Issue 38


I’m writing to you from the triple-digit summer heat in Brooklyn, where I type next to an open window, a fan working valiantly at my back to ruffle my sweat-limp hair. Perhaps this summer sizzle leads me to frame this edition of VR in terms of travel; perhaps my desire to escape the heat has made me read into these eight latest stories an element of  away that doesn’t truly exist.

Okay. Yes, “This is the Beginning,” by Lili Flanders, is all about the romance of travel. And Jess Harvell’s “An Interval Between Regimes,” and John Haggarty’s “The Pull of the River” are set in exotic locales—although I can’t say I’d like to visit either. And, of course, there’s that escape aspect to Tricia Louvar’s “A Flyover State.” And all that movement—that ride in the car (in the gloriously cold snow!), and the earlier trip to Notre Dame—in Jim Noonan’s “Patterns.” That’s all pretty straightforward.

But…am I stretching the travel metaphor by saying that “Note to Self,” by Tracy Guzeman, is about a journey? Must I really, really liken “A Story I’ll Tell You When You’re Big,” by Jacqueline Vogtman, and Sarah Prevatt’s “Plague”  to tales of visitors from another world who drop in enhance—or in Prevatt’s case, to stink up—our lives?

Thanks the gods I can’t lump Antonios Maltzos’ fine review of Joseph Young’s flash collection Easter Rabbit into any category that might smack of tourists snapping away with their cameras, freezing every stray moment—

Oh, dear.

Well, there’s the Dirty Dozen. Especially that one about carting an object all over the kingdom—


Damn. I’ve got to get out of this *!$#%! furnace…

—Susan O’Neill

The Second Plague by Sarah Prevatt

An Interval Between Regimes by Jess Harvell (Story Unavailable)

This is the Beginning by Lili Flanders

A Flyover State by Tricia Louvar (Story Unavailable)

The Pull of the River by John Haggerty 

A Story I’ll Tell You When You’re Big by Jacqueline Vogtman (Story Unavailable)

Note to Self by Tracy Guzeman

Patterns by Jim Noonan