editor's note

Schadenfreude by Joseph Murphy
I was lucky to have lived in Germany for two years, and enjoyed the way Germans combine words to create new and interesting meanings, such as schadenfreude — the enjoyment obtained from the troubles of others — which is the theme for this issue. The compound word combines misfortune (Schaden) with joy (Freude).


Torah, Paint, and Obscurities of Desire by Carol Alexander
They are parsing and drowsing
in the temple dusk, flies overwintering
in a bema of wood.
Green-Eyed by M. Stone
Our fathers: workaholics, alcoholics,
emotionally absent or far too close—
coils of rage threatening to spring.
Witness by Val Dering Rojas
The distraction in the downstairs apartment
traversed rooms with precise concentration;
upstairs, it seemed like chaos
Lost and Found by Hannah Stone
Come downstairs to find back door wide open.
Kitchen drawers disgorging their shame,
Glaring absence of phone-left-on-charge.


Navy Blue Buick by Darcy Roennfeldt
I'm riding in the back seat of the navy blue Buick with cream colored seats that Mother demanded Daddy buy otherwise she was not now, nor never, asking Grandpa for another distribution from the trust. She likes to run her red-nailed fingers over the creamy leather like she's petting an animal. She smiles at Daddy. He's gives her a wink. They have a music of intention between them that mostly makes me happy but lonely, kind of like watching a good baseball game from the other side of a chain-link fence. That's what sitting in the back seat does.
Sleep by Andrew J. Hogan
For Van, retirement would not mean travel or moving to a warmer, sunnier clime. The grocery store, the pharmacy and Danay’s psychiatrist were all within a few miles of home. Mostly, he and Danay shopped for clothes in catalogues that arrived in sanitary looking plastic bags that Danay would microwave to kill any potential bedbugs. He and Danay never went anywhere; they never would go anywhere, not anymore.
Happy Starfish by Allen Kopp
Did I tell you how I hate school? This morning in zoology I had to dissect a starfish. The inside of the starfish is green. That’s disgusting enough, but the thing that got to me is the fishy smell. It’s a smell that lingers in my head and my nose. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to eat any kind of fish or seafood again for as long as I live without being reminded of the green insides of a starfish.


Artefacts and Other Stories by Rebecca Burns by Stacy Wennstrom
In her latest collection, Artefacts and Other Stories, Rebecca Burns presents seventeen short stories that span from the late Victorian age to present day, with most of the stories taking place during or immediately after the two world wars. While the stories are not linked by time period or even location, each story deals with loss, sometimes the loss of a loved one and sometimes the loss of a way of life.