No. 2 February 2017
Who are the fallen leaves? They are angels and they are monsters. They are friends, wives, mothers, and lovers. They are rainbows and falling stars. They are all around us. They are within us.
Some are bitter and cold and they crush in your hands on a cold winter day. Some are warm and colorful and invite you into their homes. But none last forever.
The stories this month are about our choices. Who will our friends be? What changes will we go through? What might we destroy, or what might destroy us? All stories. All choices. All leaves.
As a publisher, it occurred to me that writers experiment with storytelling. They try different voices, different styles, different characters, seeing what works best for them on paper. And so it is with life, a constant experiment.
We all are the fallen leaves. In the end, you make your own story. Don’t let the story make you.
Welcome to Fallen Leaves.
D. S. White
I am . . . invisible. I listen as you argue about who will have to care for me when I’m ﬁnally discharged. It may end up that I won’t get out of here anyway. I have an inkling to simply die this afternoon say, before dinner. My breath, labored yet steady, continues to expand in my lungs.
By Joanie Chevalier
The Flowers Beyond the Marsh
The troll made his way through the bog, his short legs sinking into the deep, suction-like mud. He held up his lantern, those small gusts of wind that were successful in navigating through the wooded marshlands disturbing the small ﬂame burning within.
By Sam Claussen
Saturdays I visit Louisa’s grave with a three-pound hammer and ﬂowers. Hibiscus, her favorite. Disappointment has a smell. It’s soaked into my pores, like the smell of eight hundred thousand Luckies in Louisa’s leathery skin. She had a deep regret for giving birth to me.
By Manuel Royal
Yao pulled his shirt oﬀ and used it to wipe the sweat from his face and neck. But he didn’t stop walking the narrow mountain path. There was no time for rest. He had to make it to the Old Temple before sundown.
By Julia Proud
Betrayal of the Mind
She was a wonderful liar, that much is true, but I am an exceptional liar. I follow her down the sidewalk; I don’t think she notices me. If she did she would not be walking so calmly right now.
By Jacqueline Scifres
Out of breath and soaking wet, Sven hurried into the maternity clinic. At the far end of the waiting room, he saw his wife, an oval-shaped woman taking almost half of a cushioned bench seat—short white-blonde hair, lavender eyes, and pale translucent skin.
By L. S. Hicks
She looks in the mirror and sees somebody diﬀerent staring back. She doesn’t recognise him. His cheeks are rounded and cracked in mirrored scales. His eyes, wide and golden, leak a steady stream of tears down to a vent in the middle of his face.
By Barry GJ Quinn
By Justin Kern
With Sam Claussen
Photo Credit: M. H. Vesseur, www.mhvesseur.com