Winter 2019

The Lichen Man | A.L. Kersel

In the mid-winter half-light, I crawl on my belly through a courtyard of statues. The snow is claggy and sticks to the fur on my chest. I sniff the air—pine, cinders, wet earth. Not much else. Not these days. The musk of a fox. Fucker’s trespassing. I raise my hackles, and my back bristles, fluffed-up in anger. Since the towns have disappeared, the foxes have been spreading back into the forest. Stinking bin raiders. […]

No Stars | Kelly Mintzer

The phone lines stayed silent after the white out had passed, but on the fifth day, the spreading bloom of blood in the snow drew the neighbors outside, into the early thaw of an eager spring.  They had kept their noses pressed firmly to the windows, riveted after a week of stasis and cabin fever, by a gradual melt that became a flood, the memory of snow more potent for how quickly what took days to amass turned liquid and slid down the drains of the lucky and into the basements of everyone else.  […]

Akai Ito | Crescenda Long

To his credit, the man simply offers her a bland smile in return. It is, after all, as much a part of his uniform as the jacket is. She stares at the glossy row of brass buttons lining the front of the navy blue fabric, the small circles glinting in the weakening light. He probably polishes them every day, she thinks, a frown furrowing the pale skin between her dark eyes. Or his wife does. Rio can taste the thought, acerbic and bitter on the back of her tongue. […]

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