Jessica Simonetti’s ‘Aliza n. she means joy’ is a complex, Virginia Woolf-esque story with a multitude of layers – so many so, that it had our editors arguing over its meaning, and includes a word from the writer as to her intention. Regardless, it is a beautifully-written, sorrowful look at depression and hope in the lives of two main characters – Aliza, and the lighthouse man.
Almost in direct contrast to the hope in one of this issue’s other flash stories, ‘Trash Heap Homes’, Mallarie Stevens’ ‘Faking It’ explores the numbness of the character’s mental state. It is a singular intimate moment in her experience with this therapist, seemingly insignificant until the end, when it becomes everything. Beautifully rich poetic prose, thick with atmosphere and imagery.
Thom Connors’ ‘Trash Heap Homes’ is an extremely relatable account of recovery and hope, simultaneously down to earth while concealing hidden depths of meaning. It’s a testimony to how strong this story’s voice is when we cared about its narrator after only a few paragraphs.