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

Stories & Essays
Copy Machine Repair Guy
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By D.E. Fredd
Corrupted Youth
_ By Kurt Kirchmeier
Dragon's Breath
_ By Lionel Cheng
Even the Damned Deserve to Love
_ By Anna Cortez
Gifts
_ By Jocelyn Johnson
House of Cards
_ By Steven J. Dines
In Doubt
_ By Stephanie Thoma
Lipstick
_ By Michelle Baron
Old Biddy
_ By Claire Nixon
Quinceañera
_ By Hester Young
The Fiddler and the Faerie
_ By Samantha Rae
When Barky Smiles
_ By S.E. Diamond

Poetry
2 A.M. Window Shopping
_ By Chris McGuffin
Alison
_ By Harriet O. Leach
Cloudy New Year's Morning
_ By Richard Fein
Not Easy
_ By Samantha Ogust
On Hearing Li-Young Lee Read His Poetry
_ By Foster Dickson
Prelude and Coda
_ By Richard Fein
Rainy Night Meditation
_ By Harriet O. Leach
Retreat
_ By Richard MacAleese
Silage Team--Machete Thirst
_ By Leland Jamieson
Starlight
_ By Richard MacAleese
Stolen Phone
_ By Jorge Jameson
The Abandoned Playground
_ By Richard MacAleese
Thought Provoking Baked Crescent
_ By Chris McGuffin

Art & Photography
Daniel Bravo
_ Paintings
Tove Hedengren
_ Photography
Peter Huettenrauch
_ Photography
E. Hunting
_ Drawings and Digital Art
Robin McQuay
_ Drawings
Iris Onica
_ Paintings
Pete Revonkorpi
_ Digital Art
Roy Wangsa
_ Photography

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In Doubt
By Stephanie Thoma


If there is a God.

If there is a God that made the whole universe.

The whole universe: time and space, the laws of physics that hold them together, all those stars and solar systems and black holes, and all those planets, including our own.

If there is a God that made all that, including our planet.

Our planet: with all its flowers and birds, its worms and ticks and fleas, its cats and dogs, its horses and dolphins, its seas and lakes and rivers, mountains and deserts, and all its peoples.

If there is a God that made all those peoples.

All those men and women: from the first Homo Erectus to the last Homo Sapiens, every man and every woman and every child; black, beautiful, white, yellow, red, ugly, smart, stupid, funny, loving.

If there is such a God.

So all-powerful, so all-knowing.

Why would such a God regard any kind of love between consenting adults as sin?

Presumably it was that God, that all-powerful, all-knowing God that created people just the way they are. Every single one.

And...

Why should such a God care if we eat lobster or if we go to church?

If there is such a God, I guess It would care that we do love, and that we do live, that we do not hurt one another, but that we do respect each other and also that we treat the rest of Its creation with respect.

When I look at the stars, when I look at the blossoms in springtime, when I cuddle my cat, when I lie in the arms of my husband, I think I believe in God. I feel there is something good, something alive, something alove that is in everything and holds even the tiniest sand flea in Its ineffable hand.

When I read the Bible, I can read many things in this book of all books:

I can read about how a woman should keep her head covered while praying (1. Corinthian 11:5) and about kisses of love that taste better than wine (Solomon 1:2). I can read about how missionaries of other religions should be stoned to death (5. Moses 13:6-10) and how sinners will never inherit the kingdom of God (1. Corinthian. 6:9, 10). I can read about how I will be judged just the way I judge others (Matthew 7:2) and about how only those who are without sin ought to call another person a sinner: "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her." (John 8:7)

There is so much in the Bible.

Maybe even God.

But when I hear how some people use this book, "the Word of God," how they use it to draw lines, to put themselves above others, how they use it as a weapon against things and persons they don't like or things and persons they fear or things and persons they don't understand, how they use it to simplify difficult questions...

...Then I think sometimes, if that is what God is, only those words, words that wound, words that segregate and separate...

...Then I'm not sure if I want to have anything to do with such a God even if it exists.

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STEPHANIE THOMA is qualified to work as a lawyer and holds a Bachelor's Degree in political sciences and history. She is married with two cats and lives in Bavaria, Germany. Currently she is starting her own business as an infobroker and working on her first novel.

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