2011 FICTION WINNERS
Kevin Carey's "Home for the Holidays" from Apple Valley Review
Matthew Baker's "Newspapers" from Memorious
My father came home last Christmas. It was a cold, clear night and you could see the lights blinking from the General Edwards bridge over Side Beach. I looked out the living room window and he was standing in a hole next to a white stone statue of Saint Francis of Assisi. We hadn't seen him in twelve months. He must have tunneled there from his grave by the lake in Peabody.
Faith Gardner's "Window Woman" from decomP *
I once had a purpose: my maker shoved it into my chest, bolted it to the branches of my ribs. Then others came with wrenches, removed it, gave me another. I carried myself to the coast, built a shack in the trees--scrap metal, scrap lumber--lived in it for years.
George Singleton's "Gripe Water" from Blip Magazine
I have colorless skin. Not Caucasian skin, whitewashed peachbrown: I mean transparent skin, skin you can see the world of ticking arteries and flexing muscles and bubbling sacks and grasping tubes through. There is no sleeve long enough, no concealer thick enough, to hide the red rushing insides of me.
My wife's childhood friend, Dottie, I assumed, never encountered an etiquette handbook, or never had the common sense and decency to contact any number of social skills experts who offered advice in daily newspapers or internet web sites. How hard is it to take a deep breath, drop the knitting needles, and contact a grief counselor or birth consultant in these days of omnipresent bloggers? You'd think that the first half-dozen times Carol miscarried would've taught Dottie to stay home and wait for an all-clear.
* Selected by Meagan Cass as our 2011 Editor's Choice