This literary journal is celebrating one year of publishing stories and modestly advertises itself as “The best new fiction on the web. Or anywhere else, for that matter.” The winter issue presents eight stories and an editor’s note giving a synopsis of their accomplishments to date. Certainly they have something to brag about when they state: “We’re developing something of a reputation around these parts. The word’s out that Freight Stories authors have published over 50 books, including finalists for the National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize and bestsellers.” They are also proud of the fact that they have brought the reader the work of first time and emerging writers, “just like we planned.”
All of the selections in this issue are well-constructed and worthy of attention. Perhaps my favorite was Jim Tomlinson’s “Angel, His Rabbit, and Kyle McKell,” a raw, in-your-face story about young female, her obnoxious boyfriend, a pet rabbit she does not want in the house, and a veteran of the Iraq war who shows up to re-connect their friendship and ends up showing her the grave wounds he received in service of his country. Another tough, no-holds-barred story is “Custody Bus” by Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, about a young woman from a broken home who sleeps with her ex-husband periodically and ruminates about her past as a measure of maintaining some feeling of stability and normalcy in a life that has left her all too vulnerable.
Also worthy of mention is “The Good Ex-Wife,” by Shasta Grant, a grim (Freight Stories is not inclined to levity or lightness, at least in this issue) portrayal of a divorced woman whose ex-husband shows up to take the children for his weekend visitation. She is angry and bitter about his philandering when they were married, leading to the ultimate dissolution of the marriage, and now she must face the loneliness of a weekend alone.
This is a well constructed website with archives easily found and readily available in PDF if one is so inclined. They publish only fiction, including novel excerpts and novellas, but no poetry or essays. One hopes they have many years of publishing left in their future.