Join Editor-in-Chief Joshua Heston, Ethan Grubaugh and Dale Grubaugh as we dig into the experience of Writers Artists Night, our uncensored works, the difficult themes of Dalton Quick’s Beneath the Willow with art by Freeman, and we also dig apart the hate mail we’ve gotten from Josh’s horror-fiction themed story, Kewpie, inspired by the art of the lovely and provocative Rose O’Neill. Also, Ethan talks about how much he hates Kewpies, and Josh talks about how much he loves them.

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Articles discussed…

Beneath the Willow by Dalton Quick with art by Freeman

Kewpie

Been thinking about…

…oak leaves in the afternoon. I sit, quietly. Glass in hand. The afternoon light is in the trees. A bug flies by, I know not what kind — entomology was never my strong point, etymology is. The sun sets and with it another day.

The quiet is the sound of loss.

Lost moments. Lost childhood. Lost innocence.

We can never go back.

With the passing sun moves our passing chances. Once gone, our forevers lost in the red-orange sunsets of the past. The forest’s limbs are black silhouettes now. Somehow, mornings never capture the reminding hope — our future is at its most poignant once that future has been lost.

A hundred shades of green muddle the hot air. A soft wind stirs. Even with the heat, there is new growth, small green tendrils of the forest floor. Tendrils reaching for the light.

My mind goes back to another afternoon. In the freshly stirred black earth. A toad cradled in my mother’s weathered hands. Carton of epsom salt for the tomatoes. Young plants, full of hope and life.

When we plant, we plant hope. Hope for another tomorrow. Hope for a bountiful, flourishing future.

I saw that hope, planted young, last Friday night. We gathered beneath a darkening sky. So many moments.

We plant with no guarantees. It is a tenuous thing, this future. A wrong word. A lost moment. All could come crashing down.

But last Friday night, beneath the darkening sky, I saw hope.

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