Ashley Hutson’s story, “Soft Bodies,” was recently selected as a finalist for the Indianola Review‘s 2016 Leap Day Flash Fiction Prize (judged by David James Poissant) and will be published in the March issue. In February her nonfiction piece, “Back Aisles,” appeared in River Teeth. She also has forthcoming publications in Spelk, Calliope, Split Lip Magazine, Threadcount, and Fiction International. Read more at www.aahutson.com.
The Conium Review: Volume 4 is currently slated for a mid-November, 2015 release. We’ve finalized the table of contents for this lean, mean fiction machine. Pre-orders for the paperback version go on sale soon, and we’ll unveil some sneak previews of this year’s collector’s edition as the release date nears.
This issue’s stories and authors are:
- “The People Who Live in the Sears,” by Emily Koon (winner of the 2015 Innovative Short Fiction Contest)
- “Butterbean,” by Emily Koon
- “Camisole,” by Tamara K. Walker
- “Passing,” by Rita Bullwinkel
- “Dictator in a Jar,” by Marina Petrova
- “Chiroptera,” by Kayla Pongrac
- “Shampoo,” by Ingrid Jendrzejewski
- “Apples,” by Theodora Ziolkowski
- “The Eating Habits of Famous Actors,” by Zach Powers
Dear All Grandparents Residing in America,
Santa Claus here (you know, the guy who has filled stockings and piled presents underneath your family’s Christmas trees for many, many decades). It’s been awhile since I’ve compiled a Christmas List of my own, which details what I think YOU should get ME for Christmas. All I do is give, give, give, give, give and this year is the year when I will take, take, take, take, take. Please note that this is a milestone for me, as I only take a year off every century.
None of you know what it’s like to fill the position of Santa Claus. None of you can say, “I so understand what Santa’s responsibilities are every year,” or “What a tough job Santa has!” Unfortunately, my job description failed to mention that the saints of yesterday bred the sinners of today, who have bred the devils of tomorrow. These kids (yes, your grandchildren!) just can’t get enough. The longest Christmas List I received last year was poster-sized and in 10-point Times New Roman font. C’mon now. You all must take responsibility for these monsters who think it’s charming to sit on my lap and scroll around on their iPads, pointing to every little toy that they added to their “Wish List” on their “favoritest” app.
Please understand that every year, I have to sit down and read millions of emails (that’s right—I don’t get letters anymore) from these little boys and little girls who don’t know how to spell or punctuate. These kids are lucky I don’t hit the “Reply” button because you know what I would give them? Grades. Bad grades. And then they could go write about me on “Rate My Santa” or whatever that tacky website is called.
You can’t possibly deny that your grandchildren want gadget this, gadget that. “Give me an iPad, Santa, or I won’t believe in you ever again!” “By the way, do be sure that my new iPhone is the yellow color!” Yeah, okay . . . you’re a kindergartner with an iPhone in your pocket and an iPad in your lap. Real sweet. All you’re missing is some headphones so you can walk around like all the rest of ‘em.
Honestly, folks, all I want for Christmas from each family this year is a huge keg of beer and some pretzels. If you all could just send these gifts to the North Pole addressed to me, (NOT Mrs. Claus—she and I may be getting divorced), that’d be fantastic. So, just to recap:
Santa’s Christmas List:
- One keg of beer
See that? Simple. Now, if only you could teach your grandchildren to be more like Santa Claus because he asks for little and gives a lot. We’ll see ya’ll next year.
Tell your angry little snugglemuffins I said hello,
Image Credit: ©/ Dollar Photo Club
Dear Class of 2015,
ALL STUDENTS in our graduating class are REQUIRED to vote for senior superlatives this year. Only a few people from last year’s class participated in the voting process, and the people who did ended up voting for themselves (SOOOOOO NOT cool). This year, it is MANDATORY that you vote so that our yearbook is way better than the one produced by the class of 2014. Also, we’ve added new categories to our friendly competition, so don’t skimp out on those new ones. Remember that you can only vote for yourself ONCE.
Now get to it (and don’t forget to vote for me!).
Sincerely & with LOTS of <3 and hugs,
2015 Yearbook Editor-in-Chief
SENIOR SUPERLATIVES ’15 OFFICIAL BALLOT
RULES: VOTE FOR ONLY ONE PERSON. YOU CAN VOTE FOR YOURSELF ONLY ONCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
YOUR NAME:________________________________________ (all ballots will be kept confidential)
Most Likely to Succeed:
Most Technologically Inclined:
Nicest Facebook Page:
Most Interesting Twitter Feed:
Most Likely to Invent a New Form of Social Media:
Best Dressed Hipster:
Most Impressive Vinyl Collector:
Most Likely to Own Stock in Starbucks One Day:
Most Likely to Drop His/Her iPhone or iPad in the Toilet:
PLEASE RETURN YOUR BALLOT TO ME BY EIGHTH PERIOD ON FRIDAY. OTHERWISE, I WILL REPORT YOU TO THE YEARBOOK ADVISOR.
Image Credit: © Konovalov Pavel / Dollar Photo Club