Issue Fifty-three, April 2014

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Del, We’re Sorry, Please Stop, Betsy Streeter
“We took you down in a wheelbarrow, head first. You stared up at us, or you would have if your lids hadn’t been covered over with stones. I thought you might like having the sun on your face so we left it sticking out.”

Natural Birth, Charlie Fiset
“As if trying to escape the savagery, a single intact yolk slid down the sloping floor towards the backdoor, dragging itself through the gory path of its own amniotic food. Julie videoed its progress. She got down on her hands and knees, transfixed. A long, ropy white cord slid after the yolk like a streamer — like it was wearing a raccoon-tail hat. She wondered if it would have been the spinal cord.”

Them Oranges, Nicole Wolverton
“The sun heated the crown of her head, magnifying the heavy aroma. Another gale led Lettie to the road, and some intuition — a prick of recognition — turned her to the west, to the oak-heavy forest and the barely discernible paths within. She walked, following her nose, the nudges from within her belly. She would eat. She and the baby, they’d both eat.”

The Strangler Fig Slide, Ben Pullar
“It was that sort of afternoon, getting headaches, having to deal with slugs all over my body. I was driving my big green Ford along a wet road, feeling very glum, and was just about to give up hope of anything good ever happening again when I saw the strangler fig slide. It appeared in the rainy windshield like a frozen broccoli. Five hundred metres of steaming waterfalls and carpet snakes hissing at wasps, it shimmered with magical life.”

Cover art: Anguish, Isabella Petty

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