Umbrology – Brian McNely

I stepped off the plane in Helsinki – airport code HEL – and found a restroom. Standing at a urinal, I heard birdsong piped through overhead speakers: odd, soothing, out of place. The train to downtown Helsinki departs from a giant, cool tunnel many meters below street level. The platform is nearly empty. Massive faux-tapestries…

Two Cultures, Again – Kate Venables

I am a student in a creative writing programme, a mature student, from a professional background as an epidemiologist. Amongst ourselves, we students don’t really talk about ‘creativity’. We talk a lot about craft and sometimes we talk about ourselves and the way in which how we feel affects our writing. But rarely about ‘creativity’…

Dances with Rabbits – Walker Thomas

I stood under the alligator juniper that shaded my tent in the oak woods. Effie squatted between my feet. In The Maltese Falcon, Sam Spade called his receptionist Effie. But the Effie at my feet was no lady. I called her F. E. Cottontail in my journals. Cottontails are coprophagous – literally, Fecal Eating. That…

Missing Woman – Katie Hunter

In early October 2020, my partner Greg and I drove at sunrise to Zion National Park in southern Utah. On the way I swigged coffee and snapped photos of sandstone cliffs dip-dyed red by the sun. They dwarfed what I’d imagined while planning our pandemic-adapted vacation – a national park tour via road trip, starting…

Lemons – Victory Witherkeigh

“You made it, Grandma!” I said as I gave her a hug. The gold tassel swished in my face from the graduation cap I hadn’t removed yet. “I’ve been to all your graduations, Iha,” she replied in a huff, “And, I’ll be at the next one.” I gripped her hand as she steadied herself with…