Where the Wind Blows

PART 1 of 4:  Bad Burrito.  Filming.  Last Year.  Martinsburg, West Virginia. I’m sitting in a harshly lit lobby of a Comfort Inn, in West Virginia, at a tall table with chairs too short for it made out of particle board and vinyl, eating a

Oh, Why Did I Eat the Ribs?

A Surreal Culinary Nightmare at 30,000 Feet It was just after the final security checkpoint at Ngurah Rai International Airport when the cold sweat kicked in on a warm, humid September evening. Two weeks of stunning Indonesian sunsets along the west coast of Bali were

Pancakes & Promises

As his eyes opened, it felt like a regular Tuesday to the young man, another anonymous morning, of equal estrangement from his life across the ocean as the night before had been. The bustle of activity outside the door betrayed that normality, however, as the

The Lobster

Our house, a colonial building with high ceilings and enormous hardwood doors, had been in my mother’s family since her great-grandparents’ generation, since long before the revolution. It was a fantastic house, with heavy shutters on each window that completely blacked it out at night,

Home I’ll Never Be

I arrived in Tuscaloosa earlier this evening, by way of Birmingham. Tuesday night. My day began a country mile east of Atchafalaya, in the heart of Old Louisianne. My shoe leather was worn thin, so I put my thumb out at first light, hoping for

The Seven Gables

“What other dungeon is so dark as one’s own heart! What jailer so inexorable as one’s self!” ― Nathaniel Hawthorne, The House of the Seven Gables 1. When I was nine years old, I had a dream that I couldn’t wake up from. My parents


She arrived to camp on Monday afternoon with my two closest friends on the playa, a mischievous polyamorous couple from Tucson. It was Coconut’s first burn and within the hour she had joined us on an LSD-fueled bike ride through the still-emerging city of dust


Back in June, on the day of the California Primary, I rode my bike down Micheltorena Street to Sunset Boulevard into the heart of Silverlake, and I caught Bernie Sanders giving out handshakes like they were going out of style. Turns out they were…  Going out


My mouth woke me up. It was wide open, resting on old carpet decorated with last night’s party, covering the floor of a decades-old RV in the middle of a desert. For reasons related to the mess on the floor, the camper’s door, like my

Endless Summer

I’m thirty-one, still have most of my looks, and the summer is endless. I start my routine around 4 pm. First, I lay my uniform out on my bed, feed my dog, and then slip into the shower while she eats. Then I shave, put

Between the Lines

The first two lines are always the best. I wish someone had told me that up front, though I doubt it would have stopped me. The anticipation that comes from seeking a connection, picking up, and making your way home with a little bag of

The Infallibility Booth

The candy-striped envelope had arrived URGENT post-marked August 21st 2085, the day after his thirtieth birthday. He hadn’t been surprised and when his neighbor caught sight of the telltale mail, she’d smiled at him reassuringly as if to say, “This is probably for the best,

Only What I Remember

I. Slug Dive Wake up slug. Time to dream. Let’s chat in space, let’s suspend. A casual leap into gravity like you tasted the glass eye and dove like a slug. You wanted to. You said let’s go. So you did and I had no

Birth of the Mother

“…WHEREAS, the women of the United States are to be commended and supported in their organizations and activities…” -Joint Resolution of Congress, 1971 Designating August 26 of each year as Women’s Equality Day I am a witness. I have seen the power of woman. It


You are sitting in the window of your apartment smoking a cigarette like you have so many times before and you think it bothers your roommate, but you do it anyway. There are people shuffling outside at the bus stop and the bus is late again, but

Star-Lite Siesta

“Some people, and I am one of them, hate happy ends. We feel cheated. Harm is the norm. ”                                            – Vladimir Nabokov 1. My mother kept a journal, and she used to say that writing it all down was a mild form of

Wandering the Western Womb

The hungry sense for travel, Universal in its draw, Stirs souls of every color, age, Faith, appetite and call. O’er middling plains, towards Eastern shores, Or westward mountain steep, The itch to move is scratched anew By those who seek the sea. As peaks peer

This Must Be the Place

I loathe this place. I’ve never understood it. But they kept telling me it had changed. There are bars with mixologists, not ‘cheeky vimtos’, along with ‘pop-up’ burger places with food that comes in baskets and drinks that come in jam jars. Just like the

American Funk

My landlord taught me something the other day, “It’s all about the blues, Chris. America is about the blues.” He was telling me this old truth and he was kicking his right foot back and forth, left and right toe taps on my driveway, with


Years of self-punitive restraint have rendered her devoid of fat. The Orange County type rolls up her Botox-branded yoga mat and tucks it into her armpit, awkwardly shifting her rather ample breast implants right into my line of sight. Which is fine. It keeps me

Twisted Days

9:32 am It was a grey-green Thursday and I awoke to the sound of banging, like the crackle of a wrench on sewer pipe. Knowing every common sound of the house, from breaking glass and bottle cap pops to short-lived lovemaking and slamming doors, the

The Trappings

Dearest Mother,  I couldn’t resist any longer. After learning of the titillating experiences you enjoyed on a near-daily basis over at Goodman-Silversby, I’ve decided to throw in the towel on self-employment and the proverbial chasing of dreams. I have joined the rank and file stables

A Hole in the Bucket

Shasa slapped at her cheek, the tickling flutter of a blowfly on her eyelid wrenching her from troubled dreams. Her skin was already sticky with dried sweat from the early morning heat. She lay for a few selfish moments with her eyes squeezed tight, her

Groundhog Daze

There was this one time I was sitting shotgun in a white Range Rover and we were off-roading in a desert in the United Arab Emirates. We were swerving around camels and I was wearing this red and white turban on my head like some

The Other Side

By: John Staughton “You know that you don’t need to be here, Wolfgang. I only invited you as a courtesy.” “This entire display is a means of criticizing my life’s work… and yours. I wouldn’t miss it. I only wish Albert were here.” “The world


By: Hugh Roberts I passed the spliff to Ben, who passed it over to Cole, holding it at arm’s length, as though it could turn into a snake and bite him. I hadn’t seen Little Benny in over 10 years, and he looked exactly the same,


By: Adrienne Thomas She looked a little like Patti Smith. I met her on the street around 11pm on a Wednesday night in Williamsburg. She was the connectivity cap to my day alone in this dazzling new world. I walked past her, but boldly called

Biscuits With Nathaniel

By: Nadia Kuftinoff It was up in the Bavarian mountains that Beatrix found the place she’d been looking for over the last three years. She had expected a sinister castle that she’d have to infiltrate in the dead of night, guns blazing, baddies falling to

Icarus Dancing in the Heart of the Sun

By: Philius Brutus Ruckus (A.W.G) At first glance, this title may appear pretentious to the point of vanity. Do people know Icarus, son of Daedalus, who flew to heights unimaginable, and was consequently cast down to depths beyond compare? What is it to the reader

The Billy Goat Curse

Whenever something bad happens and I get that awful feeling like I’m a paranoid schizophrenic and the world outside is choking my neck, I try and think about baseball and Wrigley Field and the Chicago Cubs, and for a split second, no one’s out to


Lily was a front desk agent at La Maison, a boutique hotel in Chicago.  Most days at La Maison revolved around placating the large number of wealthy (and entitled) clientele who frequented such places, and today was no different.  On average, she mollified two dozen harried guests

Rent Party

The guy’s apartment was this storefront that had been renovated to be lived in as a studio space, so to get in you had to get past this thick steel door – the kind of door that was made to keep people out. Rivets and

59 in the East

May 17th, 2012 Jamison Coates reeled from the stab of pain as it raced up his shin. The sharp teeth of his bike pedal had savagely bit into the front pleat of his dress pants as it swung wildly in a cyclical design quirk that


On a cloudy Sunday in May, a pale young man with a pale young gut stands outside of Euphoria Massage reading its sign. His head pulses with an eager hangover and he wears a baggy hoodie so no one will see his face. So no

The Silver Box

careening through the dark and dismal jungle, a silver box carried me above dead tree trunks and across a canopy. the box hustled and bustled, jostling my body back and forth, causing my brain to roll around in my skull, nausea to take over my

Loss of Bright Things

Air thickened in his throat, warm, tasting of papaya and old smoke. He’d logged on for flight details and now the word ‘dead’ stared from the screen, reminding him just how far he was from home. Michael wiped the sweat off his forehead with the back

Laughing Last

“What about bringing back the narcoleptic clown?” Anderson proposed, spinning his pen in that annoyingly practiced way that makes it look unconscious. “We haven’t used him in months. We can squeeze four more minutes of mindless laughs out of him.” The other heads at the


In the inexplicable, there is most definitely what is explicit. We are in no other way situated. To this undeniable truth, Saul G. woke up every morning, and according to this truth, followed through with the routine that had dictated the waning energies of his

SN3 | Bastille Day

Bastille Day:  Volume 1, Issue 3 Publication Date:  July 14, 2015 Authors:  Chris Blim, John J. Staughton, A.W. Greene, Nathan Silver, M. Andres, Tamzin Whelan, Clara Feda, Roger de Laci. Featuring illustrations by Brandon Ruiter. Bastille Day is available here.

SN2 | Equal Night

Equal Night:  Volume 1, Issue 2 Publication Date:  March 20, 2015 Authors:  Chris Blim, John J. Staughton, Max Silver, Hugh Roberts, Clara Feda, Jessica Jade Andres, Quinlan Orear, Matt Piet, La Tisha Conto, Roger de Laci Equal Night is available here.

Atheists Are Wrong About Everything Except God

Ugh. In light of the ongoing violence in the Middle East, there has been a lot of blowback from the people of the West, using their most powerful weapon: super clever Internet memes! Most of these condemn the violence of religious fanatics while (mostly explicitly)

The Empty Bottle

Sara picked up the remote control and dusted it for the second time that morning. She softly hummed a tune to herself, a discordant cross between the Final Jeopardy theme song and the original Mario Brothers background music. Years of listening to Tom’s frustrated trivia

Silly Humans

By John J. Staughton SN1: NEW YEAR’S DAY The first howl that sliced through the painted night shook me from my thoughts, but it was quickly followed by a second, and then a dozen more. It was a haunting moan of collective ecstasy, soaring boundless

SN1 | New Year’s Day

New Year’s Day:  Volume 1, Issue 1 Publication Date:  January 1st, 2015 Authors:  Chris Blim, John J. Staughton, Jessica Jade Andres, Adrienne Thomas, La Tisha Conto, Drew Michael, and Roger de Laci. New Year’s Day is available here. Read Chapter One of To God Knows Where by