Table of Contents
Editor's Notes
Submission Guidelines

Stories & Essays
A Wedding Toast For Daddy's Little Girl
By Miriam N. Kotzin
_ By Debbi Pless
_ By Rachel Miller
_ By Julie Jordan
Hearts Without Armor
_ By Angela P. Markham
Mental Constipation and Brain Vomit
_ By Winnie Khaw
My Best Subject
_ By Ashley Polker
_ By Samantha Rae
Requiem For An Author
_ By R. Holsen
Sometimes It Pours Only Dogs
_ By Saana Tykkä
The Black Tape
_ By Brad Jashinsky

A Slave To Time
_ By Clyde Windjammer
_ By Kaleen Love
Death By My Lover
_ By Jessica Tempestad
I Am A Pineapple
_ By Rachel Miller
Lament For the Lost Soldier
_ By Melissa Augeri
Laundry Arcade
_ By Ashley Polker
Left Silent To Dream of Wine
_ By Kaleen Love
_ By Henry Grieves
Ode To Microsoft Spell Cheque
_ By Arielle Demchuk
Reminiscent of Society As An Individual
_ By Henry Grieves
Ship's Cook
_ By Heather Inwood
The Phoenix
_ By Kaleen Love
The Raven and the Dove
_ By Melissa Augeri
Train Dreamer
_ By Heather Inwood 

Art & Photography
S. Camargo
_ Photography and Drawings
David C. Clarke
_ Photography
Wiltekirra Samaxionn
_ Photography
Anca Sandu
_ Paintings
Austin Tanney
_ Photography
Ray Tsang
_ Paintings
Mark Warren
_ Photography

Sometimes It Pours Only Dogs
By Saana Tykkä

It is raining, like it has been raining since yesterday.

It is raining; it has rained since yesterday, the day before yesterday, and day before that. I wish it wouldn't rain so hard, not so much. I have a dog to take care of, you know. It messes my home otherwise, the wet dog and its filthy paws. It messes my clean, polished windows, the rain. I just washed them so that they sparkled in the morning light. They sparkle not anymore.

It rains, and I sit in the office and stare at the grey sky.

I wish it wouldn't rain.

I returned home on Sunday, and in the middle of the journey it started to rain. In the middle of the road, I suddenly found myself in the midst of the withering storm. And the rain was hitting so hard against the car's front window, I didn't see a thing. The dog was sitting next to my driver's seat on its carrying case; it was sitting next to me; and it dreamt. I saw its eyelids softly quaver as we drove through the wet landscape and out of the town.

From time to time, she raised her head and stared at me with her dark and pleading eyes, and I noticed my hand involuntary moving to caress her soft brown fur. It was my grandmother's dog, the one that stays in my home and now waits for me to take her out into the summer's rain.

My grandmother died two weeks ago, and I was in her funeral just a few days ago. I cried there, and now the tears I shed won't come to an end.

No other was willing to take care of our now dead grandmother's dog, and as I watched her dark and sad eyes, I suddenly spoke out loud: "I can take her." Which kind of surprises me, for I hate dirt, and dogs are dirty, and she could dirty my home. But now I have a dog in my home, waiting for me to return. Last night she slept between my legs, and I didn't sleep at all.

I think about the funeral, and my family. I watched them as they sat on a bench before me. I remember my grandmother, who died, and whose funeral I was at. I cried as the cellist was playing behind the chapel a song we had sung in my uncle's funeral two years ago, and I remembered him. Then I remembered my other uncle, who had died in the same summer along with him. I miss them.

I watched as my father stood up, and I followed him next to the coffin. He lowered the bucket down, and spoke his farewell to his mother he had never loved. Then it was my turn, and as I placed the single white rose next to the bucket of my father. I didn't find a word, I just cried. I left the memorial, tears falling down from my eyes.

It started to rain immediately afterwards, and it is raining still.

Now I sit in an empty office, and I stare out the window for the droplets that wash away the other droplets that had landed on the ground before them. I watch as the clean water from the sky makes the world look so dull, and I think about the dog that is waiting for me in my clean home so that I would take her out and let her mess my floor.

She slept last night between my legs, quivering from fright as the lightning flashed through the night sky, and kept me awake. Now my eyes won't stay awake, and I numbly follow the world that's slowly turning into one giant grey and messy mud hole. I wish I could go out and let the rain wash me clean. I wish I would melt away along with the rain like the clammy soil of the ground.

I think about my grandmother's funeral, and the tears that I let loose there. I remember my grandmother the way she was, and that I never loved her. I miss my uncles, but I don't miss her. I remember my father never liked her either, and I remember how she hated him, her own son. I think of how I hated her, and how she hated me. We never got along, and she didn't leave anything to me. And yet I took her dog.

But now I'm crying. Not because I love her, but because I have no one to hate anymore, and because she was my grandmother, and the mother of my father. I grieve over the fact that I have lost her, because losing her means my father could be next. I watched him in the memorial; my father, and my mother by his side, and I felt so old as I saw them standing there in the funeral. When did they become old? When did I become old? I'm not young anymore, and my parents won't live forever.

I hate funerals. They mean death, and death means inheritance, and inheritance means money, and money means fighting. I hate fights, and I hate funerals because they always mean fights. I don't like funerals, nor do I like weddings, for they remind me how old I have become. I am over forty by now, and still single. My mother always sighs after the fact that I'm not married. She never approved of my choice over the matter, but she can't see that I'm just waiting for the right one. In the meantime I keep my home clean, and my sheets unblemished.

Some might say I'm picky, but I'm only waiting.

It's just that no one beside myself has slept on those sheets I kept so clean for such a long time.

So now I sit in the office and stare out the window, and I think.

My world is untarnished, but now it is raining and my father is old.

As I leave the office, the rain falls down on me. The dog is waiting for me, and I must take her out. I walk toward my home, and the rain keeps on pouring down. I stop and raise my eyes, and aim them toward the towering stormy sky above me. My grandmother's dog is waiting for me, and she will mess my floor. My sheets aren't unblemished anymore, and they are full of the soft brown hair of that dog.

It is raining still, but in the horizon I see a break in the clouds.

I smile.

I know tomorrow is going to be a beautiful day.



SAANA TYKKÄ studies social science history at the University of Helsinki. She knows Pablo Neruda's poems by heart and loves the old Star Wars movies. Her life consists mostly of cycling through the Finnish countryside, listening to music, writing, reading, and spending time with her friends and family.