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

Stories & Essays
Balance
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By Alison Baumy
Contemporary Cultural Differences...
_ By Ninni Siurua
Eclipsed Yesterdays
_ By Clyde Windjammer
Healthy Guy
_ By David J. LeMaster
Immortalis Letum
_ By Sophie Davis
Last Call For Salvation
_ By Angela P. Markham
My Fault
_ By Ro Thorton
Pacific Northwest
_ By Aaron Hellem
Q-Q Ca Choo
_ By Billy Pilgrim
The Best Laid Plans
_ By John A. Ward
The Ecstasy of Cooking
_ By Sam Nolting
The Girl With the Green Umbrella
_ By J.R. Earlebeck
The Gods of Houston
_ By Rebekah Frumkin

Poetry
Athena's Owl
_ By Amberly Mason
But I Have Never Known This
_ By Kaleen Love
Clouds On Your Floor
_ By Savannah Bobo
Crowded Lobby
_ By M. Blair Spiva
Ever After
_ By Bennie Johnson
Important Questions
_ By P.T. Bell
Migration
_ By Sarah Wassberg
Moon Goddess
_ By Kristina Diane Smith
Oldest Profession
_ By Ashley Polker
On Visiting Hay-on-Wye
_ By M. Blair Spiva
Sodom and Gomorrah
_ By Jessica Fannin
Wal-Mart
_ By P.T. Bell

Art & Photography
Jeremy Harker
_ Paintings
Douglas C. Knight
_ Photography
Jed Knox
_ Paintings and Drawings
May Ann Licudine
_ Paintings
Danny Malboeuf
_ Paintings
Alex Stanbury
_ Photography

Q-Q Ca Choo
By Billy Pilgrim


It turns out that we’re all going to die in 2014. I came upon this lovely tidbit of information in Mr. Lammert’s Astronomy class and decided to look into it. After all, it’s not every day that a 1.2 kilometer-wide asteroid hits the Earth.

They call it “2003 Q-Q 47.” It was spotted in June of 2003 at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California. The asteroid has been given something called a “Tarino hazard rating of 1” meaning it merits “careful monitoring.” I am not entirely sure who Tarino is. Maybe he’s the sharp intellect who leaked Q-Q 47 to the media, and instead of issuing a pay cut, NASA is forcing him stare at it for the next ten years. Way to go, buddy.

An asteroid of this size is not big enough to, say, crack the earth in half. However, it will cause catastrophic local damage and widespread global damage. Anyone lucky enough to be at ground zero when it hits will be instantly charred as the oxygen in our air incinerates. Massive shockwaves will reverberate across the ground, or, if the asteroid hits the ocean, tidal waves will completely flood neighboring coasts. Either upon impact or during the ensuing “impact winter,” where crops will wither and disease will run rampant, the average human will sustain a 1 in 20,000 chance of dying. Cooking in a human barbeque or wasting away through plague and starvation; neither prospect sounds tempting.

At first I was horrified. In a decade, in just ten short revolutions around the sun, the world as we know it will end! But then I started researching and realized that movies like Deep Impact and Armageddon really don’t do global catastrophes any justice. It may seem that being incinerated is gruesome—that the practical decimation of a prosperous species in a single instant is unjust and cruel… but is it, really? Frankly, I think that this intergalactic chunk of apocalypse will solve all our problems.

Are you drowning in debt? Are you constantly hassled by credit card companies? Don’t take out that second mortgage on your house, silly! You don’t need to pay back a penny of what you owe. Q-Q 47 is ten times better than any debt-consolidation management. Once it hits, your debt will be instantly erased in a tidal wave of fire and debris. And if you’re lucky, you may live to dance on your bankers’ graves.

Feel like you’re in a worthless dead-end job? Stop sucking up to your boss—quit. Go live off the land somewhere deep in the mountains. Get in touch with nature while it’s still there. And most importantly, don’t worry about paying your smart-alecky kids through medical school. They’re not going to get there!

Do you find yourself constantly worrying about the environment? Don’t use plastic instead of paper, don’t carpool, and don’t recycle. Forget about global warming, the thinning ozone layer above Australia, the depleted natural resources, and acid rain. All that silliness will be nothing to worry about once our space wonder comes a-knocking. Trust me. The acid rain will only get worse. Massive amounts of carbon dioxide launched into the atmosphere by the explosion will guarantee a global toasting. Conveniently, the thinned ozone layer may reduce atmospheric friction and actually help Q-Q get here faster.

Here’s what I suggest. Stop worrying about the debilitating problems of the everyday world. Go out and enjoy your last ten years on earth. When impact time rolls around, plan a party. Bring some snazzy sunglasses to protect against the blinding glare. Get a bottle of expensive champagne. You may want to consider stealing it to save yourself the hassle of last-minute expenses. Also, remember to bag a lunch, because no one likes a hungry grouch ruining their Armageddon party. It’ll be great.

Oh, and one more thing. Make sure you lock your front door before you head off to the party, so your house isn’t burglarized in the event that Q-Q 47 doesn’t hit. Unfortunately, there’s only a 1 in 909,000 chance that it will.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go recycle my pop cans, return my sunglasses, and file for bankruptcy.


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