Fandom Travis J. Pike
Train Zoe Palmer
Into the Distance Anderson Holderness
Sterling and His Boy Mark Cravens
This Is No Garden Rebecca Ann Jordan
From the Editor:
Was the wait worth it? In short, yes. Issue Seven has arrived in full force, collecting some of the strangest, funniest, and most beautifully written stories we’ve published to date. We hope you love them. But before you dive in, find yourself a dank corner, in a forgotten cavern, at the bottom of the ocean, and then, as you unveil the five uncanny portraits we’ve set before you, see if you can figure out why this issue’s Inadvertent Theme is “The Lonesome Void.”
We lead off with a bit of satire in Travis J. Pike’s “Fandom,” wherein a man’s dream comes true in an age of laziness and convoluted technology. Zoe Palmer’s “Train” follows that, telling the story of an ever-running locomotive and its mysterious, reclusive conductor. Up next comes Anderson Holderness’s “Into the Distance,” a humorously bizarre tale of a man trapped in a strange room with a luminous infant. We then offer Mark Cravens’ “Sterling and His Boy,” which relates an accidental murder and the unlikely arbiter to the murderer’s conscience and memories. We wrap up Issue Seven with Rebecca Ann Jordan’s “This Is No Garden,” the story of a young woman forced to use her curious genetic connection with plant life to save the day.
Tea for the Read: Earl Grey. Picture this: An elderly gentleman sips his Earl Grey by candlelight, reading his favorite collection of Hawthorne tales, the lonely night air of his Victorian home pervading every sense of comfort he has left. With each sip of tea, and with each passing moment, he feels the distance grow between himself and everyone he’s ever known or loved. He takes another sip and stares at his cup. Earl Grey, forever his cup of choice, reminds him how desolate life has become, because he’s never shared a cup with anyone but her. Ten years later, and she’s still gone… That’s the essence of Issue Seven. Grab a cup and settle in.
Cover art © 2014 Swamp Biscuits & Tea