N.T. Ed and the Ghosts of New Years

I was not dead: this must be understood. There is a little bit of doubt about whether I was awake or asleep though; I’m still not completely sure whether this was all a dream or reality, but the writing on the wall does not lie. The strangest thing occurred to me last night, which I will now recount to you.

It was New Year’s Eve, an hour before 2020 would dissipate and 2021 materialize, a moment as simple as a single digit changing, yet an immensely anticipated event for cynics all around the globe. 2020 was the year the COVID-19 virus launched its evil plan to take over the world, and its oppressive regime seemed to change the fate of all humanity. Multiple other tragedies compounded on top of this disaster, leading to a worldwide attitude of hatred towards the year 2020. Like many other intelligible citizens, Bryant and I were spending New Year’s Eve at home.

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Everything from Nothing

A short fiction story by Slanted Spines

First, there was the skull.

I was young and in a rut, so I felt most at home among the dirt. When my hands were in the soil, I felt meaningful. I was worms; as significant as the spider crawling over my cell phone in the grass. The existential dread did not bother me while my knees pressed into the ground, my skin softening around rocks’ hard ridges. My sweat was sweetened with the mint leaves, and if the squash were growing, I must be, too, right?

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The Cheetah Who Hated the Zoo

The Cheetah Who Hated the Zoo

Written in 2002

Once upon a time on a nice summer day there was a Cheetah who wished he could go to California. He hated being stuck in the zoo. People always stared at him. One day he asked his friend if she could help him get out of there. “Okay,” said Bear, as she was getting out of her cage. Then she thought if they could climb over the gate? But they already tried it when they tried to get Polar Bear in. Then they asked Lion if he would and could help. “Okay,” said Lion. “Maybe you could ask the zoo keeper.” “No way,” said Cheetah. “The zoo keeper usually screams when she hears us talk,” said Bear. “Yeah, but maybe she will understand,” said Lion. “Maybe Lion’s right,” said Bear. “Well, I guess so,” said Cheetah. Then he slowly walked to the zoo keeper. “Zoo keeper, I… I… I… want… to… um.” “You want to what,” said the zoo keeper slowly. “I want to go out of the zoo,” said Cheetah. “Well, why didn’t you say so,” said the zoo keeper. “I don’t know,” said Cheetah. And the zoo keeper let Cheetah out.

The End

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The Hat-Giving Hickory Tree

A slanted story by Brittany Cole

Most days, Rodney never thinks about the baseball hat hickory tree. When Rodney does remember that tree and that period of his boyhood, during which the hickory thrived and blossomed dozens of baseball caps overnight, he still feels somewhat bewildered by its undeniable yet utterly miraculous existence. It seems so long ago now, that he questions his memory—was it all a dream? Something he has misremembered and imagined over the years?

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Life of Trees: A Book Review of The Overstory

Have you ever read a book that speaks directly to the essence of your soul? A book that rips you apart and leaves you wondering how you can continue on with your life in the same way?

The Overstory by Richard Powers did that to me. Maybe it was the peculiar timing of the book in my life, or maybe it was destined, but this novel both wounded and healed me, and perhaps redirected my entire future.

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Carrie Pilby: A Book Review

This book review is intended for readers who have already read Carrie Pilby or for people who haven’t read Carrie Pilby but would rather just read my book review about it! Which is all to say that there are spoilers ahead!

Carrie Pilby, by Caren Lissner, is a novel about a 19-year-old young woman living in New York City. Having skipped three grades and graduated Harvard at age eighteen, she is now a lonely genius living by herself, as afforded by her father who works abroad; although she is financially well-off and intellectually gifted, Carrie has no friends and a slew of self-imposed morally rigid rules. In an attempt to improve her social capabilities, her therapist Dr. Petrov gives Carrie a list of five things to do, including go on a date and celebrate New Year’s Eve. Throughout the novel, Carrie acquires a few strange friends from her part-time legal proofreading job, and another few from local spots. Ultimately, Carrie begins to realize her own hypocrisies as life reveals its complexities, moral ambiguities, and hidden pleasures.

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