Volume 4, Issue 2

Our second issue of Volume 4–and first of 2021–explores the theme of belonging: what does it mean to “belong” somewhere, to a family, or with someone?

“The Days Without Time,” flash fiction by Caroline Fernelius, follows a young person from North to South Carolina and back to their home beaches of Galveston, Texas.

Adam Carter’s short story, “Benediction,” takes the reader through the tragic life of a man imprisoned, exploring the inevitable choices he has made.

In “A Mother’s Gift,” a short story by Michelle Tang, we witness a funeral scene through the eyes of a woman about to learn her family’s secret.

Finally, John W. Bateman’s creative nonfiction piece, “Southerners Don’t Lie: We Tell Polite Stories,” follows the author as a young boy and his family’s humorous assumption.

A Mother’s Gift | Fiction

““Bea swore us to secrecy, Max and me,” Lu told her niece, holding Vida’s hands tightly in her own. Vida noticed Lu’s upper body was weaving as she sat, and her cataract-ringed eyes were not focusing. The stink of white wine blended with the smell of lilies inside Vida’s nostrils, a nauseating combination. The woman wondered if her aunt would wake up tomorrow with a hangover and regrets, but she made no move to quiet the older woman.”

The Days Without Time | Fiction

“Eight miles down Galveston island, far away from monogrammed tote bags and Japanese fusion food, our little house was beautiful because we knew it could not last, each year giving something of itself to the salt-ravaged air—a water-heating unit, a lawn chair, a skin of mint-tinged paint.”

Southerners Don’t Lie: We Tell Polite Stories | Nonfiction

“Was I going to inherit a castle? What in the hell was I doing in Arkansas? On a dirt road? Were my ancestors ex-patriots? Disenfranchised? Did anyone know? Or care?”

Benediction | Fiction

“He took a swing at me and it clipped my jaw but I was ripe from my old man hitting me. I grabbed Jimmy by that fancy collar and started working over his fancy braces and I beat them until they ran straight through his lips. I got kicked out of school that year but when I came back Jimmy Pickering was done laughing.”

Book Reviews

Interviews

Art & Photography

Easing Restrictions | Visual Art

Easing Restrictions | Visual Art

“I like the edge of things. Edge as in poignant and slightly threatening and edge as in interconnection. I like things that already exist. It’s not just about my ecological stance and the future but about mystery and the past. This piece, however, is really all about the now.”

COVID Lungs: A Trilogy | Visual Art

COVID Lungs: A Trilogy | Visual Art

“The first image, COVID 1, depicts the brewing storm driven by the wet-markets in China where trafficked animals are kept in conditions of bio-insecurity which were (and remain) ripe for zoonotic events. It depicts the warning by scientists from thirteen years ago that SARS emerged from these conditions and the next deadly pandemic will likely do so as well.”

River Daughters I | Visual Art

River Daughters I | Visual Art

“In the Yorubá tradition of mother Africa, the river goddess Oshun is the incorporation of love, fertility and sensuality, she is the essence and the nectar of life, the protector and guardian of women and children, along with her sister Yemaya that rules over the seas. To understand the beauty of women is to honour her daughters, their vitality, intelligence and caring and nourishing abilities.”

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