Issue Seventy, September 2015

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When the Bees Came, Abbey Kos
“I was there the day the bees showed up. One moment there was Reykjavik like I knew it, and then there were these noises, low and high, blending, tuneless. (It was the buzz, of course, the sound of their wings.) And then we saw them at the horizon, rising like old gods.”

Sue Nguyen Sees No Ghosts, Brandon Barrett
“They’d immigrated to San Francisco from Vietnam by way of Singapore. Mother, Father, Anh (later to call herself Sue), sister Diu, Grandmother, and maternal Aunt, all bunched atop each other in a dismal apartment across the street from the deli where Father worked. A hand-to-mouth existence, it would seem, but the real tragedy in Sue’s life was that she saw no ghosts.”

No One Died on the Moon, Keely Cutts
“Helena dreamed of her teeth falling out again. She woke with the lingering panic of crumbled molars and sharp-edged enamel cutting against her tongue. In the cold of space, she expected nightmares about the endless abyss or burning up under the unprotected sun, not speaking around the remnants of her mother’s hard-earned smile.”

Our Lady of Fire, Laura Hogan
“There is a man in the break room stirring glass cleaner into his coffee. He says his cup is stained. There are sixteen black and white photocopied portraits of Jesus on the walls of his cubicle. Security escorts him to the fountain in the courtyard, and I pound on the glass, afraid they will drown him for offending the Pharaoh.”

Loveteeth, Kathryn Michael McMahon
“The cheater’s wife decided on a course of divorce and revenge. She first learned to steer a boat and throw a harpoon, but that didn’t feel dangerous enough. She then learned to scuba dive, but disliked the mechanical octopus on her back. She turned to free diving and spearfishing. She knew she had made the right decision when she could stay underwater for ten minutes, twirling her hair like a mermaid, a mermaid years younger.”

Cover art: Japanese Snowy OctoBunny LULU, porcelain doll, ShirrStone Shelter