Issue 39


It’s cold in Brooklyn. The latest dump of snow has been shoveled off the sidewalk into limp, yellow-splotched banks, and piled in gritty mountains in the street by residents unearthing their cars.  The skies are grey, flat, threatening. The wind is nasty.

Winter here is a long, long season. A stale season that saps the energy; a blah season, a season that is only exciting when you get away from it.

Someone asks: What did you do this winter? Do we tell them we shoveled snow and wrapped ourselves in blankies to nurse our latest headcold? Not if we can say that we escaped—to someplace warm. Someplace alpine. Someplace fast, sleek, unencumbered by fusty layers of wool.

To someplace surprising. Someplace mysterious.

And yet—alas—even in winter, when we so desperately need it, escape is not always practical. Switzerland’s slopes are pricy. Australia’s far, far away. Africa is malarial. Egypt…well, there are timing issues.

But do not despair: Winter’s Vestal Review has arrived!

We are offering you here, in the dead of winter, a brief vacation. Yes, Faithful Reader, in this collection of little stories, you will find a spark of warmth, a frisson of mystery, a soupçon of surprise. A summer dreaminess; a tartness that zings the winter-dulled brain.

And you don’t have to pay airfare.

I flat-out LOVE this issue. I want to gather Shilo Morlang, Brock Adams, D.C. Weaver, Brian Hurley, Paul Griner, Ashley Nissler, Judy French and Jack Miller into my flannel-clad arms for a group hug. I want to dance with them around the fire, give them reindeer rides and treat them all to hot toddies.

But damn: it’s winter, and we’d all have to dress in layers and slog through the wilting snow in rubber boots, and somebody would have that godawful cough that’s going around, and next thing you know we’d all be hacking our lungs out, and the snow would kill the fire, and the toddies would get cold, and we’d find ourselves knee-deep in reindeer poop…and…and…

So I’m going to shout a hearty Thank You to these fine authors over the snowbanks. And snuggle in my blankie and re-read their work. And maybe, just maybe, Spring will come…

Cups of Tea by the Dozen by Brian Hurley

Etched in Stone by Brock Adams

Hands and Gloves by Judy French

Lungs Once Pink and Fragile by Ashley M. Nissler

Immanent in the Last Sheaf by Paul Griner (Story Unavailable)

Snowblind by Shilo Morlang

When Life Hands You by Jack Miller

Two People by D.C. Weaver