Susannah Mandel’s short story “The Monkey and the Butterfly” is in Shimmer #11. She also has poems in the current issues of Sybil’s Garage, Goblin Fruit, and Peter Parasol.

Luc Reid writes about the psychology of habits at The Willpower Engine. His new eBook is Bam! 172 Hellaciously Quick Stories.

Jonathan Wood’s story “Notes on the Dissection of an Imaginary Beetle” from Electric Velocipede 15/16 is available online.

Trent Walters, poetry editor at A&A, has a chapbook, Learning the Ropes, from Morpo Press.


by Trent Walters

“Wake up, sleepyhead. Do you remember your dream? You squeezed your pillow awful tight. Was the dream of me?”

“I don’t think I dream. I never remember them.”

“Everybody dreams. Maybe they’re nightmares, so you block them.”

“I’d remember a nightmare.”

“Maybe your dreams have nothing to say. We only remember the memorable, holding on to the relevant.”



“Wake up, Love.”

“What a strange dream. I dreamed I said I don’t remember dreams, but I do–to the minutest detail: my day-old perfume mingled with your scent on my lace pillow, the brush of cotton sheets against my legs and the heat of your face hovering over mine, the sound of your voice cracked and scratchy as if you were getting over a cold and it made me a little tingly down there, and my mouth sour from the alcohol of the night before. I don’t even drink. My dream-me implied dreams mean nothing, but they mean the world. Why would I say something that I don’t believe if it was my dream? Do you think some being hijacked my mind?”
“Being? Do you mean aliens or chimpanzees?”

“I’m serious. God could be trying to tell me something. Or our mitochondria are trying to warn of impending catastrophe. Or you, even: You’re making me dream.”

“Possibly. Could also be that someone who needs your help sends you the dreams–someone in another dimension. Or else you dream of the life you live in a parallel universe.”

“I hope I’d have more sense than that. An inability to see meaning shows a distinct lack of imagination.”


“Pay attention, Mabel! You’re always daydreaming in my class.”


“Wake up, oh god, wake up! Don’t die on me–god please no. If you leave me this way, I’ll never forgive you. Please. Breathe. Oh baby. Breathe. The CPS will send out their investigator again, and she won’t believe me. Not a third accident.”


“Why won’t you wake up?”

“You ruined my dream of flight over the ocean where the sea met sky–no up or… What’s that smell?”

“The house is on fire, you fool. We have to get out of this place.”


“Despierta, mi cielito.”

“¡Mamá Mar! ¡Acabo de soñar que hablo inglés pero no hablo inglés pero yo estaba hablando inglés!”

“¿Qué dijiste en tu sueño?”

“No sé. No hablo Inglés.”

“Espero que fuera bueno.”

“¡Claro que sí!”


“Wake up!”


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