became so light, flying up, then turning solid. it did an about face, became an asteroid, hit the earth & part of it lodged inside her, just missing the heart. for weeks, i tried pulling it out of her. She said Please stop, daddy, it hurts. when i finally removed the piece of rock-father, she said she felt nothing for me, that our love was dead. on the phone, she hummed while I was talking, made little noises like crackles, then hung up. sometime later, an astronomer who just lost his wife, claimed mars went missing. at the drive-in, i watched a james dean movie, some broken glass in the seat next to me. it was from the window I didn't bother to replace, the one she threw a rock through just to prove that I was still a part of her.

BIO: Kyle Hemmings is a what? A moon cake. A subvervise astronaut. A mama's boy with claws. Kyle Hemmings is who you want him to be. He has been published elsewhere.

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Saying Goodbye

By Ben Arzate

         The news hit us pretty hard. We knew what it probably was, but we hoped we were wrong. We knew for certain now. Our house had cancer.
         It started when my son fell down the stairs. Thankfully, he was fine besides a few bruises. He said he tripped over a lump in the carpet. I went up the stairs and saw the lump. There were several more on the railing. I told my wife that this could be serious and we called an inspector.
        The inspector came over while my wife and I were at work and our son at school. When we all got back, the inspector was waiting for us out front. He gave us the bad news.
        He said it looked like the tumors had probably started up in the attic. Had we found it then, it might have been treatable. But it had spread too much at that point.
        I still can't help but blame myself. A house that old was very prone to disease. I should have had him checked on regular basis.
       The only thing we could do now was have him put down.
       We found a two bedroom apartment near downtown. It was much smaller but it would fit our needs. We moved as fast as we could. We didn't want our old house to suffer too long.
        I scheduled the demolition. It would be a quick and painless implosion. On the day the crew came to do it, we went to say goodbye.
       Our son was probably hit the hardest. After all, he lived there since he was born. We sat in the empty living room. My wife and I reminisced on when we first moved in after we got married.
      The crew told us that everything was rigged and it was time to leave. We got in the car. My son was bawling. My wife had tears running down her cheeks. I kept having to wipe my eyes as I started the car.
      As we drove off, we heard the loud rumbling. Then the sound of debris falling. Then nothing.

BIO: Ben Arzate lives in Des Moines, Iowa. He writes and he lives life. Sometimes he forgets to do the latter. His work has been published in Sketch and at Keep This Bag Away From Children. He can be found at