Nemesis

editor's note

Halfway Down the Stairs seeks new poetry editor by the editorial staff
This quarter we are thrilled to welcome Jeannie E. Roberts to the team as our new poetry editor, and we want to let you all know that Halfway Down the Stairs is looking for one more poetry editor to join the team.

poetry

Heels of Their Shoes by James Gering
Watch him now
he’s lost his wife,
how he shuffles where before
he strode
Sisyphus Alone by Ann E. Wallace
I think the word I’m looking for
is apogee, to describe the high point I was
reaching for,
THE EXPERT by Tamara Kaye Sellman
sits online, overstimulated by blue spectrum light, scouring for evidence, though all he understands is purely anecdotal.
Pilgrimage, Early March by Melissa Huff
Only a short walk     one she knows well
one taken each year     opening the sliding door
she leaves behind her mind’s chatter
Lost, Found by Carol Alexander
In our linen press, there's dust and worms
from a cache of bitter hazelnuts.
We are always hiding things
there and among the burning haystacks.

fiction

Shanghaied by Julie Rea
I write to confess my cooperation with Bunco Kelly in activities that resulted in the deaths of multiple young men. If this letter is being read, I have come to an untimely demise, most likely at the hands of Bunco Kelly himself. My hope is that the sad facts I set forth here will persuade the world that the evils of the shanghaiing business must be addressed.
Waving to the Rubber Band Boy by John C. Weil
Farmers let the wheat crop and the corn crop die. They watched the stalks dry out and bend until the crop hunched over like old men. Helpless farmers felt like they were seeing family members wilt and pass away. They held the wheat and the corn in their hands until it crumbled to ashes with pressure and blew into the last surviving fields of this precious crop.
Follow Fellow by Mia Brech
Helen’s insides tightened. Something about the dozen or so vampires—surely teenage boys dressed in black, with painted faces—didn’t feel right. They weren’t laughing, rambling or shouting silly things, but striding in a phalanx toward her and Jane. Helen glanced behind. No one else was on the road.
Postcards from the Underground by Tony Press
The war machine was big, and well-armed, but it moved slowly. Jimmy and his cohorts were quicker.
He mailed a postcard to his mother every Tuesday, rain or sun or snow. She responded as soon as she received it, never forgetting to insert a ten-dollar bill into her envelope.
So Shall You Reap by William Cass
Rita looked the same: beautiful, those piercing eyes, that cascade of hair.  She was as well-dressed as she’d always been, but in a more mature manner, in a mauve linen pants suit.  She gave one of her familiar, haughty smiles and said, “May I?”

nonfiction

Strangers in Las Vegas by Denise David
Beryl, blond and fearless, was a restless girl in Manchester, England during the war.  She met an American soldier, married him and went to a new life in New York, then a push on to California, until the earthquake swallowed their house. They would not stay after that.
Raisins by Patty Somlo
I knew the two soft pillows placed in my right palm were raisins. Yet I forced myself to pretend I didn’t have a clue what they might be. That was the point, after all, to pretend we were aliens from another planet. With my eyes closed, I tried to figure out for what purpose these squishy blobs might have been created.