Here you’ll find merch, Issue #4 story excerpts, interviews, the issue’s Spotify playlist, & links to reviews. So take a look, and make sure you haven’t missed anything!
Killing someone thirty-three times oughta give you some familiarity with a guy.
My step-father, Reggie, stands in front of me, at the other end of the long, metal room, and I shoot him. Dead. He even bleeds convincingly. I still haven’t figured out how they do it—give you these avatars of the ones you used to love. Or maybe still love, in which case, you’re failing and will be stuck in this hellhole for the rest of your life. I can happily say I don’t love Reggie. Sounds bad, but I don’t really know him…
My parents’ farm has shrunk, as old things tend to do. The shed, the workshop, the paddock with its doubled wire fences and chicken coop — all squat and rain-blackened, coming into focus as I step from the car as if I have put on glasses or wiped rain from a window. The house itself stands straight-spined beyond the pear tree, gray in the drizzle, more withdrawn than the last time I visited. The tree has not changed: it towers above the house, branches spread wide, trunk split near the root.
Bab’s stomach growled for the third time in five minutes. “You were right,” she said, pushing away from her desk, “It’s time for a break.”
Summer classes meant papers and tests smashed close together. There was hardly time to get enough sleep, let alone shop on a regular basis. The only food in her dorm room was an orange. Bab picked it up and walked to her dresser, where the portrait of Barbara, her grandfather’s great-aunt, sat.
She put a segment in her mouth and gagged. “Sorry,” she said, spitting the fruit into her hand. Bab forced it down on the fifth attempt.
The summer is racing along, leaving Nicey and Riley in its rearview. The air is gone past crisp and into chilly in an obnoxious New England way where each new day could be eighty degrees and sunny or thirty degrees and damp. Days that previously would have dried the clothes on the line in hours have turned laundry into an all-day affair. Under her fingers little tee shirts are lightly damp at the seams and the jeans spaced around the outer lines are still far wetter than that despite hanging out there for hours already.
The airplane hatch opened and the Pearsons, with guns on their hips and jetpacks on their backs, gathered as a family to look out at the plantation.
They were flying low to the ground. Too low. The hot air whipped at their jumpsuits and the ground rushed beneath them at a frightening speed. Danielle, the youngest and smallest Pearson, stood between her father and her big brothers who were glued to the floor like big brown pillars, watching everything blur past. Danielle was shaking and sweating all over, from the bandana holding her braids back down to the soles of her feet.
Poem: JOURNEY OF THE DEAD // Resoketswe Manenzhe
Poem: ROOTWORK // Constance Collier-Mercado
Indie Spotlight – Milton Davis: Our self-published spotlight feature interview for this issue is with Milton Davis. A segment of book one of his MEJI duology, can be found in the ROOTS issue of FIYAH.