Here you’ll find merch, Issue #13 story excerpts, interviews, the issue’s Spotify playlist, & links to reviews. So take a look, and make sure you haven’t missed anything!
Artwork by Steffi Walthall
* – author debut
Hear this, see this—the sky was a’flash with lightning, thunder clapping and rain coming down in buckets, cats and dogs and opossums. The gutters in East Point were already clogged with leaves and sticks. Water gushed out onto the street, dark and dirty, full of debris, frustrating cars and their drivers. People caught out in the storm hurried into nearby stories, into their cars or huddled beneath awnings, and people inside looked out at the tempest, commented to themselves, to whoever was nearby. This was some rain alright, some mighty rain. All the while, the water rushed and flowed, beat at the trees, beat at the concrete, the asphalt, filled and filled and flooded.
1906, Louisa County, Virginia
I was there when the things came up out of her.
The girl—Maddie and ‘em’s youngest named Heddy—choked and gagged them right out of herself, retching long and loud. Beetles and bugs and even a small black garter snake wriggled its way on through. All them things fell on the ground writhing and scuttling away. She had on this nice yellow dress since, after all, we was at a get-together. It didn’t stay nice for long with that black mess spewing out all over. Everyone else just stood there in their Sunday best looking on with their mouths open, their eyes wide. Some of the ladies hollered. One fainted dead away. Even the menfolk gasped and let loose an Oh Lord here and there.
You wring your hands, cold and clammy and rough. Skin of teeth, salty with sea brine cuts into the humanlike fat of your palms, and you stare down the edge of oblivion. The wind whips you, sings to you. A full, fat, yellow moon casts a sultry pall over the water, the light disappearing into its mirror image on the sea. You take one step, then another. The blue hole sings its deep, droning song, and what can you do? Resist?
When the cop car makes a U-turn and starts tailing me, I know I’m in deep shit. I shake back my hoodie and slow my pace. No use running. Nav tells me six blocks stretch between me and the safe house. Too far. Can’t risk it. I blink twice to activate my livestream, and send the encrypted feed straight to my personal server. Just in case, I tag Vee, Machine, even Mar—though my twin won’t see it for days, and when she does, she’ll be pissed. If shit goes down—and I have hella contraband on me, so it might—I want a recording. I want evidence they can’t spin.
Won’t do much, but it’s something.
Poem: “Aliens Visit the Caribbean” by Terese Mason Pierre