Saturday, August 28, 2010

Issue Two, Volume One

From the Editor's Desk,
     Welcome to issue two of Streets Ahead Magazine of Fiction. This issue contains more of very best in amateur writing. We here at SAM Headquarters have been very excited about working on the magazine and would like to thank Legend Fire Writing Forums for all the aid and assistance in making this happen.
     In news, we are opening are very first contest! It is the Fantastical Fantasy Fiction Contest of Extreme Awesomeness! We are accepting pieces for short fiction, flash fiction, poetry, and drama. The full rules for each are in the "Contest" link above the news box.
     The top winner for either the flash or short fiction contests will win a slide-show presentation of Quentin (co-editor) and I acting out the story. The winner of the poetry contest will win random objects from around the office. The winner of the drama contest will be honored by being the first Streets Ahead Radio Drama--in other news we are preparing to do a monthly radio drama podcast (stay tuned).
     Lastly I want to urge every able writer to send us your short fiction. We had a great out pouring of submissions for our first run and would love to see more. Thanks again for reading (and writing) and we hope you enjoy the issue!
Daniel (Kiddy) Pool
Giants and Pixies

Pushing and stomping me into the ground,
the giants don't stop when I cry with no sound.
They laugh and forget
not one inch of regret.
For they never quite knew
I was under their shoes.

Picking and jabbing until I submit,
the pixies keep pulling- no intention to quit.
I try to ignore their sharp little claws,
confused how they find every one of my flaws.
Maybe I should run or hide for a while,
but then they will know I gave in to their guile.

Everywhere something tries to dissuade
or push me away from my ceaseless crusade.
Without even asking to see how I feel
they stomp and they pick with all manner of zeal.
Firmly I stand with skin that is thick
ready to take every one of their kicks.

     Laurel Stark lives in California with her husband and rascal of a dog. She writes primarily short stories of a fantastical nature and is working on two novels of the same genre. This is her first published work.

Thump Thump 

Thump Thump.

     It’s kind of cute. I don’t know if I’d keep it with me forever though. It’s more like the boyfriend who goes stale after the third fuck.

Thump Thump.

     So I met this guy on the bus today. His eyebrows were unbalanced but it made him work, sort of like he is constantly questioning everything around him. If I see him again I just might say Hi.

Thump Thump.

     So I’m following the rule. No sighting thus far.  I’m going to cut my losses and move on to the subway. The veins of the underground pumping bloody people every which way so the cranium don’t crash. Effective.

Thump Thump.

     This morning it got louder. Not interesting louder, not good louder, a strange uncomforting louder, almost painful but not quite. Some guy at work gave me advice but his eyebrows were completely straight so I paid no mind. Maybe if I find the source I can shut it up. It’s gone from quirky to depersonalizing. Unfortunately I’m not a fan.

Thump Thump.

     There was a hole in the wall this time, naturally I’m getting nervous. What’s worse is the sound is now on the other side of the room. What does that even mean? That something is alive? Watching me? What happens when there’s no wall left? Will everything fall to nothing? Will the shit hit the fan? I suppose it couldn’t if it wanted to though, seeing as there’d be not ceiling for the fan to suck up to. God, I could do with some shit right now. 

Thump Thump.

     I was right next to it when a hole appeared this time. A man stood there, peering out and he had no eyebrows at all. I’m not going back. 

     Meredith McLean is in her final year of schooling in Australia. She has had a few stints with writing such as an article being published and winning a poetry slam contest. She hopes this site will send her into the orbit of the top dogs of writing. 

Wishful Thinking and Wondrous Actions.

      She left. He cries.

      About this Author

      Quentin Pongratz is an aspiring writer. He currently is living and attending school in Chickasha, Oklahoma. He is double-majoring in both mathematics and English. He likes to write quirky stories and just hopes that one day someone will take his writing serious and like him as a writer.

      Last Tuesday Quentin went to turn in his story to Daniel Pool, the editor of Streets Ahead Magazine.

      “So,” Quentin approached Daniel nervously the next day, “Do you like it?”

      “I’m going to be honest with you Quentin. I can’t publish this with a clear conscience.” Daniel stared intently at the floor. Daniel felt that if he broke eye contact with the floor their friendship would likewise break.

      “What’s wrong with it? I felt like I wrote a pretty stellar story.” A look of confusion and hurt crosses Quentin’s face. Then, realizing that the look had missed its mark, the look turned around and made for Quentin’s face. Upon reaching Quentin’s face the look stopped instead of crossing.

      None of this, however, was seen by Daniel. Daniel kept his staring contest with the floor. Seeing patterns he never saw before. Daniel found it quite interesting, but knew it was not the time for his thoughts to linger on the floor and broke his floor concentration without breaking his stare. “All of it is wrong,” he finally said.

      “All of it how?”

      “Well, first of all. It’s too short. You don’t convey much with how short it is. It would be super dumb to publish something that short.”

     "I could lengthen it," Quentin offered.

      “Could you?” It was a question to which he knew the answer.

      Quentin joined Daniel in staring at the floor. “No.” They stood and stared in silence for a few moments before Quentin made some noise and looked up at Daniel. “What else?”

      “The subject.”

      “What about the subject?”

      “Well, I’m aiming for the magazine to be about strange and fantastical stories. To stretch the limits of one’s imagination. To be, well, Streets ahead of normal stories.”

     “What’s wrong with mine then?”

     “It doesn’t do that. It’s about that girl you dated back in high school.”

     “It’s not about her. This is a fictional story.”

     “Is it? Are you sure about that?” A moment of silence passes. 

“Listen. I know she fucked up your heart and stuff. And I’m sure you can get some really emotional stuff out of that. But this is not it. Besides, this isn’t the type of story I want in there.”

      “I could make it more fantastical.”

      “Could you?” It was a question to which he knew the answer.


      “That’s what I thought.” A thought crossed Daniel’s mind after he made this statement. Here it is in its entirety: I should write story about this floor.

      “Anything else?” Quentin was hurt. He wasn’t so mad at Daniel, but himself. He knew it was a story he shouldn’t have submitted. He knew that when he was writing it. He knew when he was editing it. He knew when he went to go print it. He knew when he walked the distance to Daniel’s house. He knew when he put it in Daniel’s hand the previous Tuesday.

      “You switched tenses. That is all.” Daniel handed the piece of paper to Quentin.

      “I know,” Quentin said, not extending his hand to accept the paper.

      “What?” Daniel broke eye contact with the floor to look quizzically at Quentin.

      “I meant to do that.”

      “Oh.” Daniel pulled his hand back towards his body to examine the paper with newfound perspective. After a few seconds he repeats his vocalization of the exclamation. “And to think. For three years I just thought you were a crappy writer.”

      “You really thought that?”


      “That stings a bit.”

      “Sorry. I just… That’s the only thing you’ve ever written. Every time you want me to look at something, you give me this.”

      “It’s the only thing I can write. I’m stuck. I have been for years. I don’t know what it is. I just can’t get over this.”


      “Yeah. I don’t know what it is. I think I have some sort of writing disorder. I sit down to write and that is what comes out every time. I’ve tried many different things. I’ve plotted out so many different stories, but all I can actually write when it comes down to it is that story.”

      “I wouldn’t really call it a story. It’s more like two sentences.”

      “I’m serious, man. I can’t stop it.”

      “I think I know what you’re talking about. I have something similar.” Daniel paused before continuing.

      Quentin used this pause to interrupt with the question: “Really? What is it?”

      “If you hadn’t interrupted me I could already be telling you.”

      “Oh. Sorry.”

      “Okay. So, you have to promise to secrecy. I’ve never told anyone this, and I don’t really want this getting out.”

      “I promise not to tell.”

      “I,” it takes him a moment to work up the courage to tell Quentin. “I cannot write a story without including a character named Kent.”

      “As a first or last name?”

      “It can be either. But I have to have a person with the name of Kent in there somewhere, otherwise my stories just fall flat and don’t make any sense.”

      “But I’ve read a lot of your stuff. I don’t remember a Kent in any of them.”

      “I’ve learned to deal with it. I just make him a character that’s name isn’t known. Like the old nameless wizard in “Blind: The Legend of Mount Grant” or the baby that died soon after birth in “All Too Close.” I just work around it.”

      “Oh.” Quentin’s mouth keeps the shape of the letter long after the exclamation.

      “Listen, Quentin. I know she hurt you. I know it is something you’ll carry with you probably forever, but if you want to write, and I mean write seriously, you need to learn how to deal with it. Learn to work those into everything you write, and then maybe you’ll be able to write other things. Keep the emotions, change the characters. It doesn’t really matter in the end how you deal with it, but you need to deal with it.”

      The circular shape faded form Quentin’s face. “I think I get it now. Thanks Daniel.”

      “No problem.” He patted Quentin on the shoulder. “Now, go write me something I can be proud of.”

      “You mean you aren’t going to publish this?”

      “Hell no. No matter what just happened here, this is still a crappy story.”

      “You told me your secret though.”

      “That has nothing to do with the publication of your story.”

      “Actually. Now I can blackmail you into publishing it. If you don’t publish this story, I’ll tell everyone your secret.”

      Daniel sighed. “Thanks for being a crappy friend.”

      “Any time.”

      “Fine. You’ll get to go into the next issue.”

      Quentin smiled. “So, who is this Kent any way?”

      “Just some kid I was friends with in junior high. One time after school at my house we were playing cards and he lost. He claimed I cheated, but I hadn’t. He ran out of the house screaming at me. When he was out in the street he looked back at my house. I remember this next part very clearly. He lifted his hands to the sky. And a giant cloud funnel twisted down towards him. His eyes turned red, and his clothes were flapping in the wind. He yelled a few words in Latin and then said ‘You are cursed now and forever Daniel Pool. You will always remember me, and if you do anything that is not in my name it shall fail.”

      “Oh.” Quentin’s ‘oh’-shaped mouth returned. 



  1. This is awesome D and Q! I absolutely loved the story about the story, your cameos in the tale we're hilarious.

  2. I liked the part where I was thinking about how I should write about the floor. It was pretty excellent Quentin.

  3. "Wow! Thanks for the plug for LF, Kiddy! You rock," says Raveneye.

  4. Great issue, dudes! Loved the story with you guys in it, great ending! LOL!!
    Now I'm waiting for the story about the floor.