Storylandia, Issue 5, Winter 2012
Storylandia, Issue 5, Winter 2012
The Wapshott Journal of Fiction
Theresa Hinkle, Negative Man; Kyle Hemmings, Mr. BubbleHead Chronicles; Jon-Michael Emory, Usher; Paullette Gaudet, See You There; and William Akin, Snake Oil; cover by Carol Colin
Negative Man by Theresa Hinkle
The glass wall stretched for miles, a perfect plane. A man, covered in dirt from his journey, stood stricken, staring into its surface. He had no eyes for the mirror itself, forgotten artifact that it was. The landscape it projected was similarly ignored. He only looked at the other man inside- the man who was him but was not him. The other man was wrong, and made more so due to being a near exact copy of the onlooker.
The Bubblehead Chronicles
Mr. BubbleHead considered distance and velocity and time to be subsets of Fate and all of it could victimize the pedestrian, either perfect in their A.D.D. spaces or luckless as grapefruits. He reasoned thusly: When he was a kid, he tagged behind a gang of rowdies led by Art Finkel. Art Finkel always wore toy guns to class and extorted his teachers, especially the ones who cheated on their spouses with Art’s older sister, a shapely vixen named Ginny, who dreamed of mud orgies with P.T.A. members or anal sex with cowboys without pretense. One Halloween, the group went trick or treating and an old woman answered the door. Art Finkel threw an egg through the woman’s house, while she was bent over, picking little bags of assorted candies. But Mr. BubbleHead never saw where the egg landed nor heard it smash against a solid, ie., a wall, a piece of furniture. Some twenty years later, Mr. BubbleHead was walking down a quiet street late at night, considering himself luckier than most birds because safe landing is always an issue, when an egg smashed and splattered all over his face.
See you There
Carole Linnaeker stood in line at the bank for six minutes, then watched the next free teller beckon the person standing behind her to his window.
Carole feebly raised a hand. “Um…I was next.”
The teller’s forehead creased under his gelled hair. “I’m sorry, I didn’t see you there.”
Upon wakening, it is quite customary for the dream to leave one befuddled; some confusion whilst realities adjust accordingly, and find their respective corners. Just for a moment, or two. But it was becoming exceedingly difficult for me in those waning seconds to find myself back where I had allegedly begun, for the identity of the woman staring down at me remained elusive, hiding behind an intensely somber expression; one I instantly likened to a new mother who is huddled over a crib occupied by her exceedingly quiet and unmoving infant.
Brodie Stevens lived a life composed around two central themes, drinking and writing. These were the only things he did well but presently he found himself between lines and inspiration. It would be just a matter of time before something would happen along one way or another he was certain. Often tales would just come to him and present themselves on silver platters while others he discovered and tamed himself with so much ink, sweat, and tears. Brodie much preferred the second sort, the stories that he came up with on his own. He felt they were easier to control and lead than those serendipities that always seemed to hide some twist of plot and underlying conflict of their own. Most of Brodie’s stories came from somewhere between the two extremes. This tale, however, intruded upon his life, refusing to give in or go away until its voice was heard and heeded, a door-to-door bible salesman hawking salvation all bound up in white leather and glorious promises.