Ritual to Ban the Sun

By: Audrey moyce

The moment Rachel woke up she knew she was going to masturbate. She felt the familiar ache in her groin, and the sweat around her neck held the whiff of preemptive shame. The Backstreet Boys in the posters above her bed looked down at her.

She must not. Must not. God was watching, and God-knows-who-else was, too. And every time you touch yourself, it lays another brick on the staircase to hell. She had to stop this before it began.

TCR Talks with Abby Geni

BY: A.e. SANTANA

Abby Geni is the award-winning author of The Lightkeepers and The Last Animal. Her latest novel, The Wildlands, explores the traumatic repercussions of a category five hurricane when it hits Mercy, Oklahoma, and demolishes the home of the McCloud family. Orphaned, the children attempt to go on with their lives but are swept into a world of dangerous, fanatical eco-terrorism that is both frightening and understandable. Through their story, Geni examines the turbulent state of our natural world and plays with the line between saving the planet and destroying ourselves.

TCR Talks with Mart Kivastik

BY: KaiA GALLAGHER

For a small country of 1.3 million people, Estonia has a rich and long-standing literary tradition based on centuries of folklore and lyric poems. The country is located on the Baltic Sea to the south of Finland and shares its eastern border with Russia.

At the end of World War II, Estonia was occupied by the Soviet Union, forcing many of the country’s authors and playwrights into exile. A select few remained in Estonia but found themselves constrained by Soviet censorship.

Book Review: Adam Nemett’s “We Can Save Us All”

By David M. Olsen

We Can Save Us All is an ambitious debut by a very talented Adam Nemett. The book begins with a chance meeting of our rather nerdy protagonist, David Fuffman, in an odd, drug-enhanced damn-building exercise where he meets the charismatic and wealthy Mathias Blue—in a frigid river, at Princeton. This clever scene is a fun springboard into the witty, satirical, and nihilistic novel that is to follow. The story is set in the near future where all-too-realistic issues of war and climate change combine with a phenomenon called “Chronostrictesis,” where time itself seems to be coming to an end as though through a funnel: human existence as we know it is no longer, as the characters have to stockpile food and supplies for the severe weather and the impending superstorm.

Bomb

BY: Mir-Yashar Seyedbagheri 

“I didn’t say bomb,” Mustafa Bey said to his son David, his words inflected with his harsh Turkish accent. “I said bum. Tell them, my boy. Tell them your father isn’t a fucking terrorist.”

“You said bomb on an airplane,” said the TSA agent, whose name was Lawrence. They were both in his office, having been ejected from their flight prior to takeoff.

Book Review: Micah Perks’ “True Love”

BY: A.M. Larks

Everyone I know is looking for a way to escape, hit pause on reality, and just take a breath; get immersed in something else, someone else, anything else because the real world seems too much to bear. And I am no exception. I do it too. Because at its heart, that’s what reading is: a way to escape the world around you, which makes it ironic that my escape would be reading about characters who are trying to escape their own complicated fictional lives in True Love And Other Dreams of Miraculous Escape by Micah Perks.

Goðafoss

BY: Jennifer Harvey

She heard them, before she saw them. Felt the tremor in the soles of her feet, as the energy shuddered through her. And when she turned around, there they were. Horses. Too many to count.

She watched them ford the river at a shallow point where the rocky bed was visible, their snorts as wild and free as the rush of the water, and the sight of them frightened her. Something about the movement—the ripple and flow of their manes, the sound of hooves on rock, the way the tension in the muscles was so visible, and the whites of their eyes so emphatic—seemed to slow time and silence everything. All she could do was stand there, in that improbable hush, unable to move.

Black Mirrors

By Liz Betz

Just for a split second I can picture my grossly overweight cousin. Perhaps he fell so that he ended like a large sack of potatoes draped over a small tractor moored in green—dead weight.

“What good he was doing is another thing,” Rachel says. “At least he managed to get the lawn mower turned off, before he died.”

I watch my crow Petey take off from the tree outside the window while I thirstily quaff water. There is a stack of wet dishes in the sink. It’s five in the afternoon and these are breakfast dishes, perhaps the only thing Rachel has done today. It feels like I’ve spent a million moments like this, waiting for some reason to endure.

Watching Over

BY: Rishitha Shetty                                            

Daaru tasted love in the first bite of fish. So much so, that when little Kumara pinched an ant between his fingers and brought it to his lips, she did not notice. She crunched on, her tongue sucking river off of its burnt tail. She preferred the fish from the river Netravati to that of the sea; its delicious stink stayed on her palm for days. Mother Netravati bled into boulders every year during monsoon and her wrath flowed out of the soggy flesh of dead things, and this was the first catch after the rains; she mixed juice and love and placed them between bones.

Underwater Beams

By: Nancy de Guerre

I think about you sometimes, though it’s been so long. That day on the lake in the little tin boat. We had fishing rods and books and the sun beat down on us. You wore that Indiana Jones hat, and I had a big floppy one. It was like we were a couple of movie stars. The summer just after my mother died. You stuck the wriggling worms on the sharp hook, and I lay back on a life jacket and read love poems to you.