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**PRINT: A GAME I ONCE ENJOYED, by Chicago's Patrick Somerville, is THE2NDHAND’s 32nd broadsheet. Somerville's work previously appeared in No.24 in 2007, and this Somerville’s second broadsheet since the release of his short-story collection, Trouble, in 2006 marks the first since his novel The Cradle launched into the cultural imagination with coverage in the form of reviews in places as high as the New York Times Book Review. Don’t let that turn you off, though; Somerville’s work is viscerally humorous and elegantly dramatic as the best out there, as evidenced in this epic story, about a chess game whose stakes might well be higher than its players know. Also in this issue: a short from Ohio scribe Daniel Gallik.

THE CROW'S NEST Peter Richter
WING & FLY: NERVIER THAN THOU? The Broad Set Writing Collective | Todd Dills
LIVING COLOR Stephanie Friedman
THE BITTER REDS Philip Brunetti
An excerpt from the novel HEARTLESS Eric Durchholz

Doug Milam

Bellingham, Wash.-based Milam in a longtime contributor to THE2NDHAND and other mags. Visit him here.

I believe there is no magic; there is only what we do not know. In the morning my wife talks of the dreamworld. She tells me of the recurrence of a theme I cannot understand: women in conflict with women. Psychic warfare, some say.

Columbia College Fiction Writing Department

My dream was a rare one: I remembered it all when I awoke. I was at a mall and for whatever reason had left a bag of new shoes on the curb. Perhaps I had stepped away to hail a taxi, I don't know. But when I returned to pick up the bag, it was gone, stolen. I walked out into the parking lot, looking for whomever had done it. As I came upon a van opened in the back, and several people talking over what I knew instantly to be stolen goods, a tall man with a mullet and a 'stache warned them that I was coming, that I knew. They then closed ranks and assumed threatening postures and said that there is nothing to see here. Intimidated, I backed away and went inside the mall to tell the cops, only to find that as I walked through a door the door became a stage curtain, and I was backstage amongst the grips and runners and they were the same who had closed ranks around that van, and I was not allowed to leave but was pushed further along through another curtain which opened to a square room walled with black curtains and outfitted with folding chairs. I moved to open my mouth and was told by a woman that my complaint was not relevant here, that I would never find the new soles that I had claimed were mine. I was told to leave and was shunted through more curtains. I was then walking in the city, at night, alone. I hiked up fire escapes and looked at rooftops. I saw students entering libraries through back doors. And one by one they came, over walls, from the air, out of windows - the cabal of thieves crowded me and told me my time had come, that I knew too much, that I wouldn't be allowed to continue... and then in my fear my anger grew, and with my anger grew wings to gather the wind now at my back. I flew at them with rage, and the streetlights illumined what I had done.

I had killed them with my bare hands. I had killed all of them, one by one. I was as satisfied as I could remember. But there was a boy in the air, Luciano. He had probably come to look. Unable to dampen my rage I killed him too, for watching perhaps, or because once the demon is let loose, be warned that it overtakes the soul. And then I awoke, disturbed but satisfied that I had killed. Satisfied that I had killed but only in a dream. I did not feel particularly well rested. Maybe it was the wine the night before. Maybe my body in meting revenge needed water, and death could not slake it. Some say DNA itself needs water to attune, and to atone I wonder what the right balance of life and death is. Some say in radioed sooth that "democracy is not a panacea; it cannot organize everything and it is unaware of its own limits ... it is no longer well-suited to the task ahead." I cannot yet wonder what is. I get up drink a large glass of water and feed the cats the meat they deserve. Life seems normal again, for a time, until I fall into the couch and back asleep dream again, that

From a universal history of the destruction of books the bepenned red-headed woman sitting to her right on the bus to work in the sunny morning interrupted her reading of "o weariness of men who turn from" and asked on the beauty of the clouds in waves and ripples in white ardor. The sun she said and squinted into the high haze-right blue where novelty lined up in lapped rhythm to the dawn of gnosis is knowledge or science is knowledge and there is a difference in the layers we dare travel down, bathyspheres where light is heavy and the pressure is "to fevered enthusiasm / for nation or race or what you call humanity." The woman's question was not prohibited but her privacy or her stupor or her inversion for war would have away with it, done what deeds of men in holed hearts have done and silenced it to the stern rose of thorns bundled in Roman axes of six or twelve ranks deep. Were it not for the tales she had heard told only yesterday, of trails in the sky against which the pulpits of progress would never pronounce invalid but yet limp along at the end themselves like a hare just missed the trap, until ill from silver salts and bromides rained down that the agricultural year is done and no time to play her games but that of the velvet glove, move her to the cities and the sooner in starving domes live the death the velvet glove decrees of an April morning, of a god dare said and seen now made extinct with endless excuses to cowardice following orders to burn books, where people are burned in the end.


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