The House by the Banyan Tree

Ahimaz Rajessh

 

 

Seven decades ago
(one September)
a storm swept a solitary house
into the dense woods that had roots
deep underneath the red earth
rendering the house a blasted mess
of concrete and wood.

As the family left (having returned and picked
up what was intact), the girl —
having noticed (and having wished) a floating dandelion
settle on the same spot the house once stood —
stopped, so did her brother.

‘Yamma, look,’ she said,
‘the house is growing.’

If the future is made out of the past
and the present, the past cannot ever
not be present, the present is the ever-passing
past (or so the parents thought) then how is one
to have a firm handle on the present?

They did not look back.

When the children called again and looked
back, they were poof — gone.

The parents (it’s said)
were transformed into
the pillars of the house
the dandelion built.

The perplexed children
who ran into the house
were never seen again.

The girl (it’s also said)
climbed the banyan tree
in the vicinity to the very
top of its roots and the boy
who ran through the weeds
into the woods grew up to found
the mobile House of Flux.

 

 

 

 

AHIMAZ RAJESSH, a Best of the Net and Pushcart nominee, has been published in Jellyfish Review, The Airgonaut, Nanoism, Strange Horizons, Pidgeonholes, 7×20, Cuento, 200 CCs, Flapperhouse, Malaigal, Thalam, Manal Veedu and Padhaakai. His writing is forthcoming in Milkfist, Liminality, Surreal Poetics and unFold.

Call for Submissions: Happy Endings

Now What?

Now what?

We know it’s not “cool” or “literary,” but we’re suckers for a happy ending. (Not that kind, pervert.) While we appreciate a good bloodbath finale or gothic tale of woe as much as the next forest-dwelling cryptid, this particular issue will feature stories that leave us feeling as warm and fuzzy as this melted butterscotch we just found in the pocket of our sweatpants.

Anything goes in terms of genre for this one, including narrative poetry, if that’s your thing. Science fiction, horror, and other genres where happy endings are comparatively rare would really schmear the sesame bagel of our heart—and it can be done; see Seanan McGuire’s “Each to Each” or Joe Hill’s “20th Century Ghost.” Really, though, we just want to be delighted. The details are up to you.

Remember, a dark story can have a happy ending (but please avoid the items on our “nope” list). And not all happy endings are hugs and smoochies and riding off into the sunset; conclusions involving death, destruction, or giant spiders could be considered happy, depending on the circumstances. That being said, we’re looking for more than schadenfreude here, so give us at least one character we can root for.

There are a lot of terrible things happening in the world, right now and always. Remind us that good things happen, too. Drain the vinegar of despair from our soul and fill it with the rainbow sprinkles of joy.

Length: Up to 4200 words for stories; up to 100 lines total for poetry. Flash fiction is welcome.

Deadline: Midnight on March 1, 2018. Final decisions will be made by March 14 (most submitters can expect to hear from us much sooner). Accepted Happy Endings stories and poems will be published in April 2018 as our 100th issue.

Ready? Head on over to Submittable!

Born on the 5th of July

JDP cover July 2017Pop them tabs (or bust out them bottle-opener keyrings, if you only drink craft brews named after local landscape features), throw something on the grill, and kick back with our ninety-first issue. It’s got tricksy wordplay and trusty appliances. It has short-form sci-fi poetry. It also has a tentacular Christmas story, because we don’t adhere to society’s rigid and confining seasonal norms. And remember: in space, no one can hear you float.

Slap it online or tickle the .pdf.

P. S. You’ve got until Friday’s end to send us your Victorian mash-ups in prose or verse!