Here are some highlights from QMT fiction in 2015. Actually, I’ve only been fiction editor here since June so it is more like a second half of 2015 list. We get a lot of good submissions and I am proud of everything we’ve published this year but these are some of the pieces that really made a lasting impression. So if you haven’t read them yet— here’s your chance to catch up!
Diane Williams: “There is Always Hesitation Before Turning in a Finished Job”
The dog had his leisure hours and Dan and I had been together longer than I expected and I was all tired out because we had indulged ourselves in every desire.
Nate Lippens: “Insignificance”
A crack of laughter like an explosion rings in my ears and I sit up a little straighter and laugh too, laugh from being startled. The glass sweats in my hand. I’m paying attention to how little I am in this moment, at this table, with these people, and I want to remove the feeling like a thick curtain between the world and me.
Pedro Ponce: “David Shields”
We’ve both been on edge since the pregnancy. She wants to paint the baby’s room, but we don’t even know if it’s David Shields. Why not wait for the surprise?
Svetlana Kitto: “Purvs”
My second order of business is to write a message to Marina, the young Latvian anarchist I found through my old MySpace account. I had searched under the category “lesbian” and Marina was the only person that came up who didn’t look like a porn star.
Vanessa Norton: Rachel Ward
Three days ago, the orange-spotted koi suffocated. Of all the pets, the only one she touched was made of plastic and puffed cellulose.
Mark Gluth: “Poem for Erin”
I woke up after
I dreamt I was writing
Sam Slaughter: “The Dead Rabbits Society”
The rabbit was still there. Scavengers had gotten to it, though, and its eyes were missing. Some of the fur had been ripped off and what was left was stained cotton candy pink. I toed the carcass off the side of the road and into the ditch with my boot. We’d walk on the other side of the road tomorrow, just in case. Jake would know we weren’t walking how we usually did, but that tantrum would be more bearable than him trying to pick up what was left of the rabbit. I took my flask out, unscrewed the cap and poured some on the creature. Not too much, though.
Peter Milne Greiner: “Degradashun”
I passed my hand through an unmoving trickle of red, suspended midair. I looked at the lines on my palm ruefully and turned to address my students. “Systematic, manufactured habitat loss is a far more insidious means of driving extinction than the club. The club, though, has brought its more than fair share of species down, and there is a chthonic violence, a certain queasy authenticity, in that, which rivals—bitterly—the more modern clubs seen in more recent history like, say, as Jeff Goldblum’s character in the film Jurassic Park would, ‘deforestation or the building of a dam,’ or, I’d add, the uncompleted Nicaragua Canal—an earthwork the likes of which became obsolete mid-construction for obvious reasons.”
Scherezade Siobhan: “1997”
I barked newly learned Hindi cuss words at him. I felt a mixture of pride and guilt trickle down my throat. He flipped me the bird. I wondered if he felt the same. Then Father Isa came looking for him and I felt my pulse mimic a freight train. We didn’t speak for a week.