Zoetrope: All-Story

Fall 2018

Vol. 22 No. 3

Guest Designer Carson Ellis

Swarm Intelligence

Thomas Pierce

Take me, God. Take me! Grab me, lift me, release me, rocket me, explode me, decimate me, obliterate me. Wrap your giant God-hand around me and fling me far from this place—  
      I guess you could call it a prayer, this thing I’ve been whispering at night before not falling asleep for three more hours.

An odd time, this year I’ve been having. As if it’s an exception to the rule. As if next year will be any different. I’m old enough now—not quite forty—to know better. Admittedly, I’ve made . . .


Fiona McFarlane

Lena Derwent had worked at Mason’s for less than a week when they started making fun of her.
      “Well hi there, handsome,” they said when she was out of sight. “My name is Lena, and I come to you from the 1980s.”
      “She looks like an art teacher,” said Gemma from sales. “Don’t you think? Kinda over the top? Kinda demented?”
      And Joe from payroll laughed, as he often did when Gemma spoke, because he knew Gemma was unkind, . . .

Past Coming Home

David Hayden

Where the garden was stands a startled hand. A naked tree deep in snow.
      Janie has stopped in front of the doorstep shivering in her summer dress, her feet bare, purple and blue. She carries white heels in a plastic bag. A boy shuffles past flapping his dirty laces and drumming on his school bag. Janie shrinks forward expecting to be noticed. Nothing is said.
      When the boy is gone she leans to the door. The works and the wires of the bell have been torn out so she lifts the foxtail knocker, there is a . . .


Callan Wink

Webb had been unable to sleep and at four a.m. gave up and put some coffee on. He scrambled three eggs with elk sausage, spread butter and strawberry jam on toast, ate at the kitchen table with the radio on low. At this hour the station was unmanned, and a mechanical voice read the weather. A high of twenty-two. Clear, cold, and calm. Tomorrow would be the same.
      An empty house. The pop of a pine log in the woodstove. After a breakfast like that it can be hard to gain traction on the day. A Sunday-morning kind of breakfast, following which you should . . .

Subscribe to All-Story
Subscribe to All-Story