Posts Tagged ‘frontier college’

 

What is the nature of the wound?   

Mags took a first aid class at the end of second year. It was kind of a goof at the time, she and Kathy Krommit signing up because the instructor was cute. Neither of them ended up dating him or anything cool like that, but some of the instruction had stuck to her like the tiny balls under the arms of a favourite knit sweater, virtually invisibly.

What is the nature of the wound? For a puncture, apply pressure to stop bleeding. For a stab wound, apply pressure to stop bleeding. For a gash, apply pressure to stop bleeding.

She and Krom joked that they learned everything they needed to know: apply pressure to stop bleeding. For months afterward they approached every problem with that simple equation:

What is the nature of the wound?

Apply pressure.

Stop the bleeding.

If the wound was an exam, applying pressure was studying, the bleeding stopped. If the wound was a hangover, they applied ibuprophen (and orange juice), until the bleeding stopped.  Following each solution they would shout we are doctors! We have successfully cured the patient!

There was a magical period when the two of them had bonded into something that went beyond friends, even family, one of those deep bonds that can only come of serious and painful shared experience. In this case it was that year of university and shared quarters, no money, constant expectation from the outside. During that time, it became a shorthand: red eyes, strained expression, furrowed brow one or the other would say: Wound. Once the wound was discovered, the appropriate pressure could be applied, and the bleeding stopped.

Mags and Krom lost touch after school. Krom would pop up in Mags’ newsfeeds from time to time and if she was feeling nostalgic post-3rd glass of wine, she might write on Krom’s wall we should get together! Krom would occasionally do the same on her wall. They never did, of course.

Then in July a year ago, Mags got a private message from Krom. It was brief and elegant in its dread. It was one word.

Wound.

Mags looked at it daily for a week or so. Then forgot it was there. Then when it did come to mind, she convinced herself that she’d replied. By that time, dozens of messages pushed Krom out of the view window and it was, with effort, just entirely forgotten.

Except for when it wasn’t. Late at night when all personal failings are discussed openly inside the head; in the shower after dark nights, trying to wash away the hangover and regrets; rare moments when some dumb thing reminded Mags of the simplicity of her uni years, like the smell of someone eating Ramen in the lunch room.

Then it was too late to respond, wasn’t it? Lame to suddenly respond a year later omg never saw this could not be followed with what is the nature of the wound? Not a year later. Not between drinks 5 and 6, when Mags’ own bleeding was internal.

: for Debbie

 

Susie Moloney was born and raised on the wrong side of the tracks in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Her first novel, Bastion Falls was published in 1995, and re-released in 1997 following the massive success of her second novel, A Dry Spell. A Dry Spell sold in 18 countries, translated into 12 languages. Subsequent novels The Dwelling and The Thirteen, were all published in multiple countries and languages. She has published one collection, Things Withered, stories. A lifelong film and television freak, she made the reckless decision to change lanes in 2013 and now writes television and film. Married to playwright Vern Thiessen, they are happily raising a cranky, smelly, sickly, blind dog named Scrappy.

 

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Up Next:

“I care. I care, I care, I care, I care.”

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Kleenex
Q-Tips
Coffee (the good kind if it’s on sale)
Razors
Bleach wipes
Paper towels
Conditioner
Windex
Toilet bowl cleaner
Sponges
Hot sauce

Bag of rice
Laundry detergent
Baking soda
Shout
Scouring pad
Black beans (for soaking)
Vodka (on the way home)

Tomorrow

Pick up the boys at daycare after work.
Don’t forget lunch at Mom’s the next day.
Boys go back to Stacey’s on Friday this time, not Thursday (don’t ask them about Stacey but be alert).
Blake might need new boots.
It’s supposed to get cold tomorrow, Mom might have stuff to use.
Make plans for the summer and tell the boys, maybe tell them about the lake,
it’s possible you could go this year maybe, tell them about you and Stacey maybe,
they know so little about you and Stacey, what do they know even, do they even remember?
Tell them something.
Will’s been liking the library, maybe go to the library.

 

 

Casey Plett is the author of the novel Little Fish, the story collection A Safe Girl to Love, and co-editor of Meanwhile, Elsewhere: Science Fiction and Fantasy from Transgender Writers. She lives in Windsor, Ontario.

 

 

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“Late at night when all personal failings are discussed openly inside the head; in the shower after dark nights, trying to wash away the hangover and regrets; rare moments when some dumb thing reminded Mags of the simplicity of her uni years, like the smell of someone eating Ramen in the lunch room.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s  not your fault. You  couldn’t control what they did with your tree of origin, the log it became, what they finally turned you into. You are neither spoon nor stick — there is no name for you, except for the phony one they branded you with, umlaut and all, when the language they were trying to imitate doesn’t even have an umlaut in it. You will never be part of a roll-top desk, to be cherished for years, loved all the more for the character scratches.  Instead they chose to make you tiny and disposable and relegate you to a five-minute, strictly utilitarian life. Not that I’m an expert, but I think your own acquired imperfections, chocolate splotches on your surface, will only work to your disadvantage by making you non-recyclable. Clearly, they don’t care. They have tossed you carelessly onto blue flagstone with no regard for your immediate future or afterlife. All that lies ahead for you is delivery to the landfill, where you will be seen as part of the problem. You don’t deserve that fate. May I pick you up, rinse you off, take you to my home? You can become the wee weeder for my house plants — peace lilies, amaryllis and more. If you’re okay with that, stay where you are. I will find you.

 

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Rona Altrows writes fiction, essays, and plays. Her most recent book, At This Juncture, is made up of fictional letters, and she has two earlier books of short fiction, A Run on Hose and Key in Lock. The chapbook The River Throws a Tantrum gives voice to a child’s experience of a natural disaster. Rona has co-edited two theme-based anthologies, Waiting (with Julie Sedivy), released in Fall, 2018, and Shy (with Naomi K. Lewis). She can be found at http://www.ronaaltrows.com

 

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Up Next:

“Vodka (on the way home)”

 

It’s true, it happened on my birthday. June 6th, known to most as D-Day, but known to me as my B-Day.  Hmmm. Well, actually, it’s obvious that it happened on my birthday – ‘It’s my Birthday!’ is written right on the pink plastic bone. Duh!

And that’s why this whole fiasco happened, ok?

I’m a male dog. MALE. Jack Russell Terrier blessed with some very healthy JRT testicles. And I am sorry if I am being very politically incorrect, what with all the gender stereotype busting going on and all, but give me a break – there is NO WAY I would ever show that silly pink bone to any of my K9 pals.

So yeah, there I was, all pumped up for my B-Day celebration, and what does my human pull out of her pocket? Yup – that damn pink doggie bone. So I lost it. I am a Jack Russell Terrier, after all. So I grabbed that pink monstrosity and bit it with all my strength, with the hopes that I’d shred it to bits. Turns out I need to eat more vitamins or something, because all I was able to do was nip off the one end. Burning with rage and plenty of doggie disgust, I flung the birthday blunder into the neighbour’s backyard.

I thought ‘I’ had a crazy temper, but hoo-boy! You shoulda seen my human after that! I don’t have a full grasp of the English language, but I am pretty sure some of the words coming out of her mouth were not pretty.

So no doggie treats for me, no doggie park, and no trip to the pet groomer. Sigh.

Next year, I’m hoping for a bungee ball.

With my luck, I’ll get a pet kitten.

 

Patricia Storms  is an illustrator/author of humour and children’s books. She loves to draw, paint, write, sing, dance, play the ukulele, and dream. Among her illustrated work are 13 Ghosts of Halloween, The Ghosts Go Spooking, If You’re Thankful And You Know It and By The Time You Read This. She also enjoys writing stories… and has written and illustrated The Pirate and the Penguin and the much-loved Never Let You Go. Her newest, Moon Wishes, co-written with her husband Guy Storms, comes out March 2019. She lives in Toronto with her husband and a very needy cat.

 

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Up Next:

“You will never be part of a rolltop desk, to be cherished for years.”

 

 

 

spare key spare tire spare change spare bedroom spare kidney spare time spare ribs spare part

spare style

spare me a moment, spare the details, spare yourself, spare my life

knock down ten pins with two balls

 

Kim Echlin is the author of Under the Visible Life, Inanna, The Disappeared, and Elephant Winter.

 

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I’m a male dog. MALE. Jack Russell Terrier blessed with some very healthy JRT testicles. And I am sorry if I am being very politically incorrect…

 

It’s complicated. We’ve been in a love/hate relationship since I was sixteen. We try it on. It works for a while. Then. Well. You know. It feels like it’s over. A few months later, we’re back at it again. Two or three weeks pass. We’re doing it every morning and I’m starting to feel obligated. I find myself staring at my reflection in the mirror, questioning my sanity.

Hay fever season comes along. I can tell we’re heading for another breakup. I’m rubbing my eyes all the time and Maybelline tells me I look like a raccoon. I say, I’d like a little time to think. I go home by myself. It might be permanent this time.

But I dream weird dreams of Maybelline: Experts say: replace every two months. Two months! Aren’t these the sexiest eight dollars you’ve ever spent? I don’t think so. Are You Dreaming of Bold! Sensational! The False-Lashes Effect? Um. No. Do you understand the latest technique: sweep from the root to tip with a rotational or zig-zag motion? WTF. Rotational?

That’s the tipping point. Like it never happened, I know it’s over. Forever.

Only it’s not. Maybelline is omnipresent. I see that pink and green outfit everywhere. At the beach. In the café. Rolling down Yonge Street at two in the morning. That Maybelline is going to be around for another thousand years.

 

 

Christine Higdon  is the author of The Very Marrow of Our Bones. She lives in Mimico, Ontario, and is working on a collection of short stories and another novel. She has been shortlisted for the CBC Creative Nonfiction Prize and her short stories have been published in The New Quarterly and Plenitude: Your Queer Literary Magazine.

 

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Up Next:

“Spare yourself”

nexus

Posted: October 20, 2018 in iona whishaw
Tags: , , , ,

A connection linking two or more things
like one empire to another, until there is a palimpsest of empires
laid one upon one upon one,
cultures lathered like paint, higgledy piggeldy, on a practice canvas

Romans with their Caesars and their Latin language,
spreading like a stain across the known world,
gobbling tuna from Sicily,
celery from Asia Minor, (itself a long mislaid empire)
then, by tea-time
muffins from a press-ganged England.

But not for long.

England has its own eye on the boons of empire—
spices, sugar, sun 24/7, Ireland brought to heel,
English nosing out
other languages in the Roman manner,
like the big kid who comes from the city,
and knows everything.

Then, suddenly, the dissolution of it all,
til, in the end, people even stop believing in empires,
and the only thing left
are Jamaican patties and a few good memories.

 

 

Iona Whishaw was born in BC and spent her childhood in the Kootenays and in Mexico. After twenty years working with disadvantaged adolescents she became a high school teacher and then a Principal, and retired in 2014 to write. The inspiration for her work comes from a bouquet of influences including the outsized personality of her mother and family, a year in Eastern Europe during the Communist era, and the people she absolutely adored in the tiny lakeside community of her early childhood. And Nancy drew, obviously… (the beginning of her love for reading). She has a passion for history and people’s stories and lives with her husband in Vancouver.

 

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Up Next:

“Two or three weeks pass. We’re doing it every morning and I’m starting to feel obligated. I find myself staring at my reflection in the mirror, questioning my sanity.”