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Index – SoI Issue 1

Cover art:

“Banshee” by Jim Fuess.

Jim’s colorful, energetic, abstract and anthropomorphic paintings, as well as his black and white paintings, can be seen at www.jimfuessart.com.

Fiction:

“Whitman meets the Grassman” by Robert E. Petras

Whitman’s not my real name, but everyone has been calling me that since sophomore English when I plagiarized a poem from whom I had considered an obscure poet named Walt Whitman. Reflecting upon my co-opting of “O Captain, My Captain,” my selection was not all that disastrous, especially when considering “Trees” by some man named Joyce was my second pick. No, not James Joyce, Joyce Kilmer… read on…

“Dog Days” by Stephen V. Ramey

Imagine three dogs whose owners died in the Naonplague of 2020. Imagine them sitting in a circle, as nearly as three dogs can form a circle, on the crackling asphalt of the cul-de-sac once shared by their now-abandoned houses. The last of the Winter snow has nearly melted, leaving puddles.

The first is a stately German Sheppard bitch named Buttercup, the second a gangling Dalmatian who answers to Spot O’Tea, and the third, a passive-aggressive poodle named Maxine. This gathering has become a daily ritual for them... read on…

“Broken Water” by Ripley Patton

From the day he is born, everything spills. Water gushes from me. It cannot be contained, nor will he. He puddles between my legs, wet and glossy, and every pot in the village cracks. Oil and water soak into the ground. My bleeding stops and my womb shrivels. But I have what I want.

Ursula the Midwife argues with the chief… read on…

“Sunshine on the Class” by RJ Astruc and Kirsty Lock

The Class are silent now.

They stand like sparkling statues in the great palace courtyard, frozen in the act of revelry. At the base of the courtyard, two courtiers are posed in the act of walking up stairs, their arms touching at the elbow. Beyond them huddles a group of barrel-bodied ladies in long, gold and platinum dresses… read on…

“Chocolate” by Margaret Karmazin

Three hundred and two trade route planets in the known universe, and I’m stuck on the one that doesn’t have chocolate. Well, it lacks a lot more than that, but chocolate is my concern.

We landed the first of Earth April, a bad month for landing anywhere due to tax rate changeover, and I should have known that bad luck arrives in threes… read on…

“A Plea on Behalf of the Small Hat League” by K.A. Laity

While much attention these days focuses on the precarious political situation and the perhaps even more wobbly financial situation in which we find ourselves—and with good reason, I must concur—other important though perhaps less pressing matters risk being swept under the proverbial rug, where many a dusty cause meets oblivion. I speak tonight of the heartfelt efforts of the Small Hat League (SHL)… read on…

“Cattle Farcy” by Sandy Parsons

Farmer Brown couldn’t abide a bumpy cow. So when some of Farmer Brown’s prize Holsteins came down with a case of cattle farcy he knew he needed to do something. Contained to the skin it wasn’t deadly, just inelegant, but it meant that less diligent farmers were allowing their diseased livestock to cross the border. What he needed was quarantine… read on…

“Interface” by Ash Scott-Lockyer

You wake and try to open your eyes. This is an abject failure, they don’t respond to your commands. Bright flashes explode in the silent black and deep red void, but no vision comes. You drift back into sleep.

Later you awake again, how much later you don’t know… read on…

“In King Midas’ Court” by Matthew S. Dent

It took three strikes to get the cheap, airport-bought match to light, and then another few moments of tentative sheltering and nurturing for the flame to swell and light the cigarette. The task finally done, he tossed the wooden split away, and took a deep drag.

There was no relief in it… read on…

“The Invisible Man” by Michael A. Kechula

“Step right up, ladies and gentlemen,” yelled the Mayor of Santa Buffoona, “and see the greatest show on Earth. The one, the only, Invisible Man! Get your tickets now to see the only Invisible Man in captivity.”

“Where do you keep him?” asked a woman pushing a baby carriage.

“In the court house right behind me. He’s locked in a gorilla cage…” read on…

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