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Cover
Table of Contents
Editor's Notes
Donations
Submission Guidelines
Website

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

Poetry
A Slave To Time
_ By Clyde Windjammer
Colour
_ 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
Mortality
_ 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

Requiem For An Author
By R. Holsen


They were all there, at the end, even if it did make the room very crowded. On the bed the dying old woman wheezed slightly, her closed eyes flickering open just for the briefest second. Several of the assembled figures looked nervous at that sign, but she only closed her eyes again and wheezed some more.

"What happens?" someone asked in a hushed voice, as though embarrassed to be breaking the sepulchral silence. "I mean, when she…"

"They go to heaven, or so they say," a faintly cultured accent from some western European country could be heard speaking above the thick silence in the room.

"No, I mean, to us…"

"Oh," was all the cultured voice said. It didn’t have an answer for her, and neither did the others gathered in the room.

On the bed the woman wheezed in an exceptionally loud breath, then coughed it out again. "Daniel… are you there?"

A man stepped forward, and the crowd parted to let him past. He knelt down by the dying woman’s bedside and patted her old, frail hand gently. "I’m here, love. We’re all here."

She smiled slightly, still not opening her eyes. "I know. I can feel you there." She chuckled, and it had a raspy and rattling quality to it. "I can feel you all there. But you’re not as loud as you usually are. Cat got your tongue?" And she laughed quietly again. Some of the group smiled, and some chuckled to themselves. Others frowned slightly, thinking the joke in poor taste, and perhaps it was. Daniel smiled.

"Cat’s here too, you know."

The woman chuckled again. "She would be."

The old woman did not speak again. It was another hour at least, perhaps two, before she died, but she never again regained consciousness. The man she had called Daniel held her hand until she died, and then he folded them gently upon her breast and stood up.

"So."

"So that’s that, then," a voice in the crowd said, anonymous.

"So now what happens?" the first voice wanted to know.

"I suppose we’ll find out," Daniel said quietly. They all stared at the dead woman, as though she had the answers, but of course she no longer did. Then again, she had never really had any of the answers in the first place. They had always had the answers to all her questions. She was just the one who wrote them down.

The nurses came. They recorded the time of death and prepared the body for transport.

Meanwhile, the gathered crowd returned to her house, unsure of what to do next. Somewhere along the way a few of them got lost, and this made the rest shift uneasily about the house, as though fearing that they, too, would be next. Many of them stayed. Daniel took charge of the younger ones, herding them like cats and making sure that they did not make too many alarming noises and startle the remaining group. He was, after all, the oldest among them.

After a few days the family arrived to take charge of “the effects.” Daniel rather thought that this was a silly term; weren’t they, after all, the effects? Them, and the house, and all the other things; they were all the effects of what she had done over sixty some-odd years. So, he supposed, perhaps the term was correct after all.

The family began to pack up her computer, her piles and piles of notebooks and notes. One of them, a young girl, sat down and began to page through the books.

"Don’t touch those, Meg. That’s hard-copy, and it’s not very durable." That would be her mother, Daniel thought. She spoke with the absent-minded tone of someone who is used to being obeyed because what she says is correct, of course. Meg ignored her with the usual air of an adolescent who is sure that she knows best.

"Ooohhh!" Meg squealed with delight, which made several of the others look up sharply. Some of them were already beginning to look faded around the edges. "Look!" The girl showed her parents the book excitedly. "It’s all the notes for Maelstrom!"

The father blinked a bit. "Aren’t you a little young to read Maelstrom?" he asked.

"Oh, horseshit." Daniel looked sharply at the speaker, although Meg hadn’t seemed to hear. "Well, it is. She was writing things more graphic than Maelstrom when she was at least as old as Meg." Daniel hushed the man and turned his attention back to the room.

"Look…" Meg said, holding up several computer disks. "I found these, too."

"Hmm. I wonder what’s on them." The mother put the first disk on the stack into the computer, started it up again, and waited. It ran through its routines, and then she pulled up the list of files on the disk. Then her eyes widened.

"What is it, Momma?" Meg leaned over her mother’s shoulder. Her father leaned over the other shoulder. "Let me see."

"Oh my…" was all her mother could say.

(Turn the page)