The Wedding Bystander A.A. Garrison
A Wild Ferment Thomas Messina
The Lighthouse Dale Carothers
It’s Not Safe Below Cheryl A. Warner
From the Editor:
Observant as we are (or like to think we are), some things that later seem remarkably obvious still manage to initially escape us. Take, for example, the overriding (although completely accidental) theme of Issue One—dreams—which we somehow overlooked until post-publication. Hoping to avoid such embarrassing oversights in the future, we decided to seek out the prevalent themes running through our November issue. Our results, as you may have guessed, yielded the very popular theme, “mysterious doctors in hard-to-find places who are not major characters, but provide crucial assistance or information.” While we’re proud of this astute observation (which would likely be obvious even to a semi-literate roast beef sandwich), we can’t help wondering if we’ve missed something. That said, we invite you to seek out other common themes and let us know what you find.
And now for the stories. Above all, we wanted our November issue to feature stories a bit edgier, and a lot weirder, than anything we’ve previously published. We’re very pleased to have established the dreamy, whimsical feel from Issue One, but that brand of storytelling doesn’t totally encompass every angle of our collective interests. To really emphasize this growing desire for the weird(er), we’re kicking off Issue Two with A.A. Garrison’s odd, experimental work, “The Wedding Bystander,” which tells how prophetic mucus can help awaken the sheep-like ignorers of the world. Next we shift a little closer toward reality with Thomas Messina’s edgy-but-strange “A Wild Ferment,” a glimpse into the unfortunate life (and smell) of a suspected terrorist. Next comes Dale Carothers’ highly unique, weird-fantasy adventure story, “The Lighthouse,” which tells of two peculiar jailbreakers on the run from some deadly mutant simians. For the next story, Cheryl A. Warner’s “It’s Not Safe Below,” the strange and familiar merge into one as a seemingly ordinary girl (from an extraordinary place) lets her curiosity get the best of her. And we conclude this issue with a brilliant piece of magical realism, Stephen Moles’ “If You Ever Need a Shoulder to Cry On, Don’t Use Mine or You’ll End Up in Hot Water,” the story of a British man coping with an ethereal affliction that whistles constantly in his ear. It is with great pride that we offer these five magnificent stories, each of which we feel extremely lucky to have grace the “pages” of our November 2012 issue. As you read them, we hope you find them scratching that itch, that one behind your left ear begging for the best kind of deep and beautiful strangeness.
Cover art © 2012 Tasica Singleton