The Apology Box
Author, Naomi Ulsted
by Julie Carpenter
If you’ve ever worked with troubled teens, you will recognize Tessa, the protagonist of this story. A decision made in a flash has repercussions that disrupt and destroy the lives of many in her community, a small mountain town in the American Northwest. The young woman at the center of the maelstrom, already the victim of a struggling mother and remote father, must decide whether she has any chance at redemption. Her fragile trajectory as she stumbles towards atonement and maturity feels very real.
/5 concepts to dwell upon for the rest of the year/
New 'Old' Deal
'Revolutionary Bourgeoisie Somnambulism' (RBS) Syndrome
Tears in the Soil
The gardener has left
his tears in the soil. He
cannot make love grow.
He left his tool, a hoe,
in the soil with his sorrow,
by the slow moving snails.
It is too late for him. He
cannot feed his soul with
his pain and deep concern.
It hurts too much to work
or to breathe, when love
is a phantom dream. He
feels too low to go on. I
hear him weep until
the sun sets over yonder.
The gaping wound in his
soul makes death smile
as his life is up for grabs.
by Charlie Robert
The Reluctant Corpse, By Roy Peak
by Roy Peak
A re-run of the first - and maybe only - TGWiW fan fiction!
(By the way, Uncle Morty agreed to the use of his photo but wants to make it clear that he is not the protagonist of this story.)
Rennie turned the big oven up a couple of notches, opened the door, and pulled the toe tag off the corpse so he could file it for today’s work list. This was the third corpse being cremated today and he still had to clean out the oven afterwards before going home. It had been a busy week for the funeral business in Whistlestop, what with the annual Pruning of the Vicars Festival and all of those accidents at the corner of Poe and Bierce—seriously, when were they going to get around to replacing those missing stop signs?
Rennie filed the tag with the others then turned back to the cart with the corpse on it only to find that the cart was bare. Alarmed—and who wouldn’t be?—he took a step back and glanced around the room. There he spied it, hunkered down between the wall and one of the prep tables, naked with a y-incision on his chest, wide eyed and looking a bit scared.
Joyful, Sorrowful, and Ordinary Mysteries
Author Raymond Fortunato
Review by Julie Carpenter
This book of short stories spins some entertaining yarns that often defy expectations, especially when you consider that the stories focus largely – though not completely – on what society expects of men and what they expect of themselves. Though these stories sometimes look backward into the twentieth century – the start of the computer age, even back to pre-revolutionary Russia – they wrestle with a problem that has become more and more clearly delineated in the twenty-first century. What exactly is masculinity and how can individual men define it for themselves?
The Malediction of Llewyn Glass
Author Frank Reteguiz
Review by Roy Peak
The Malediction of Llewyn Glass is the story of a man tricked into selling his soul to the devil and his journey to salvage his humanity. Mostly, this is a story about stories. And of stories within stories; stories intertwined amongst each other like a nest of snakes.
by Ahmad-Al Khatat
I once played the role of
I found myself in a closed coffin
on a sorrow’s theatre, as
ageing alone until I found myself
in Baghdad in a friendly
by Julie Carpenter
Lately I’ve been having some odd experiences with time. So, this going to be an odd, drifting sort of blog post. I like that the topic of the piece is also my excuse for the disorganization of my thoughts. I don’t know where to start, so I will start with a dream I had about eternity. (Yes, my subconscious is an odd place.)
I was in my early twenties, and I had a dream about the afterlife. I dreamed I died, and I’d woken up in the living room of my parent’s house, a small cozy wood paneled room with a picture window looking up a hill, past the rustic woodshop, and up to the garden and meadow at the top of the property. In my dream of death, this room was all there was. This evening was the only day and time. A heavy snow fell beyond the window, a single lamp gave off a warm light that didn’t quite reach the dim corners of the room and a fire burned in the woodstove. I was there with the boyfriend I was dating at the time (we weren’t quite getting along in real life, so it seemed strange that we’d somehow chosen to spend the afterlife together – but dream logic does not have to offer reasons). We sat on the couch together, not speaking, looking out into the snowy night. It was very nearly dark, the sky was heavy with clouds, and the tiny light in the room allowed us to see that it was still snowing huge, puffy flakes just outside the window, but beyond that everything had already faded into the silence of night and snow. I was warm and comfortable, but at the same time I felt a deep well of sadness because I knew that this was it. Eternity. Forever was going to be sitting in the same place watching the flurries pile up, fire flickering, in the small circle of light. The moment stretched forward as far as I could see and I could feel memories sinking under the somnambulant weight of the infinite, as though not only the future was disappearing, but my past as well. Everything I was or had the possibility of being had been swallowed by the forever moment, which made it more than just a stop on the space time continuum. It was a black hole of now, sucking everything into it.
Hit Me Baby
by Jeff Hill
Sacred Chickens is delighted to publish this original story by Jeff Hill, a truly original writer and friend of the chickens.
Traveling back into the city from my small hometown of a less-than-impressive population of three hundred, I couldn’t help but think of what had transpired over the last week. I had quit my job, broken up with my girlfriend, lost my best friend, and the strangest thing is; none of those were what had changed me as a person. It was a strange encounter on the interstate that made me question everything I had ever known to be true, whether it was the laws of physics, the existence of a higher power, or even something as simple as the horribleness that lurks deep within every human being.
Psych ward patients are good listeners, and that is why I chose to work as a doctor in a low-security facility in the big city. Small town guy from a sheltered life, full of rich parents who don’t look it, six older sisters, one younger brother, and the notion of high school let alone college being unthinkable. That pretty much describes the first twenty years of my life. A doctor in psychiatry, living in a not-too-shabby apartment with his best friend of eight years, until just recently, and looking for a new reason to not give up on the entire female gender.