The World As It Could Be

By on Dec 23, 2017 in Cuttings, Fiction | Comments Off

They lay on the hood of Joe’s car, Joe and Tom, and stared at the cloudy sky.  Shapes rolled past overhead, spirals and angles of white, words written across the dawning blue.  They read what the sky had to say, content for a time just to lie still. After a while, Tom spoke up.  The dreams were troubling him again.  Joe was the only one who would even listen.  If Tom didn’t say something, he would burst; if he said something to the wrong person, they’d label him crazy. “I had more dreams, Joe.” “Why am I not surprised?  Weird ones, like...

Read More

The Red Panda

By on Jul 19, 2017 in Fiction | 4 comments

I don’t breed well in captivity. This is a problem, because I live in a cage. Although I enjoy telling other animals that I was born in the wild, the truth is that I’ve been in one cage or another for as long as I can remember. I have some very vague recollections of the wild that feel like a scene from a dream, everything was dark green and scary. But my first clear memories are of the zoo back in Nebraska where I had spent most of my life. My current cage is the most frustrating one I’ve been in yet. The female they have me with, Shama, is not my type at all. I was talking about this...

Read More

The First Minutes

By on Jul 16, 2017 in Fiction | Comments Off

Something is different; something is not right. Gone is the wonderful warm floating and the world is collapsing in on itself – in on me. Upside down, I feel gravity’s first insistent pull. For the last few hours I have felt what should be called beforeshocks, each amplifying in intensity; constricting. The biggest yet grips, and with it this time I am squeezed downwards. I feel a presence at the heart of this, closing in on me, outreaching when the quaking occurs, but this quickly passes. And then there is light below me, bright white and red. I can feel it course through the crown of my...

Read More

The Weightlifters

By on Mar 12, 2017 in Fiction | Comments Off

The Northfield High weightlifting team needed bodies.  Of the original ten-man team, six had been cut, busted with fake IDs up at the Pleasureland strip club off the highway.  One guy dropped out after knocking up a sophomore, and another guy quit after getting pinned to the drop floor accordion-style under a ninety-kilo snatch without a spotter around to pull it off his neck.  Connor decided to try out for the team, because it’d keep him out of the house when his stepfather got home.  He was running out of basement sheetrock—five fresh holes punched last Thursday...

Read More

A Vegetarian Backslidden

By on Feb 12, 2017 in Fiction, Humor | Comments Off

On the seventh day God rested, so Sunday dinner was up to Lucifer. While chewing enthusiastically and explaining to his angels that, for much of the beginning of human history, his most confusing creation would believe their planet was not only flat but the center of the universe (to hearty chuckles all around) God ate in contentment. But, towards the end of the meal, the creator abruptly began to brood. Seeing his lord staring off, his hairy jaws full but no longer moving, Gabriel asked what was wrong. “Well,” God both swallowed and answered hesitantly. “It’s the food.” “Oh, I...

Read More

The Broken Cross

By on Feb 12, 2017 in Fiction | Comments Off

This is the long-awaited conclusion to a piece first run by Wild Violet on September 24, 2010. While it was never our intention to wait so long to run the second installment of John Hitchner’s piece, sometimes real life intervenes. In this case, I had just brought home my newborn baby, and was in the midst of “baby boot camp.” By the time we resumed our production schedule, my baby-frazzled brain completely overlooked the fact that we had not run the second installment. While going through old files, I was recently reminded of the omission. So here, at long last, it is! ~...

Read More