Eighteen Months Old, Kill People
The writers and the stories
Jennifer Fliss – Maude’s Card and Humanity
Kathryn Kulpa – Jolene, Jolene
Jan Elman Stout – Pack Mentality
A. E. Weisgerber – Eight
Jacqueline Doyle – The House on Cypress Street
Eva Wong Nava – Family
Jonathan Cardew – Day Terrors
Stacy Trautwein Burns – Where Life Begins
Daniel M. Shapiro – Duet for Robot Tenor Saxophonist and Human Tenor Saxophonist in D Minor
Sandra Arnold – Grave Concerns
Susan Tepper – The Actor
Scott Ray – Who Could Say to What Degree I Hold Myself Responsible
Christopher Murphy – Roscoe
Mandy Huggins – Blood Red
Rhiannon Cousins – The Truth About Loneliness
Walt Paterson – Pact
Len Kuntz – Something Underfoot
Z. Z. Boone – Moonless
Eugenio Volpe – The Many Ends of My Son #18
Letter from the Editor
When I was a kid, my mum used to take me and my younger brother to the library every Saturday, and we would take out four books, the maximum allowed at any one time. I read like a fire, so my four books would often be blazed through by Monday, and then I’d start reading my mum’s books. She liked crime fiction, especially stories with tough female leads. Sue Grafton, Sara Paretsky, Patricia Cornwell. So I liked crime fiction too. One of these writers – I think it was Sue Grafton – described the genesis of her first novel, and it went something like this. For years, she said, she’d dreamt of killing her first husband. But she knew she’d get caught if she ever tried to carry it out, so instead she wrote it down.
If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably dreamt of killing a few people yourself. That moron with the pushy-wheel suitcase. The idiot who spilt coffee on your white shirt (that was probably me – sorry!). The evil so-and-so who gave you french fries on the side when you’d specifically asked for mashed potatoes. Grrr!
So I was excited about the Kill People issue. We’ve done enough of these now that we know we can rely on our writers to bring us something special. The issue’s provocative title upset some people, and I understand that, but we trusted our submitters would address one of the oldest topics in the book with sensitivity, and imagination, and they didn’t disappoint. Nineteen stories this month, more than I think we’ve ever had, and more than we’d planned on too!
People exploding in cafes, 150-proof corn liquor girls, coyotes, Brazilian soldiers shouting “dude”, unsolved slayings, inheritance squabbles, the sickbed, hair and pops, robots and sax, dares gone awry, the small deaths of the casting room, the thin line between accident and murder, dogs – Roscoe!, the stupid futility of some deaths, gardens and shit, pacts, caves, escapes and even the possibility of death restoring life. All of these, to some degree, were addressed. This month has been one of our most popular yet.
If you haven’t read any of the stories already, get to it. They’re fantastic. Absolutely killer!
Detail of image by Angampora
At the end of last year, an Australian man in Maroochydore, Queensland, found a silicone breast implant washed up on the beach. Fearing foul play, he called the police, told them he thought there’d been a murder. Police investigated.
The silicone breast implant was a jellyfish.
Find out more on this story here.