Issue 25 Fiction
Flame at Door and Raisin
by Alex M. Frankel
angie? it’s marilyn. I wanted to find out how you were coping. Haven’t talked to you since the funeral, but you’ve been on my mind an awful lot. It’s Friday, three o’clock. Do give me a call back when you get a chance! We don’t have so very much to report, except that Fred was reaching for a cherry in our cherry tree when his back went out. They ran tests and discovered he’s got what they call spinal stenosis, which we’ve learned is a narrowing at the bottom of the spine. He’s been doing a course of medication and exercise, and it’s paid off: last week he finally got back to playing golf. Twice a week, he still makes the strenuous drive into Harrisburg.
by Carol Guess and Kelly Magee
once, a woman fell in love with a snake handler. She drove out to the country to visit him in a church that was a trailer. There were fire ants in the driveway, mannequins in the yard. The handler was the only one inside except for the snakes. His arms were covered in scars. The woman said, I heard you teach people. The handler switched on an orange light so the woman would see the snakes sleeping in glass aquariums along the chapel walls: pit viper, diamondback, cottonmouth, copperhead. He took the woman’s hand and pressed it to the glass. Forced his hand inside an open tank and held it there until the copperhead struck. Showed her how to cut open the wound and suck out the poison. The problem with most people is they don’t know the right way to get bit.