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

White Dog on the Road | Visual Art

White Dog on the Road | Visual Art

“White Dog On The Road” is something of a testament to wanderers, for dogs and ourselves. Roads provide a way to escape, to discover. Maybe we are leaving some place for a different future or fate. Maybe we are going home. Roads are endless, much like dreams, both good and bad.

-Christopher Woods, “White Dog on the Road”

Swan Lake | Photography

Swan Lake | Photography

“Swan Lake is about man/woman’s interaction with nature and how well or how awkwardly we fit in nature. I like the wariness of the swan, yet it hangs close for a better view. Curiosity and recklessness are dangerous bedfellows.”

Untitled 202005 | Visual Art

Untitled 202005 | Visual Art

“Mermaids are mysterious, seductive, and dangerous. In stories, they lead foolish men to their watery deaths, and I was inspired to depict a portrait of an enigmatic woman, crowned with coral, as a ship sinks far in the horizon. Instead of the usual flowing fishtails and hair, I wanted to focus on the subject as a person and stare straight into her eyes. Is she malicious, or can she be blamed for the actions of those seduced by her?”

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