The Conium Review‘s managing editor, James R. Gapinski, was recently interviewed for Sapling. The interview will run in issue number 360, due out October 17th. Sapling is a weekly newsletter run by Black Lawrence Press. It seeks to showcase the best of the small press world. Find out more details here.
Ashley Hutson’s story, “At Sea,” has been published at SmokeLong Quarterly. Congrats, Ashley!
Tamara K. Walker has three new flash fictions in The Cafe Irreal. Read “The Bee-List Celebrity Culture,” “Emu on First,” and “Sunflowers” here.
Tamara was a contributor to The Conium Review: Vol. 4 with her story, “Camisole.” Her work has also appeared in A cappella Zoo, Melusine, Identity Theory, Peculiar Mormyrid, Apocrypha and Abstractions, and Gay Flash Fiction.
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.
Image Credit: © cherryka – stock.adobe.com
The VERA is an annual award for a flash fiction under 500 words. Magazine editors may select a single piece for nomination, and we’ve chosen Ingrid’s piece to represent The Conium Review. If her piece wins, she’ll receive a $100 prize and the piece will be republished at Vestal Review.
You can find links to more of Ingrid Jendrzejewski’s work at www.ingridj.com and she occasionally tweets from @LunchOnTuesday. Recently, she was awarded the A Room of Her Own Foundation’s Orlando Prize for Flash Fiction and the Bath Flash Fiction Award.