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


Art & Photography

You Belong to Me | Visual Art

You Belong to Me | Visual Art

“You belong to me is a colorful piece with man and woman. The man holds the woman’s heart in his hand. Is this love? Possession cannot be defined as love, except by the possessor. The bright colors offset the theme of this painting.

It doesn’t depict violence as its true definition, but it is more than implied.”

Pandemic Engulfment | Visual Art

Pandemic Engulfment | Visual Art

“My current paintings explore appropriating elements from Abstract Expressionism, Surrealism, Color Field painting and Dream Work. It is my intent to empower the viewer’s mind, imagination and soul. Each time you engage with these images you find new interpretations; one minute they are eyes then planets or just shapes.”

Entropy #054 | Visual Art

Entropy #054 | Visual Art

Entropy #054: This image is a multiple exposure of a derelict hospital and a wave. Like all my works in the series Paintings for a Robot, this piece was created by putting thousands of digital images into a video editing program. The images were then randomly merged together. Painters famously spend enormous amounts of time working on sketches, cartoons, etc. before putting brush to canvas. And then they spend endless weeks, months, or years, finishing their vision. Technology will change all this. Just like brushes improved image making in the first civilizations BC, computers and robotic devices will replace the insane manual labor involved in creating the paintings that are part of the canon. If robots can do surgery they can surely make a painting.

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