Author Archives: Rusty

Earlene and the Witch, fiction by Misty Skaggs

Ivy swaddled the sapling oak in the tattered remains of a patchwork quilt that got washed one too many times. The stuffing seeped out and clung to the young branches in worn white puffs, like tired clouds. She was careful … Continue reading

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Down by The River, poem by Charles Swanson

(A poetic comment on Breece D’J Pancake’s short story “A Room Forever”) Between cold buildings, out to the slate gray river a view as flat as old year’s end. A room, a room forever, not because of heaven— instead because … Continue reading

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Tsunami, poem by Melissa Helton

My entire nation pitches forward, ocean water turned violent. It was a slow rise that we couldn’t detect in the open sea. But now we can see it, an airless wall at crest peak, that moment of full lungs ceasing … Continue reading

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Of My Great Uncle, poem by Amanda Kelley

Now that you are gone what I remember most is the size of your hands—as big as oven mitts I see them wrapped around a hoe handle, then imagine them in boxing gloves when you were young: The sound of … Continue reading

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Trinity Ridge Zoological, poem by Todd Mercer

The Holy Roller Church of Serpents is set in a notch of a steep knob. You cross a rope-bridge to get there, remove your thinking cap to roll with the irrational spectacle when Reverend Righteous taunts the snakes, tests his … Continue reading

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Two Poems by Tim Peeler

Rougher Beast I took my training from daddy, Drunken waking me at three am With a belt buckle across my legs. First three or four licks left red welts; Then I numbed and hardened, Never giving in when he screamed … Continue reading

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Cheaha, fiction by A.M. Garner

THE MAN WHO LOANS TOOLS IS OUT. The hand-lettered sign hung dead center of the rear wall of the cement block garage. Lendon Philpot—the man who didn’t loan out his tools—leaned over the motor of a red ’67 Ford Galaxie, … Continue reading

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Ghoul, fiction by Corey Mesler

It was a folk tale, an urban legend. That’s what we told ourselves though it was scant comfort. I think I heard it first from my older brother’s friends on a night I was supposed to be asleep but, instead, … Continue reading

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Making Ends Meet, poem by Teisha Dawn Twomey

A good rule of thumb, is to pull the fine thread through a length twice the stretch. Wind the string in a semi-circle to make a loop, pull the ends through, tie the split twin tails taut together knotted twice … Continue reading

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The road starts 896, Newark, Delaware, fiction by Timothy Gager

The road starts 896, Newark, Delaware It started with Black Beauties but also with Pink Footballs. You remember those, at least one of them? When you chopped them up and inhaled the burn was remarkable. Take hundreds of tips of … Continue reading

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