This issue has so many good stories, it is a shame that only a few can be singled out. Most interesting perhaps is “An Honest Man” by Doug Rudoff, which begins, “The first thing you should know is that everything that I write here is a lie.” The author then takes us on the journey of a young boy’s life in Mexico, some of which is supposedly true, but we’re never sure what. Another engaging story is “Blink” by Chuck Campbell, about an eighty-one year old widower, his stubbornness, his relationship with his son, and the man’s eroding ability to separate fact from fantasy.
Some of the flash fiction in this edition contains intriguing story lines that are brought to conclusion a bit too soon, causing one to wonder if further development would have improved them. J. R. Angelella in “You Wake Up And The Virgin Mary Statue On Your Dresser Is Crying Blood” gives six rather humorous versions of a story using this title as the opening line. The instructions for writing a story with this title are weighty: “You should mention whores and booze and drugs and cigarettes in your story, but I don’t want to influence you.” “The Sentence” by Elaine Chiew concerns a young woman living in one of those proverbial apartments with paper thin walls where you can hear everything your neighbors do: “The trickle of her pee, the flush of their water pipes, the settle of their bed.” Furthermore, the couple next door is hypersexual: “It enrages me that they’ve turned their bedroom into a boudoir reeking of wet squirrel.” Ah, the good old days of poverty and intimacy with our low-class, multi-orgasmic neighbors. The memories . . .
Also in this edition are interviews with writers and poets, three pieces of creative non-fiction, five book reviews, two “experimental” pieces, and selections from a novel. With so much material presented each month, this ezine suffers from inconsistency in its quality. Nonetheless, there is a vast variety of material to choose from, and none of it is dull or stuffy.