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“The Conium Review: Vol. 5” cover

The Conium Review: Vol. 5 is slated for release on December 15th. Here’s a mock-up of the new issue’s cover. Like the last couple issues, the front is rather minimal while a larger image wraps around the back. Any guesses what those scraggly lines are? Answer: broken chain-link fence. Pre-orders for The Conium Review: Vol. 5 will go on sale this weekend!

"The Conium Review: Vol. 5" cover

“The Conium Review: Vol. 5” cover

Melissa Reddish writes about her novella for Monkeybicycle’s “If My Book”

Girl and Flame coverMelissa Reddish recently wrote a piece for Monkeybicycle‘s “If My Book” series–where authors compare their new books to strange things.

Melissa says “If Girl and Flame were a love letter, it would be addressed to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Gilmore Girls, Joan Jett, Garbage, Fiona Apple, Joan Didion, Margaret Atwood, and my mom.” We couldn’t agree more. Dig deeper into Melissa’s comparative interpretation of her novella here.

 

Editor Update: Marina Petrova published at Catapult

Marina Petrova has a new short story published at Catapult. Check out “Bolano” here.

Marina is currently a fiction editor for The Conium Review. Prior to becoming an editor for us, she was published in Vol. 4 with her story “Dictator in a Jar.” Her work has also appeared in The Brooklyn RailThe Los Angeles Review of Books, and Late Night Library. She holds an MFA from The New School and lives in New York City.

Micro-chap preview: “And It Will Be Called The Highway of Holiness,” by Brian Phillip Whalen

The micro-chapbook is finished for Brian Phillip Whalen’s And It Will Be Called The Highway of Holiness. Take a look at some preview photos below.

This limited-edition title will be released next week as a pre-order bonus for Melissa Reddish’s Girl & Flame. Only fifty numbered copies of this micro-chap will be released! Supplies are expected to run out soon. If the bonus micro-chap is still listed the Girl & Flame pre-order page then we’ve still got copies left.

“Girls,” by Debbie Vance

Water Splash

The ground is sinking quicker now, quicker than ever before, and all the people know it. Some leave, drive cars down river-roads, tires spinning without moving forward. Quickly, they abandon cars and steer boats, row or motor until the bow hits dry land somewhere else. But others stay, drink cheap beer, laugh as the water rises past their calves, knees, tickles their swamp-sweaty thighs. Their houses are set on stilts, but the water rises so high they must climb stairs to the second floor, to the attic. The water does not surprise them, but that doesn’t make it any more believable.

The water can’t hurt us, the parents say, as it fills their mouths.

Three girls stand on the roof of the house where their parents drink in the attic and watch the water rise, swallow fences, chicken coops, windows. Dogs try to keep their muzzles above water, but the girls do not try to save them—the fences, the dogs, the dollhouse in the first floor bedroom below—everyone has already drowned. The doll’s paper bodies disintegrate in the kitchen. Their paper molecules absorb into the water.

Do you think it’ll ever end, one girl asks. Probably not, the other two answer. Once the land begins to sink, it has nowhere to go but down. The water teases the shingles, cold on the toes of the girls, and like eels they slide in. They swim away from what was once their town, south toward the open ocean. They keep their heads above water, their eyes shut against the bodies buried below—the dogs, the dolls, the parents—it is enough to feel the molecules of them, dissolved, brush against their legs like seaweed.

In fairy tales, girls may undergo transformation. Here, they might become speckled trout or redfish or oysters. But in some stories, other stories, they do not.

About the Author:

Debbie Vance’s fiction has appeared most recently in Flyway, The Boiler, and Alligator Juniper. She is a 2015 Pushcart Prize nominee and an MFA candidate at Colorado State University, where she teaches composition and research.

Image Credit: © cherryka – stock.adobe.com