Two Poems by Colin James


The slow, drooping unauthentic jaw.
Convulsions of apathy.
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Warmth is Fleeting, by Rick McQuiston

Simon ran a hand over his face. He could feel the sting of the darkness all around him; it jabbed at his cowering body like agitated scorpions itching for a fight. Vague memories of his lectures at the University crossed his mind. But somehow being huddled in a broom closet only four doors down from his own classroom forced his thoughts to muddle together. He was having difficulty separating them.

But one stood out: the lecture he’d recently given to a rather skeptical group of colleagues, students, and various members of the press.

“And so, my esteemed guests, I put forth this theory in the ardent hope that you will embrace its meaning before it is too late.” The words resonated in his head. If he closed his eyes he could still see the doubt on their faces.

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To Know a Lie from a Hacksaw, By Milo James Fowler

The old man seated himself across from Jack as if he were expected, plopping down a well-worn bowling bag on the bench and an equally battered laptop onto the table

Jack sat up like a meerkat on duty. His half-eaten burger lay untouched in the silverware-rattled silence. The diner was just about empty this time of night; there was no need to share a booth.

“Can I help you?” Jack wiped at his mouth with a ketchup-stained napkin.

“Not yet.” The white-haired man had the laptop open, casting a bluish glare against the crags of his face, absent of any expression.

“I’m trying to eat here.”

“I won’t be long.”

“Okay.” Jack nodded, hoping the man would elaborate. “There’s no Wi-Fi, you know.”

“Don’t need it.” He had yet to look up from the screen.

Jack reached for his burger’s remains. If he ignored the odd fellow, maybe he’d just move on.

“Go ahead and finish your dinner, Jack. I didn’t mean to interrupt.”

Jack’s fingers hadn’t made it to his plate. They hung in midair. “How do you know my name?”

A hint of a smile played with the man’s thin mouth, but he didn’t reply.

Jack glanced out the window beside him, through his own reflection and into the black lit only by a curbside streetlight. His pickup sat beneath the amber glow. A few sedans clustered closer to the diner’s entrance, the same cars that had already been there when he’d arrived after his late shift at Best Buy.

“You bowl?” Jack nodded to the man’s bag.

His thick, gnarled fingers ran across the keys, tapping at them like a hunchbacked ape.


“So what’s in there?”

“A hacksaw. I’ll need to take your head.”

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Blackbird, by JD DeHart

Parchment messianic prognostications

Cryptic words about darkness

Some bit about flight

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Change in I, by J. Rohr


Like most physicists, Melinda Barrow never mattered to the public.  Not until she learned to see through time.  The sacrifice of an eye, a cost she willingly paid to prove herself correct, was all it took.  Early in her career she realized that light is the only thing which can travel at the speed of light, a concept that seemed simple, however, it implied to her the possibility of time travel.  Or rather, temporal observation.  The basis of her hypothesis was/is/will be summarized in an article in the June 17th 2056 The Economist.  In truth, this will be an extreme simplification of the process, that what light interacts with can be observed given the right conditions regardless of chronological distance, however, Melinda merely wanted people to understand her accomplishment, though she rarely minded being misunderstood.

Jacob Triffin decided to open a deli after his father died, not wanting to waste his life in the same corporate…

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Graves to Cradle, by Ahimaaz Rajesh


Toby stood outside the field, her feet buried to a pond, and a slingshot away green and dry stood: The cave.



A woman was carving sequential images upon the bone of the cave. Images that looked singular, simple, and intricate: All that at once. She turned to see the intruder. There came a hint of recognition to her face. As her head moved from left to right, in successive motions, in twitches, the recognition went lost and she went back to doing what she was doing: Carving patterns hither and thither, in the empty space, as well as the solid object. The resoluteness and diligence with which she did what she was doing must be remarked upon as: She did it with the perseverance of an adept coder of soft machines.

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Void, by Zachary Woodard


They say that the fear of the water is an irrational one, but I have never agreed with that. It amazes me that people can see water as just another thing, to be held or seen or imbibed. Water is something wholly other to me, as other as the outer reaches of the darkest space. It is a dimension of itself—an ethereal, alien force that is both damning and essential. Without it, we would die—but make no mistake, it is no boon to humanity.

We are allergic to it, water. Like mercury it slides over and engulfs us, fills us, swims over our eyes and pushes the air out of our lungs. Its surface is a gateway into another world in which we are unable to live—in which demonic, other beings thrive through murder and destruction. Scaled and toothed and clawed, parasitic and poisonous or behemoth and incomprehensible, these beasts have nothing in common with humankind. There is nothing for us beneath the waves.

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The Gates of H.E.V.N., by David Kavanaugh


Applicant no. 26,672,313,008

Davien V. Fairweather: DOB – September 5, 2991

The Honorable Judge “Betasoft Model 888, OS 112” presiding…


Q1: Mr. Fairweather, why do you believe you deserve preservation within the H.E.V.N. system?

Davien took a deep breath and smiled into the lens.

“Good afternoon,” he said, feeling his cheeks grow flushed. “Well, I just want to start by saying how much I truly appreciate the opportunity to—”

Q1 repeat: Mr. Fairweather, why do you believe you deserve preservation within the H.E.V.N. system?

Davien swallowed. He had worried that his palms would be sweaty, but as he squeezed his hands into fists, he realized that the opposite had occurred. His skin was uncomfortably dry.

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Two poems by Chris Bullard


Free Willy as a Cryptic Reference to Free Will

We freed it

from a sandbar a kennel insolvency an evil stepmother,

but the damned thing refused

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Litter, by J.M.M. Carlson



neon lights flutter nervously

in the oily sky

in predictable dystopian fashion


an interminable flow of men coalesces and

like sand particles scattered by the water jet of

light, disappears again, back into

bubbles of silence converging and dying

screams fill the air

an undertone of whispers beneath


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